Work-Life Balance - Good Practice

Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland

Work-life balance is about adjusting working patterns to allow employees to combine work with their other responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly relatives.

Benefits of work-life balance

Introducing employment policies that encourage a healthier work-life balance for your employees can bring real benefits to your organisation.

Issues to consider

When it comes to work-life balance, there are generally a number of issues to be considered:

  • role overload - when the time and energy demands are too great to carry out all of the work roles
  • work to family interference - where long working hours interfere with family duties
  • family to work interference - where demands and responsibilities at home interfere with working life (for example sick children)
  • care giver strain - where burdens are caused by having to provide assistance to someone else who needs it (children / elderly / disabled members of their family, or commitments within the wider community).

Options available

From a workplace perspective, work-life balance includes any policies or initiatives which provide options for staff to cope with the aforementioned issues.

There are many options available for employers and these vary from flexible working patterns, through to employee assistance programmes.

Options include:

  • on-site child care / emergency child care assistance / seasonal child care programmes - for example on site créches or medical facilities
  • flexible working arrangements / part-time working / reduced or compressed hours etc
  • referral system to local organisations or care systems for examplet Employee Assistance Programmes or similar system
  • on site seminars and workshops (to reduce travelling times)
  • fitness facilities - either on site, or subsidised through a local leisure centre

To find out more, contact your employer.

Useful resources

Support for back pain