What employers in IT can do to improve the work-life balance of their employees
Both IT specialists and IT companies benefit from a healthy work-life balance. Because deadline pressure, complexity and speed in the IT world make it absolutely necessary that employees feel comfortable and can regenerate. This, in turn, only works if work and personal life are in balance.
Family-friendliness: top criterion by employees
A good work-life balance enables employees to maintain their productivity and creativity in the long term. No wonder that the work-life balance is right at the top of the employee’s wish list: For 96.1 percent of employees with children and 87.8 percent of employees with relatives in need of care, family-friendly offers are among the most important criteria for an attractive employer.
The definition of the term work-life balance
… is derived from the English terms work and (including all aspects) life, which should be in equilibrium. In this way, people should have the opportunity to shape their private, professional and family life equally to their satisfaction.
For companies in the IT sector, the work-life balance is also an important competitive factor in the battle for the best employees . The compatibility of work and private life is a criterion that potential employees attach great importance to when choosing their preferred employer. In addition, the work-life balance is also queried by employer rating portals.
In addition, IT specialists with a balanced work-life balance think less about a job change.
It pays off: The demand for IT experts is growing. Numerous companies are looking for specialists in the IT sector. Competent personnel consultancy can help with recruitment services, also and especially for IT management positions.
What are work-life balance measures?
Negative factors for the Work-life balance is shift work, mandatory attendance times or informal working time expectations, i.e. expectations of the actual working hours of employees, which regularly go well beyond the contractually agreed amount.
Responsibility for children and caring for relatives
On the other hand, measures to ensure a balance between work and personal life contribute to the compatibility of professional activity with all other aspects of life. The compatibility of work and family is particularly often outlined as worth striving for – this includes tasks such as parental responsibility for children or caring for relatives. The role of fathers has rapidly increased in importance in recent years: while a few decades ago it was primarily about the compatibility of the mother’s role with the job, the considerations now revolve around the parent’s role. Many companies motivate fathers to make use of parental leave regulations and not to be deterred by clichés or feared disadvantages.
The elimination of prejudices and clichés must therefore absolutely be a prerequisite and part of a good work-life balance be understood. Superiors are well advised to respect and – without transparent hymns of praise – to take care of children, to look after relatives and to take on other tasks. Rule of thumb: Recognition through actions and freedom counts more than words.
Freedom for networking, learning and hobbies
If you simply choose the term “work-life balance” instead of “compatibility of work and family”, this choice of words covers the concerns of people without family priorities – for example, but not only: singles. Do you focus on the family or not? – Ultimately, it is always about the fact that people can bring all areas of life under one roof, develop, develop and regenerate. This includes, for example, the need to maintain social contacts in your free time and pursue hobbies as well as to stay up to date on personal and professional topics.
Measures for better work Life-Balance
… aim according to the federal government,
“to enable successful professional biographies taking into account private, social, cultural and health requirements “.
One thing is clear: efforts to improve the work-life balance serve to humanize the world of work and also promote equal opportunities.
But how can that work? How can HR managers and HR consultancies work to ensure that companies recognize the benefits of investing in work-life balance?
Everyone benefits from a good work-life balance
Many years ago the research institute Prognos reported on a triple win situation in a study for the then federal government. When companies say goodbye to the presence culture and introduce integrated concepts for a good work-life balance, then all sides benefit in several ways, according to the drafting of the time. In detail:
Advantages of work-life balance concepts for employees
- greater consideration for private concerns
- more time sovereignty
- more security through return options
- professional career is becoming more permanent and more predictable
Advantages of work-life balance for companies
- less fluctuation
- therefore less time and costs
- increase in productivity
- Returns – depending on the study – of 25 percent to 40 percent when investing in family-friendly measures
Advantages of a good work-life balance for society
- higher labor force participation
- higher household income
- lower social security contributions
- higher tax revenue
- higher Gross domestic product
- even the birth rate is rising
Investing in work-life balance is paying off
IT companies operating in Investing in a good work-life balance will benefit from the investments made, that’s for sure. In the area of family-friendly measures, investments in numerous areas make sense:
Where IT companies can invest in work-life balance
- Family-conscious part-time models: This is where the HR department costs who have to plan and manage part-time models.
