Better work-life balance boosts the bottom line

Oct 14 2009 by Brian Amble Print This Article

If you're fed up with being expected to work ever harder as your employer reorganises departments and sheds jobs, here's something that might just come in useful. According to new research carried out in the UK, organisations that help their staff achieve a good work-life balance earn 20 per cent more per year from each employee.

The study, by consultancy Morgan Redwood, found that companies which actively promote good work-life balance have annual net annual earnings per employee of £32,769 compared to £26,557 for other organisations.

Needless to say, the difference arises because better work-life balance results in reduced absenteeism, improved wellbeing and thus greater productivity.

The findings, based on a survey of over 100 businesses with between 250 and 10,000 employees, also found that the overwhelming majority of acknowledge that work-life balance is important. More than nine out of 10 (93 per cent) acknowledged that there is some connection between the wellbeing of their staff and the performance of their business, with almost six out of 10 saying they are very closely linked.

But while companies might express concern for the wellbeing of their staff, it is clear that the parlous state of the economy is putting work-life balance under severe pressure.

Almost half of the businesses questioned have seen their headcount drop over the last 12 months, leaving remaining staff to pick up the additional workload created by redundancies, while all the signs are that further reductions will follow in the coming year, particularly among larger employers.

"As companies look to make these critical savings, they must take care to not lose sight of the commercial knock-on effect of their actions," said Janice Haddon, Managing Director of Morgan Redwood.

"Work/life balance is not a 'nice to have' when we're in a boom time. It can have a fundamental impact on the corporate performance at all times. Companies who focus on and measure staff wellbeing are in fact being very prudent. They're making as big a contribution to their bottom line as those who are looking at ways to increase sales or cut costs."