A work/life balance helps manage the often competing priorities between work and life commitments. This can include your career, business, hobbies, family and friends.

If you employ people, consider how your business can offer flexibility to achieve a work/life balance for your employees.

There are a number of benefits of work, life and family flexibilities, such as:

  • reduced absenteeism
  • increased productivity
  • retaining skilled staff and reduced training costs
  • reduced staff turnover
  • attracting new employees
  • being recognised as an employer of choice
  • increased morale and job satisfaction

With the right approach, workplaces with flexible working arrangements and a family-friendly culture help your employees achieve a work/life balance. If you support your employees in this way, they continue to support and be an asset in your business.

Ways you can create a work/life balance

If you want to create a workplace that values a work/life balance, you could offer:

  • Part time hours: reduced-hour working weeks (less than 38 hours).
  • Flexible hours: allow staff to work earlier or later in the day.
  • Compressed hours: staff work four days a week instead of five by working longer hours.
  • Job sharing: two or more people on part-time hours share one full-time job.
  • Teleworking: staff work from home, mobile offices or public places.
  • Purchased leave: allow your staff to get extra leave by reducing their annual salary.
  • Unpaid leave for school holidays: allow staff with school-aged children to take unpaid leave during school holidays.
  • Talk to employees about leave policies: this is a great way to find out what your employees value in a family-friendly workplace.
  • Subsidies for childcare.
  • Return to work support: offer programs that help employees return to work after extended leave.

Flexible working arrangements

Some employees who have worked with an organisation for twelve months are entitled to request a flexible working arrangement. Employees should make these requests in writing. As an employer, you must respond within 21 days.

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