Work-life balance in employer’s best interest

Establishing a work-life balance policy within an organisation is not only
the moral responsibility of employers but is in the company’s best interests,
according to the HR director of Shell Gas and Power.

Speaking at the employers’ Law briefing, Liz Rayner told delegates that it
is up to senior managers to encourage a flexible attitude to working practices.

"Support from the top is one of the most important elements and
managers should lead by example. Workaholic attitudes can have a damaging
effect."

She said the challenge is to understand that people want to work in
different ways, and as long as the outcome is the same, it should not
negatively impact the organisation.

But, warned Christine Owen, head of William M Mercer’s occupational health
consulting team, before implementing flexible working policies be careful
you’re not "fixing the wrong problem".

She said, "It is important you have an ‘in-depth’ understanding of the
culture of your organisation, and the different departments within it. You must
be creative across the whole spectrum, and do not think that one size will fit
all."

For a full report on Shell’s work-life balance strategies see next
month’s Law in Action

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