Work life balance is about individual choices that enable businesses and workers to manage the interaction between work and the demands of life that affect health, families and communities.
There are increasingly more workers who care for children or elderly family members, manage work and study, seek graduated retirement or balance demanding work and life commitments. This necessitates a new approach to working arrangements.
Work life balance is for every business and everyone - the key to achieving this balance is flexible work and leave arrangements (PDF 458 kb). There is no 'one size fits all' solution; everyone is different and the right balance may alter over time as families grow older and personal commitments change. Use this five step guide to help implement flexible work arrangements at your workplace.
For workers, work life balance policies make managing work and life demands possible by allowing them to work in non-traditional work patterns and locations that better fit their personal commitments.
For businesses, the capacity to negotiate flexible work arrangements provides an antidote to loss of skills and experience and the high cost of recruitment and retention in a competitive labour market. Those providing flexible work options immediately gain a competitive edge in the labour market by becoming 'employers of choice', and also benefit from improved worker morale and commitment.
The interest in policies and practices addressing work life balance is also driven by demographic factors such as the ageing population, skills and labour shortages and the need to maximise participation in the workforce.
The particular considerations of workers and volunteers who provide frontline emergency services have been addressed in specific emergency services guidelines (PDF 1.3MB) for the management of working hours and fatigue. Contact SAFECOM for further details.