Part II: How
Supporting work life integration for your employees offers many benefits, but often employers don’t know quite where to start. Here are some ideas:
More Nuanced Attendance Policies
Addressing attendance abnormalities can be a great place to start forging a new attendance policy. For example, could you formally allow works to take up to two hours total off, as long as they end the week with a certain net number of hours? Could you provide hours for workers to “break up” their breaks as they see fit, i.e. a 10 minute coffee run in the morning, 10 minute walk at noon, 20 minute lunch at two? If you have implemented a visitor management system or other security system, it should be easy to see how your employees are “naturally” using breaks, and to work those patterns into a more formal policy.
Remote Work Options
The option to work from home or a cafe is a great perk for employees, and one with the potential to save your company time and money. Even if it’s only one or two days a week, telecommuting can help employees focus on their duties without the added distraction of a long commute and related logistical issues. Fingercheck offers some great time tracking options for remote employees, including a mobile time tracking app and even options to clock in using social media. Concerned about securing information on take home computers? Our Online Fingerprint Identification System integrates biometric technology into laptops.
Pets in the Office
The numerous benefits of having a furry friend in the office include lowering stress levels and blood pressure, comic relief, plus reduced employee absenteeism and encouraging longer work hours. When considering implementing a pet friendly policy, make sure to review any building codes and consider a measured approach–ie starting with a probationary period. Once those hurdles are surmounted, prepare to reap the benefits of having some unconditional love traipsing around the office.
Clear Childcare, Maternal and Paternal Leave Policies
Generous family programs and benefits are great for employees and make you competitive in the marketplace–check out this article for some ideas on how to start one. Unfortunately, social pressures within the workplace can sometimes make it harder for women and men to enjoy these policies. In “‘The Policy Exists, But I Can’t Really Use It’: Communication and Structuration in Work-Family Policies”, Erika L. Kirby and Kathleen J. Krone note that:
Communication is significant because the perceived appropriateness of work-family benefits emerges through interaction. For example, when coworkers complain about “picking up the slack” for those using family leave, their discourse may impact future decisions of other workers regarding whether they utilize the work-family benefits available to them.
Set a good example and encourage employees to take advantage of programs that are good for business in the long run.
How else do you think offices can support work life integration? Do you believe this is the right way to do, or do you prefer balance?