Why aim for work life balance?

Many employees rate wages as only their second or third priority when evaluating a prospective job. Quality of life, business culture, reputation and compliance with legislation are all important factors for jobseekers.

Prospective employees will consider how a job affects all aspects of their life, so paying attention to your work life balance strategies is imperative to ensure you attract and retain staff, and in turn, improve your profitability. 

Without flexibility, problems can arise...

The result can be that employees:

  • are less productive 
  • are absent more often, or for longer 
  • disguise the real reasons for their absence
  • have lower levels of morale
  • are more stressed
  • are more likely to leave

Flexible work arrangements may be the reason an employee chooses to stay with you in spite of the lure of higher wages. If a competitor offers flexibility it may be the reason you lose an employee.

It has been estimated that replacing an employee can cost 38% of their annual salary. Therefore, replaceng an employee on an annual salary of $45,000 would cost you $17,000. Read more at Ways to Work.

When an employee leaves, recruiting and training a new employee costs you time and money. You also lose their valuable knowledge and networks.

Flexible work practices can reduce unplanned absences and increase productivity. For example, allowing an employee to take a few hours off to attend a medical appointment with their child (which they can make up later), may avoid the need to pay a whole day of carer's leave.

  • It costs around $120,000 to replace a lawyer with four years' experience
  • It costs around $80,000 to replace a bank teller with ten years' experience


Why should employers consider work life balance measures for their employees?

From 1 January 2010 certain Australian employees have the right to request flexible arrangements under the new National Employment Standards.

While the new standards do not give employees the right to demand flexibility, employers will be expected to give requests fair consideration and respond in a timely manner. The right to request applies only to:

  • employees who are parents or guardians of children under-school age, and
  • employees with a child under 18 who has a disability.

A range of state and federal legislation provides the foundation for work life balance by regulating key conditions of employment.


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Last Modified Date: 03/APR/2014