Picture Source : Financial Times
Every employee has a private life, but not all employers are aware of this fact. A family-friendly workplace is one that respects employees' outside responsibilities and consciously creates a work environment that allows them to fulfill those responsibilities. Building a family-friendly work culture doesn't just benefit employees. This creates a more connected and trustworthy team. If you're hesitant to talk about your hobbies and interests, don't take vacations, skip your kids' extracurricular activities, or are hesitant to apologize when you need to get away from your computer, chances are your culture isn't as family-friendly as you think.
Here are some recommendations for fostering a family-friendly work culture that can improve your engagement at the workplace :
1. Prioritize PTO (Paid Time Off) And Parental Leave
Regardless of the size of your business, everyone needs paid vacation and parental leave. Whether it's half a day, a day, or even a week, it's important to take advantage of paid time off to build a family-friendly work culture. You can also consider unlimited paid time off. It's important to see employees as an adult who can handle their workload who need time off when they need to relax, spend time with family, or take care of their health and mental health. As an employer, it's your job to provide the support your employees needs to get their jobs done, and it starts with setting policies.
2. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
In a fully decentralized company, we can often work across many time zones. With so many different schedules, it's important to find ways to allow for flexibility. For example, an all-hands meeting can be held only once every two weeks, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to work the same hours, and you can be more lenient to allow employees to take time off for errands or doctor's appointments. You can set a curfew at the same time every night for employees to have dinner with family undisturbed. A family-friendly workplace values and respects each person's time.
3. Encourage Schedule Blocking
Everyone should be able to access each other's calendars, and for good reason. This makes scheduling meetings and collaborating with colleagues more comfortable, while also identifying when your colleagues are away. Encourage employees to set aside time on their calendars for personal appointments that can be used for school or school visits, neighborhood walks, doctor appointments, or other things that need to be done during the day. As long as you keep working, it's okay to take lunch breaks or spend time with your kids. In fact, we've found that time away from work often leads to increased productivity when you return.
4. Maintain Communication
Remember to set expectations and boundaries when it comes to time. If you're going on vacation, let your team know you'll be out of the office for that period, and let them know who to contact and what to do while you're away. By deploying the same action plan across departments and teams, an employee can take a few hours, a day, or even her week off to see how other employees are coping with their absence.
5. Invest In The Team And Culture
Culture doesn't just happen, it arises. You can't expect good results just by putting up posters. Therefore, we believe that top management needs to formulate a business plan to achieve work-life balance. Ultimately, it requires the active participation and feedback of employees who want to feel connected and supported by the company. For example, set up a culture committee and work with external consultants to ensure that every employee contributes to the company's culture.
Source : Forbes, HBR, Custom Insight