- A cross-generation of employees picked work-life balance as the leading example of a successful culture, according to a new survey by cloud-based software provider Mavenlink. The firm's Future of Work report found that 62% of the 1,002 respondents thought work-life balance was the most important part of a workplace culture, followed by team-building activities, continuous learning and a collaborative environment.
- The report also showed where the generations differed: respondents in the 18- to 24-year-old age group were the least likely to choose work-life balance as a key aspect of company culture; 35- to-44-year-old respondents chose "continuous learning" as the most important example of a successful culture; and 18- to 24-year-old respondents (40%) were more likely than other age groups (34% overall) to give team-building the highest rating.
- Respondents recommended creating an inclusive and more productive culture by providing more training, flexible work options and mentorship opportunities.
Is there such a thing as work-life balance? Experts like Andrea Hough, head of talent management for Fidelity Investments, say no. In an opinion piece for HR Dive, she wrote: "Balance suggests some level of perfection, which is simply unrealistic when your 8 year old is late for soccer practice or your grad-school term paper is due in two hours."
Others experts say work-life balance doesn't exist because the line between work and personal responsibilities has blurred, aided in large part by 24/7 access to technology by employees and their ability to toggle between work-related duties and personal activities with ease. The same experts say that instead of looking for work-life balance, the search should be for "synergy" between work and home. For example, survey findings from 15Five found that synergy allows employees to take a more realistic approach towards having a fulfilling personal life, supported by an equally fulfilling work life. 15Five recommended that leaders help employees feel supported and engaged by providing more 1-on-1 meetings between managers and workers, creating a "culture of honest feedback" and offering leadership training.
The 15Five survey also showed that the absence of synergy creates stress for workers. In fact, a survey from Mental Health America (MHA) and Total Brain found that 60% of 18- to 34-year-olds reported that their productivity at work suffered because of stress over trying to handle both work- and personal-related duties. Employers can help reduce or eliminate burnout by examining workloads, offering flexible work options, using employee assistance programs (EAPs) and adopting programs to boost workers' health, financial and overall well-being.