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Integrating Life and Work

Organizations are finally creating cultures that support a work and life balance for their employees. After years of demanding high productivity and increasing on the job hours and expectations and not achieving the hoped-for better results, companies are finally embracing polices and procedures that support employees in integrating their life and work experience. The results are bringing higher productivity, better employee overall job performance, and fewer employee absences, resulting in greater profitability.

When companies first consider such programs, their biggest concern is how programs supporting life and work balance will help their bottom line vs. simply costing more money that they don't want to spend. As more companies develop creative methods for integration of life and work, they see that the bottom line can't be impacted upon positively without recognizing employees' needs for balance. Employees are, after all, only human.

At first, companies we've presented these concepts to have resisted and felt that it was all simply added expense for them. In addition, they've seen the need for balance as an "employee" issue and not a company issue. In my experience coaching and consulting with companies around the world, I think that avoiding responsibility for integration of life and work is what is actually COSTING companies money, and if they'd invest some money in programs that support balance, they'd increase their bottom line through improved morale and productivity.

Here are the reasons that organizations are adopting life/work balance policies:

Employee hiring and retention: it is more difficult to recruit and replace employees if there isn't a balance in their job, as they leave faster when they feel imbalance and the cost of constant retraining is money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Absenteeism decrease: when there is flextime, flexible schedules, childcare, etc. offered, it is well documented that absenteeism and tardiness go way down.

Stress is decreased: on the job tension often comes from the feeling of being out of balance, and stress creates illness, poor morale, and low productivity. People are not robots that can be switched on and off at will. All work and no play certainly does make Jack a dull boy, and companies now realize this.

Attitude and morale: employees who have a integration in life/work show higher job satisfaction, greater productivity, feel more loyalty, and file fewer law suits.

Organizations will be successful when they realize that without high quality workers who are loyal and who feel integration between family and work, they won't have a dedicated workforce, and they will actually lose money. People are worth keeping and developing and are the most valuable asset that any company has, and yet it is the one asset that is generally overlooked.

People make a business? not machines, not books of accounts. In our world, nothing is free and people do have to earn a living, but they do also have to live a meaningful and productive life. When there is a fair balance between the two, this results in a happy and constructive human being who is able to give 100% because one aspect of their life is not demanding more than the other and there is no unhealthy imbalance. Companies who acknowledge this and incorporate strategies to allow for this, reap the rewards described above. Result? Everyone gets what they want and need. Everyone is happy.

Written by Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS, CCC-SLP, the CEO of Coaching Instruction.com, popular Master Certified personal and business Coach, sought after Public Speaker, and Author of bestsellers, "Stop Managing, Start Coaching", "Work Yourself Happy", "Coaching for an Extraordinary Life" and "Create Your Ideal Body". She can be contacted via the web site http://www.TerriLevine.com or by telephone: 215-699-4949.

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