The Art of the Workforce: Work-Life Balance

work-life balance

Editor’s Note: We’ve commissioned artist Doug Shaw to explore the 16 Key Factors measured when it comes to compatibility between a candidate and employer and will be posting them along with his inspiration in this series.

The first of the factors is Balance. Balance is defined by how well the company provides the means for employees to balance work and personal life. 44% of Millennials in a survey said work-life balance has gotten harder to achieve in the last five years due to more responsibilities at home. For many employees and candidates, finding work-life balance has been a quest to find companies who value this as much as they do.

Tweet This: 44% of Millennials in a survey said work-life balance has gotten harder to achieve in the last 5 years.

Many candidates are now actively looking for employers who give the opportunity to achieve this balance without interfering with their career path, or alternately by accelerating this. For example, what comes to mind for some when they hear work-life balance is a company that offers job-sharing, split schedules and work from home opportunities. And this may be a utopia for say, working parents or someone returning to the job force after an extended absence. From the New York Times series on Rethinking the Work-Life Equation:
In a nationwide survey, as many as 96 percent of employees said that they have some degree of flexibility, but only 56 percent believed that their company was very supportive of that option. And in a survey the Families and Work Institute conducted last year, 40 percent of respondents said that they agreed that in their work environment, people who asked for time off or for alternative work schedules to address personal or family needs were less likely to get ahead.
For entry-level workers though, some may want balance that looks more like dry-cleaning at the office, spin classes onsite and company-wide happy hours. You can see the difference as you traverse the scale of balance and why it’s so crucial for companies to discover where their balance criteria lies in order to recruit for fit. We use the factor of Balance in our compatibility test in order to help candidates find this easier.
Lindsey Pollack recently wrote about work-life balance and what it means today, in 2016. Her observations:
I often hear from professionals — millennials in particular — that they don’t turn off any part of themselves, ever. That means they will spend a few minutes during the work day shopping online or reserving a bike for SoulCycle, but they’re also not the least bit bothered by their boss calling them at 8 p.m. or having to answer some emails on a Sunday morning. In fact, in one survey, more than 80 percent of people said they check their work email on weekends and 55 percent do so after 11 p.m. (I probably would be part of that 55 percent if I could ever stay up that late…)
From Doug Shaw:
Our year had been really busy so far. We needed a break and recently took a few days holiday along the Atlantic coast in France. While walking on a beach, I came across a small pile of stones, carefully balanced on top of one another. We enjoyed our break and on returning home, this illustration project for Elevated Careers was one of the first things I got stuck into.
 
This first picture in this series represents balance, how well a company provides the means for employees to balance work and personal life. How would I choose to illustrate that? My mind drifted back to the beach in France and the little pile of stones on the beach. Surely there could be nothing better than this to represent balance in general, and for me, the balance shifting from our holiday, back into work.
This is part one of our 16 part series, The Art of the Workforce. Stay tuned by following us on Twitter for the next parts! @ECEmployers and @ElevatedCareers
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