Tag Archives: Media

Female company president: “I’m sorry to all the mothers I worked with” – Fortune

Katharine Zaleski reflects on how her own attitudes to childcare and women the workplace has altered since having a child.

While previously she had accepted cultural norms that suggest mother’s cannot be fully committed to work, her views have altered. Particular, she notes that news kinds of flexible working, particularly remote working, can help mothers remain engaged with work while also taking care of a child – and even become more productive as a result.

Interestingly she also notes that there may need to be limits on flexible working. She notes that expectations that people will be available for last minute meetings that run outside office hours, or for after-work drinks to network and discuss projects, are examples where flexibility negatively effects work-life balance and encourages the blurring of boundaries between these domains.

Read more at Fortune.

A quarter of UK professionals are unhappy with their work-life balance – The Independent

This article notes that 25% of UK professionals surveyed by Investec are dissatisfied with their work-life balance, and that work-life balance is only third on their list of priorities when choosing a job.

The survey suggests work enjoyment is the top priority, with 41% of respondents placing it as the most important factor in selecting a job. At 23%, salary is second on the list, and only 16% view work-life as the most important consideration when choosing a job.

Wayne Preston, head of banking at Investec, said: “We continue to see high levels of demand being placed on professionals throughout the UK. Advancements in technology make it harder than ever to ‘switch off’ outside the office and achieve an ideal work-life balance.

“Life doesn’t exist solely between the hours of 9 and 5, and working in a global marketplace across multiple time zones means the pressure to be always-on is high.”

Read more at The Independent.

Survey Finds Disconnect Between Employers and Employees On Work-Life Balance – CareerArc

A new survey reports on employer and employee perceptions of work-life balance and flexible working.

It notes that 67% of employers feel workers have work-life balance, while nearly half (45%) of employees disagree. Similarly, while 50% of employers ranked workplace flexibility as the most important benefit they believe their employees desire, it was the highest priority for 75% of employees.

It also found that 65% of employees are expected to be reachable outside of the office. A similar number of employers (64%) reported that they expect their employees to be reachable outside of the office on their personal time.

Read more at CareerArc.

Part-time power: Can you be part-time at the top? – BBC News

This article notes that common conceptions suggest that part-time workers are often women who have compromised their careers to bring up children, while full-time (male) workers occupy the most powerful positions.

However, research shows that there are people in the most senior positions in UK companies working part-time. The author suggests that ‘agile’, flexible ways of working are gaining acceptance as businesses adapt to younger people join the labour market and the changing needs of customers – in both cases, trends are often in favour of flexibility, both at work and in when people interact with businesses.

However, full acceptance will be gradual as for many people standard full-time working will remain not only normal but preferable.

Read more at BBC News.

Flexible Work: Nice, if You Can Get It – New York Times

This article describes some of the ways in which US workers experience flexible working (or the lack thereof).

Positive accounts note that flexible hours are ‘worth their weight in gold’ and worth taking a lower paying job for. Though successful deployment and use of flexible working policies requires managers to become ‘comfortable with what productivity and accountability looks like in a telework/flexible schedule setting’.

Others, however, are more cautious. One respondent noted that because they have a flexible work schedule, between part-time and freelance work, they have become the ‘go-to parent’ for caring for a sick child, making doctors appointments et cetera, while their paid workload remains the same. The results are ‘often stressful and exhausting, especially when the two careers get busy at the same time’.

And there remain, of course, many who still have zero-flexibility in their jobs, which causes issues around maintaining a work-life balance. Many respondents noted that this still has the effect of producing families wherein work is split between one wage-earner and one caregiver.

Read more at the New York TImes.

Flex Workers Less Happy Than Permanent Employees – NL Times

Reporting on new data from the Netherlands, this article notes that flex workers are less satisfied with their jobs and lives than those with permanent working contracts. Flex workers are less satisfied with their pay, training and career opportunities when compared to permanent staff.

It goes on to note that while in 2002 80% of workers had permanent working contracts within six to ten years of entering the workforce, that has now extended to between ten and fifteen years.

Read more at NL Times.

Regus research finds out of office hours work growing – GR

A new survey of 3,000 business people suggests that 69% of UK professionals now work more outside usual office hours than in 2010. A similar number of respondents (72%) note that fixed hours are no longer suitable for their duties.

More than three-quarters – 76% – of businesses also reported a rise in remote workers, further suggesting that the concept of 9-5 day in the office is outdated.

Read more at GR.

Minimal take-up of flexible working in UK despite policy shift – FT

New research finds that though 97% of UK workplaces offer at least one form of flexible working, including job sharing, flexitime and working remotely, over the past six years there had not been great increases in take-up. Furthermore, only 19% of working  women in the UK were able to vary the hours they work, this is compared to 41% in Sweden.

This is despite major UK policy initiatives designed to extend the uptake of flexible working.

It is suggested that cultural factors may explain low uptake – over 40% of employees, male and female, reporting that they would feel uncomfortable asking to work flexibly.

Read more at the FT.

Only one in five workers take advantage of their right to request flexible working – HR Review

Only 23%, or just over 1 in 5, UK workers have submitted requests for flexible working since the government legislation was introduced six months ago.

Research from O2 business shows that while 54% of workers were aware of their right to flexible working, there remain barriers to their taking advantage of it. Issues cited included lack of trust (31%), business culture (28%) and a lack of resources to work outside the office (28%).

Read more at HR Review.

Work Life Balance: A Failing Trend? – Business Review Australia

This article notes that Australians work an average of 6 hours a week unpaid overtime, worth around AU$110 billion each year. It suggests that workers are worried about job insecurity and high expectations, leading to falling work-life balance and increased stress.

The author suggests that Australian businesses need to implement work-life balance programmes, rather than treat it as a buzzword.

Read more at Business Review Australia.