The work-life balance has become a subject that’s increasingly important in the debate on the IT market and policy development. This interest is due to multiple factors, spanning personal, social and economic.
But given the constraints in terms of competitiveness that exist in the global economy, work-life balance is a luxury that is driving up costs and, in turn, causing the loss of jobs. So what is the relationship between work-life balance and the action needed by the business community to increase flexibility at work?
Citrix has surveyed employees for their top workplace annoyances to uncover what really needs to be addressed in order to achieve a work-life balance.
The survey, titled Why You May Need a Summer Office Break, was conducted in association with Wakefield Research among 1,013 American office workers, ages 18 and older, using an email invitation and an online survey.
According to the figures, 74 percent of office workers don’t like at least one of company event (such as costume contests, baby showers). Among male workers, 42 percent disliked office baby showers event, while female coworkers are split between costume contest (33 percent) and staff photos (31 percent).
When it comes to office bosses, those who like to steal employees’ ideas (37 percent) is the worst type of boss, followed by a boss that knows-it-all (33 percent). And if employees could dream up their perfect TV boss, number one on the list would be Gibbs from NCIS (20 percent), while second place goes to Miranda Bailey from Grey’s Anatomy (15 percent) followed by Buddy from Cake Boss (14 percent).
Moreover, one in five office workers report needing a break from their boss more than a break from their actual work. It turnes out three in ten employees like to go for a vacation around same time as their boss’s scheduled vacation to maximize the time they won’t have to work with their boss.
Now here’s one interesting fact: the top reason for office workers to take a break from the office in the middle of the day is to exercise; the second top reason is to nap.
Many workers have found some creative excuses to get out of coming into the office. Some are, “My bicycle ran out of gas”, “I drank too much Sunkist and was too tired to come in”, “I’m dieting”, “I’m having toenail issues” and “My numerologist told me not to come in”.
Studies have shown that long hours of work, increased work intensity and stress of balancing paid work with competing demands have significant effects on our health. Many studies show that work-related fatigue increases with the number of hours worked, and the risk of incidents increases during the last hours of the workday.
According to a recent study among CFOs, seeking a work-life balance is the greatest source of workplace stress for accounting and finance professionals.
Another report from UNCG provides some insight to work-life balance stresses faced by employees in jobs. Managerial support has a considerable impact on employees and their ability to find a work-life balance.
“Manager support and (perceived) career consequences were more important than family/friend social support,” according to the report. “Most people believe they have good support, but about 40 percent fear negative consequences (of requesting work/life balance solutions).”
But it may be worth asking about. The report goes on to say that “managerial support for work/life balance issues improve health overall.”
Citrix’s latest findings shed some light as why many employees prefer to take a break from work or maintain a work-life balance, and give us a better idea of how to best incorporate breaks, vacations and office functions for a healthier, more productive workplace. Citrix has a number of products that aim to make the workplace a more productive place, even if that means taking a break from the actual office and working from home, where no boss can peer over your shoulder or notice a gym/nap break.