At QOCO Systems, we believe that work-life balance plays a vital role in ensuring a positive employee experience. Consequently, we also feel that by actively supporting our employees in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, we can promote productivity, reduce turnover, and improve employees' mental and physical health.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance can generally be described as “the minimization of work-related stress and the establishment of a stable and sustainable way to work while maintaining health and general well-being". In other words, it is making sure that you are taking care of yourself both inside and outside of work.
The topic has been a prominent theme of podcasts, articles, and news reports in recent years, particularly because Covid- 19 blurred the lines between our work and personal lives, when remote work became the “new normal”. As an HR professional, I have been following this development with great curiosity, because I feel that one of the most fascinating aspects to this subject is how it can vary so drastically from one person to the other. In my experience, I have found that an individual's take on work-life balance will depend upon a multitude of factors, ranging from their professional background and training to their life experiences, and the values they were brough up with.
At QOCO Systems, one of our core values is transparency. Personally, I have interpreted this to mean that we can be authentic about who we are, about our experiences, and our struggles at work. Moreover, this also includes defining what work-life balance means for us as individuals. But given that we are all different, it is critical that we as a company first define what work-life balance means for us on an organizational level. If our expectations towards our employees are clear, setting boundaries between work and free time, will also be easier. However, for everyone to be comfortable to set these boundaries, we must also first lead by example. That, I believe, not only starts from the top, from the leadership team, but also from me, as the HR representative.
I feel it is important to share that, even though I oversee developing our holistic employee experience, it does not mean I always have everything figured out. Yes, part of my job is to raise awareness, and it is critical that intervene when the situations call for it. But I think it is also essential that I highlight how I myself need to do the work to keep my own work-life balance in check. I am very aware of my work habits, the healthy and unhealthy alike, and appreciate having a manager who spars with me on this, especially during the busy seasons.
How Can We Achieve Work-Life Balance?
I can imagine that there are at least as many ways to achieve work- life balance as there are individuals out there, but a few of the methods that we at QOCO have implemented, include mentoring & sparring- sessions with career coaches, guest lectures by occupational health care professionals, well-being webinars and activation sessional.
Our most recent work-life balance initiative was a company-wide session, where the objective was to raise awareness on the subject, and to encourage each employee to figure out what is the best way for them, to maintain their energy and efficiency, as part of their growth and personal development as individuals.
We tackled the topic from various perspectives, which the crew members had raised themselves with their feedback. We concluded that to be able to support our employees in their work-life balance efforts, we need to take the following factors into consideration:
Although each one of these elements deserves its own attention, culture, is the one relevant to what I am highlighting today, especially since in the past year, we have developed into a truly international organization, representing 11 different nationalities, from various parts of the world. This richness in cultural diversity has not only strengthened us as a company and community, but it is also served as a timely reminder that we should not assume we all share the same mindset about work as we did a few years ago. In fact, it reminds us that the more international we have become, the more of an understanding of work and work-life balance we need to have going forward.
Our work-life balance session concluded with a few of our Crew members sharing their personal stories on the subject, including their struggles, the influence their cultural heritage has had on their approach, and how they themselves set boundaries. I am both personally and professionally grateful for the openness and honesty expressed during this session. This conversation has opened the door for an ongoing dialogue and given us more fuel to ensure our employee experience is constantly evolving side by side with our growth.
What are some of the methods you have found useful in balancing your own work- life balance?
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