Research Explores the Benefits of Work-Life Balance Policies for Organizations

October 6, 2021by Natalie Davis0

Summary of:

Rodriguez-Sanchez, J-L., Gonzalez-Torres, T., Montero-Navarro, A., & Gallego-Losada, R. (2020). Investing time and resources for work-life balance: The effect on talent retention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(6), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061920

Background & Theory

This article explains the importance of work-life balance and provides a look at recommended strategies that companies can use to better implement work-life balance related policies and procedures.

Research Question

Rodriguez-Sanchez, Gonzalez-Torres, Montero-Navarro, and Gallego-Losada, in “Investing time and resources for work-life balance: The effect on talent retention” (2020), seek to address the following question:

  1. What are the most important components of a positive work-life balance, and what is the best way to implement these into the workplace?

Methods

The authors conducted a case study of a large, global company that primarily worked with airlines by providing an electronic software service. There were multiple reasons this company was selected for the case study, but one of the most important is that they value providing a good work-life balance for their employees, to which they discovered there are many benefits for both the company and employee. The case study included a review of three international locations (France, Spain, and Germany), where their respective HR managers were interviewed. Additionally, 54 participants throughout the organization were also interviewed, and the authors maintained contact informally with the Spain location for several years following the study. The authors also spent time in meetings and reviewing internal documents with these locations to gather additional insight. To evaluate the data provided by the interviewees, they used a software called ATLAS.ti.

Results

The case study showed numerous results about the benefit and importance of a positive work-life balance. Main areas highlighted as positive policies/procedures in the organization included flexible schedules (which allows time for managing various commitments and family matters), non-monetary benefits (such as childcare assistance, meal vouchers/provisions, and professional development opportunities), external activities (such as sports or gym activities or friendly competitions outside of work-related duties [i.e. cooking]), and employer brand (ensuring the company has a positive reputation and implementing policies that align with this). Overall, a good work-life balance is critical to the success of a company, as it encourages good recruitment and retention which leads to improved productivity and results for the organization.

What This Means

  • Work-life balance is an increasingly important matter for companies to not only be aware of but actively work to achieve for its employees.
  • There are many ways to create an environment that provides a positive work-life balance, and many of the areas listed in the results sections can help achieve this.
  • Organizations and employees both greatly benefit from policies and procedures that encourage a positive work-life balance.

Final Takeaway

For consultants: When working with an organization, look for areas that could be improved for employees and find ways the company can support them. A good environment will lead to less conflict and happier, more dedicated employees.

For everyone: When looking for a place of work, seek to find organizations that will value you, and then do your best to return the favor.

Natalie Davis

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