The introduction of a work life balance policy and the offering of flexible work arrangements (PDF 458 kb) makes good business sense because they can:
- be used as a management tool to help get the job done
- be tailored to suit business needs
- be used by workers no matter what the job or level
- be applied creatively to achieve increased productivity
- improve staff loyalty, morale and job satisfaction levels
- result in reduced absenteeism, staff turnover and the associated costs.
Benefits for Business
Valuing and promoting flexible work arrangements has many benefits for both organisations and workers. For business it can:
- improve workplace productivity and financial performance
- enable greater sustainability and adaptability to change
- achieve savings in utilities, office fit out, parking, security and other associated costs when staff work from home or alternate sites e.g. a smaller office space may be an option
- assist with talent attraction, including broadening the employment pool
- assist with worker retention and the reduction of recruitment costs
- increase staff engagement, cooperation, commitment and motivation
- reduce absenteeism
- reduce stress in the workplace
- provide a pathway to gender equality
- encourage older workers to return to or stay in the workplace
- create a more diverse and inclusive workplace
- improve customer service.
The SafeWork SA publication Flexible Work Arrangements: Five steps to implementation (PDF 458 kb) can help businesses to follow this five step process towards the introduction of a work life balance policy and workplace practices:
Step 1 - Develop the business case
Step 2 - Define policies and practices
Step 3 - Provide tools, resources and training
Step 4 - Implement
Step 5 - Monitor and review
This also provides a positive framework for legislative compliance with industrial relations and work health and safety requirements. Workplace relations law includes the right for certain workers to request flexible working arrangements and provides for health and safety duties with regards to matters like fatigue.
At first, implementing flexible work arrangements may appear difficult. However, with planning, communication, consideration of all options, some creativity and a willingness to try something new, it is possible to realise the benefits of a flexible work environment.