In the lead up to National Work Life Week 2018 (October 1st-5th) we are keen to talk about what simple strategies managers can use to try and support their team in getting the work-life balance right. Not an easy task!

First of all, why should managers even worry about this?

Getting and keeping the right staff!

One in ten parents have refused a new working role because of a lack of flexibility and support with work life balance. This means that your company may be missing out on the top talent or may be losing staff to other companies who are ahead of the game with offering flexible working opportunities.

Loyal staff!

An un-supportive organisational culture can lead to parents regularly working over their normal hours in attempt to meet work targets. This excessive working can lead to reduced productivity, low motivation and poor staff engagement. Staff with more flexible working practices are shown to be more loyal to the company and are much more efficient and happy in their work.

A healthier work force!

Flexible working opportunities give staff the chance to balance their home and working life. This positively effects mood, resilience and their ability to cope with work and home life stress. The risk of burn out is reduced and staff are more likely to make healthier life style choices.

What strategies can managers use to help support their staff?

The obvious, policies and procedures!

Most companies will now have policies and procedures in place which will support you and your staff. This could be a stand alone flexible working policy or it could be part of multiple policies.

For example;

  • Sickness absence policy
  • New and expectant mother policy
  • Working from home policy
  • Leave policy (including options for unpaid leave)

It sounds obvious, but get to know and understand your local policies; ask HR if anything is unclear. If a policy isn’t available then perhaps now is the time to start! Support for writing guidance is available from ACAS

Wellbeing sessions!

Drop in sessions where staff can find out more about looking after both their physical and mental wellbeing are extremely popular. Having an external company pop in and give independent advice and education can be very powerful to engage staff and give them the confidence to make positive changes to their diet, exercise routines, mindfulness, sleep health and much more.

Occupational Health support!

We really want to encourage staff to take an active role in preventing burn out, keeping fit and working efficiently. However, we will all most likely have some health changes impact our working life. This may be a work factor that is affecting health, or perhaps an injury or condition that is making working difficult. As the manager we would recommend that you try and keep open and supportive conversations available to your team so that they can come to when they may need some support. Occupational Health has a very important role to independently assess these factors and to help advise any amendments to working which will protect and support the staff member to keep well at work. If you want to discuss an occupational health assessment, please contact us to find out more at

If you are keen to find out more about creating a happier and supportive flexible working culture, then why not head down to the Changing Culture: best practice showcase in London on Tuesday 2nd October 2018! Email to book your place:  @workingfamuk #worklifeweek