- Care offers: If in-house child care is to be set up, one-time investments are required, for example for the provision of premises. In addition, there are ongoing costs for personnel. In the case of external childcare offers, there are costs for ongoing childcare allowances. Further investments are indicated if the company would like to offer internal or external emergency support.
- Advisory services: Internal and external advisory services are conceivable. For example, Internet platforms that provide family services or advisory employees who help internally to reconcile family and work and thus achieve a good work-life balance are possible.
- Home office: Direct investments are required for the provision and commissioning of home office offers: this includes IT support and software such as VPN clients.
- Parental leave support: A contact maintenance program is recommended so that employees on parental leave do not have to The disadvantage is that contact with the company suffers too much during parental leave.
- Household-related services: Investments can be made here for renting rooms, for example.
- Care support: Costs for access to the Internet, for example -Platforms arise that provide care services.
- Additional investment in working time for the organization: for managers and also for the personnel departments incur additional investments, because reconciliation measures mean an increased expenditure of time.
Companies benefit: savings through a good work-life balance
- Companies that invest in family-friendliness prevent parental leave from being perceived as a brake on career in the company. The result: Mothers and fathers are more likely to take parental leave and come back to the company earlier.
- There is no double burden that is perceived when work and family obligations are difficult to reconcile. This leads to less absenteeism.
- In addition, motivation benefits, which leads to higher productivity.
- Less external staff has to be acquired to bridge parental leave, with corresponding cost savings through lower bridging costs.
IT companies should make work and family compatible
Even if the subject of work-life balance can be defined very broadly: In the area of work versus family and children are still particularly suffering. Current studies show that. For women in IT, the poor work-life balance is the greatest obstacle to their career. That is the result of a representative survey of more than 500 companies in the IT and telecommunications industry on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. According to this, 62 percent of HR managers blame the lack of childcare for the low proportion of women in management positions in the IT industry. Around half complained about problems getting back to work. These include:
- lack of contact during parental leave
- unfavorable working hours
- a prevailing presence culture
But how can IT companies improve the work-life balance?
Not only, but especially when it comes to the presence culture – nasty tongues call it “sitting down”: Home office and mobile forms of work can do that Bring a breakthrough. They can also improve the work-life balance. This is proven by a Roland Berger study for the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs. She states:
- Home office helps sustainably in terms of work-life balance. 85 percent of employees who already work at home with the help of computers and the Internet say that the work-life balance in their own family works well.
- Only 33 percent of those who have no such option.
- The time saved through mobile forms of work averages 4.4 hours a week.
- This time saving is used by 80 percent as family time. Of the fathers, over 40 percent state that they can relieve their working partner thanks to (part of the work in the home office).
The positive influence of home office can develop and mobile working, according to the study, best when the following six points are observed:
- Reduce reservations about practical feasibility: Here you can find examples of successful mobile working and home office from different Industries make a contribution. This allows a clearer picture of working in the home office to be developed.
- Promote cultural change: Here the company should clarify the beneficial effects of a good work-life balance through home office and mobile working for employees and companies . A task for HR and internal communication.
- Strengthening the demand: If offers are already being made for a better work-life balance, then companies should also try to ensure that these are known and used . The home office with mothers and fathers should be positioned as a career-friendly way with a better work-life balance and as an alternative to working part-time.
- Expand digitally supported mobile forms of work: Where there is no broadband internet for home office and mobile work, employees should be given a helping hand. Here it is advisable for companies to examine cost-effective transitional solutions and to inform those involved about technical requirements.
- Ensure practical feasibility – identify specific challenges of working in the home office and deal with them together.
- Understanding “Good handling” with mobile work: Show sample agreements and solutions for practical implementation in everyday life.
As an IT personnel decision maker and in IT personnel consulting, you can make a decisive contribution to ensuring that more and more people succeed in this.