Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Since March 2020 most of us have been operating in crisis mode and have had to focus on supporting coworkers as well as our families while adjusting to a whole new way of doing our jobs while working from home. From the very start of this pandemic, the sense of work-life balance that was already at times difficult to manage started to seem even more difficult to achieve for many. Organizations too have been growing conscious about the emerging needs of their employees with the changing work practices.
So let us take a look at certain work-life balance initiatives practiced by corporations in India and beyond.
1. TATA AIA
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture company, founded by Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. Since the middle of 2020, TATA AIA ensured that their employees were well looked after amidst the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic situation. An article published by Forbes this year talks about how the organization went on to conduct webinars across areas such as mental and emotional health, stress administration, work-life integration, and common health problems, it made sure that employees persisted in the pink of health. Moreover, the company also held virtual family events for employees.
International Business Machines Corporation is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with undertakings in over 171 nations including India. The company had published a document regarding what employees expect in 2021 which included an action guide on tips for employers to enhance WLB during covid 19 especially as most of the work was being carried out online. Like they follow for their organization, they preached proactively engaging with employees to better understand what is important to them and their careers. IBM opines that workers have alternatives & will gravitate towards employers who are heeding and making effort. They suggest that employers must either create learning cultures to nurture the skills and talents of their people or else it is just about time until the exit interview to find out which of their rivals are doing it better.
Infosys Limited is an Indian multinational IT company that provides business consulting, IT & outsourcing services. Stress is a surging concern among workers, particularly those belonging to the IT sector. Infosys Technologies had initiated several strategies to enhance the work-life balance of their employees. The objective of their Health Assessment and Lifestyle Enrichment (HALE) endeavor is to optimize the triad of employee health, quality of life, and work environment, heading towards an increase in productivity and motivation, which in turn would hone the company’s competitive advantage in the marketplace. The systematic approach toward work-life balance helps employees to attain individual as well as organizational goals.
Now let us take a look beyond Indian borders.
1. JCR Pharmaceuticals
JCR Pharmaceuticals is a Japan-based corporation mainly immersed in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the medical and research equipment industry. JCR has employed various workstyle reforms like establishing a workplace environment where it is easy to balance childcare and work, founded on a basic policy regardless of gender discrepancies, establishing in-house daycare nuclei, and launching a system of childcare subsidies for workers who are incapable of using the centers, engaging in initiatives such as a cafeteria space to benefit childcare and Ikuboss training (bosses corroboratory of employees raising children), and facilitating the use of childcare leave by male employees, etc.
In 2020, it made a statement to the Hyogo Work-Life Center and obtained certification. As mentioned in an article by marketscreener.com, recently JCR was evaluated in particular for several initiatives leading to the corporation receiving the award in the 2021 business year.
2. PORTUGAL GOVERNMENT
A Washington Post article by Maite Fernández Simon, “Employers forbidden to contact remote workers after hours in Portugal ” published on November 11, 2021, stated that a set of laws passed in Portugal on Friday prohibits employers from reaching out to remote employees after work hours — except under extenuating situations — in an endeavor to encourage work-life balance in an era of burgeoning remote work set off by the coronavirus pandemic and to attract “digital nomads” from around the globe.
The Training Journal published an interesting article on how analysis of current and pre-existing data about employees within an organization could play a big role in achieving the work-life balance goals of the organization. It mentions an example of an organization named ‘Avado’, a next-generation Patient Relationship Management solution that brings the benefits of the Internet to the inefficient workplaces of healthcare organizations.
Analyzing the data, enabled them to prioritize their community’s happiness and retention. By listening and establishing what employees want and need from their day-to-day roles, they were better able to increase their sense of belonging within the organization.
4. UK GOVERNMENT
The same article also mentions that government country-wide initiatives like National Work Life Week provides opportunities for employers and employees to focus on company culture and improve overall wellbeing at work, for both themselves and their people.
The pandemic has made talent acquisition and retention harder than ever before, and overall it has reminded us how fragile life is! Organizations must recognize employees' evolving requirements and support flexible and hybrid working practices for the future of business operations, especially keeping the pandemic and remote working situation in mind where it is pretty easy to blur the lines between working and off-hours. Lastly, here’s another article by HR success talks, which puts together a large helping of practical tips on how to help employees in improving their work-life balance, without sacrificing productivity and most importantly, without busting the budget!
Author- Sukanya Basu Mallik
Her works have been featured on Reader’s Digest, Times of India, Sahitya Akademi, Writer's life - UK, AIPF Int. Anthology ( Diverse city youth contest- Austin, US), etc.
Bestowed with Best Manuscript Awards for fiction & non-fiction categories (Mumbai Litofest, 2018), she has also been recognized for her short story ‘Healing of
wounds’ at NCLF led by Ruskin Bond