By : Sena Erten,
Head of People for Market Area Middle East and Africa
For decades Ericsson has been working on creating the environments that make people come and stay, a culture that does not celebrate burnout, and truly puts people first. But as the pandemic continues to alter the way we work, many of us find ourselves in a situation where our home is our work, and our work is our home, and the added strain of global uncertainty during these times has definitely caused some to pour themselves into work, check emails at the dinner table and lose the very valuable concept of work-life balance. For some, working from home has led to a feeling of being constantly on-call. As employers, where do we draw the line, and do we even need to?
The answer is quite simply, yes. Organizations have a responsibility to ensure that their people not only don’t need to be constantly on-call, but also know that they don’t need to be constantly on-call and understand that this behavior will not be rewarded. Cultures that focus on people understand that employees are human, with requirements and responsibilities outside of their work-life, and a good company culture should be able to transition quite seamlessly from a physical office to a virtual one.
Organizations need to realize there is so much for them to gain from encouraging a work-life balance for their employees. When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with management. Balanced employees tend to feel less stressed out and more motivated at work, increasing company productivity, and reducing conflicts among coworkers and management.
Companies who have a reputation for encouraging work-life balance have become very attractive to talent and are able to draw a valuable candidate pool for new openings. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates, which results in less time-consuming training, more loyalty, and a higher degree of in-house expertise.
At Ericsson we’ve placed work life balance at the top of our agenda globally across our organization, particularly as the Covid-19 pandemic put additional pressures on our people and disrupted their lives. We’ve provided them access to wellness programs, facilitated speakers on topics ranging from coping with stress to meditation and have ensured that we provide them with a health-conscious work environment. But most importantly, we’ve listened, we’ve ensured that we provide an environment where our people can speak up and feel heard.
We’ve seen study after study demonstrate that employees who have a good work-life balance simply do a better job, so promoting this balance isn’t only a moral responsibility for any organization looking out for its people, it’s also a great business decision.