Holiday season puts work-life balance to the test
The holiday season can be stressful. For many Americans, deadlines loom as year-end sales are tallied. This can often lead to overtime, sometimes in excess of 50, 60, 70 or even 80 hours a week. This whole mad dash for the end of the year has us reflecting on the importance of work-life balance, particularly at a time of year when many yearn to be with family. Is forcing employees to work long hours really the most effective way to do business? Is the standard 40-hour work week truly most ideal? These are but a few of the questions we ask as we look at what is best not only for the company but for the employees.
Introduced by Henry Ford in the early 1900s, the 40-hour work week was appealing to factory workers accustomed to working 12-hour shifts. But it is no longer the 1900s, and many workers have moved from the factories to offices. So why do so many companies yoke themselves to a 100-year-old idea? For some, the idea of changing the workweek is a nonstarter simply because of habit and inertia, while others who’ve broken the mold have seen their productivity increase.
So, if the 40-hour work week isn’t the perfect time frame, what is? There may be no one-size-fits-all answer, but the solution may lie not in how many hours employees work, but when they work those hours. Studies have shown that workers given flexible hours provide a higher level of productivity than their 9-to-5 peers. These same studies found that flexible workers were out sick less, were happier in their work and even worked longer hours.
Here at EnSite, our employees are the lifeblood of our company. Empowering them to manage their own time provides them with the support they need to be more productive. Whether they are adjusting hours to make a doctor’s appointment, stepping out to pick up their child from school or taking advantage of our wellness program, our employee productivity has never been higher. We have made a conscious effort to think about the people who work for us and how taking care of them results in taking care of business. Learn more about our efforts in our full CSR report.
We encourage every company to challenge long-held assumptions and reflect on new solutions for a prosperous new year ahead.