Work-Life Balance: The Next Generation Of Leaders Prize Flexibility At Work

Natalie Bickford, European HR director at Sodexo, ranked 18th on the HR Most Influential Practitioners list, wrote the eye-opening article on HR Magazine “Our Future Leaders Want To Combine Work And Life”, regarding the next generation of leaders. The article explored why the HR practitioner must embrace and encourage varied working patterns, and offer solutions with more given freedom.

Our Future Leaders Want To Combine Work And Life

When confronted by her teenage daughter, that she would rather ‘marry a rich man’ than have a ‘fulfilling career’ as the modern working woman ‘doesn’t spend enough time at home’, Natalie was rightly taken back and began to consider the modern careerist and their need for working flexibility.

She said: “Gen X have grown up in workplaces where asking for flexibility has often been taken as a signal of putting our career aspirations on hold, and what we might no longer be serious about our [working] progress. Our children have witnessed a somewhat all or nothing approach to climbing the ranks, and while this might have suited some of us, perhaps our children are going to reject this world because they have been first-hand observers of its disadvantages.”

“The up-and-coming generations, our future business leaders, need to be able to trust that they can combine work and life in a healthy and positive manner.”

So, do we need to work hard to modernise the corporate culture, and embrace the need for new flexibility legislation in a meaningful way? And by this, I don’t just mean through policy, but rather to introduce role-modelling from the top, educating management and all ongoing communication of success stories?

Encouraging Work-Life Balance In The Workplace

‘Work-life balance’ is a management concept which supports the efforts of employees splitting their time and energy equally between working and personal demands. When successfully obtaining a work-life balance, employees will live a more stress-free, rewarding life.

Because many employees experience a personal, professional, and monetary need to achieve, maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging. Therefore, it is important for management to institute policies, procedures, actions, and expectations that enable employees to easily pursue a more balanced life. This may include flexible work schedules, paid time off (PTO) policies, responsible time and communication expectations, and company-sponsored fun activities.

Management who pursue a work-life balance in their own lives will model the appropriate behaviour, which will support employees in their pursuit of a more fulfilling working life. We must create a work environment in which work-life is expected, enabled, and supported.

At alldayPA, we offer a range of flexible working arrangements including part-time, term-time, and job shares. Our PA’s can benefit from compressed hours, and flex-working.

Further, we have an employee reward scheme in place where the employee of the month is awarded with a swanky all-expenses-paid, high-end meal for two and a bottle of wine, and employee of the year can enjoy a week’s holiday to a designation of their choice. Of course, other team-building activities are in place throughout the year to encourage relationship-building and trust.

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