Trends in Human Resource Management: Work-Life Balance

human resource management work life balanceAccording to a Pew research project, both mothers and fathers have seen an increase in stress levels due to the lack of a work-life balance. “Stress and work life balance issues are just as challenging for fathers as they are for mothers,” says Kim Parker, associate director with Pew’s Social and Demographic Trends Project. “We found that an equal share of fathers said they were having a hard time balancing work and family life as moms did.” The research project has prompted those specializing in human resource management to implement strategies that provide more of a work-life balance for both mothers and fathers.

An Increase in Remote Work

Because of the potent combination of a sluggish economy and federally mandated laws such as the Affordable Care Act, an increasing number of employers hire part-time workers. The growth of part-time contracts, especially in the fields of technology, manufacturing, and accounting, allows management to budget by project, not by salary requirements. This is made even more practical by the development of technology that allows employees to work from anywhere around the globe, paving the way for a globalized workforce that spends more flexible working hours online.

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With the advent of technology that makes personalized working hours and remote productivity more feasible, employees are expected to be more and more immediately available. Mobile devices and laptops make it reasonable for an employer to expect complete connectivity from their remote personnel. So, while an increase in remote work and flexible hours can promote a massive improvement in work-life balance, sometimes the stress of work can find its way into the home with an employer’s ongoing expectation of employee availability. HR managers are often challenged to find the perfect performance balance between necessary office time and the potential for remote work.

The Surging Interest in Helping Employees Find Work-Life Balance

The growing interest of human resource management to provide employees a proper work-life balance has become an essential part of the recruitment process. The work-life perks offered by employer can be essential in recruiting and retaining new talent. Some work-life balance perks include allowing employees to choose whether to work five eight-hour workdays or consolidate the workload into four ten-hour days. Some employers also offer childcare and dry cleaning services to reduce the responsibilities parents face during typical workdays. Flexible scheduling has become popular, which provides employees with more say in what hours they work. But, among all of these emerging trends, perhaps the greatest contributor to finding work-life balance depends on encouraging employees to pursue the right balance of remote and in-office work.

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