The business case for flexibility in your small business
How to implement flexible work practices that suit your business.
The WorkWell Toolkit provides
Practical step by step ideas, tips and suggestions to help employers of different sizes prevent mental injury and create a safe and mentally healthy workplace. Use tools, templates and resources to focus on work-related factors that impact mental health and learn good practice. Check out the full range of topics on the Toolkit.
How this helps your business
Best practice employers foster flexibility to achieve a better balance between work and family responsibilities for all their employees.
A workplace that supports employees to balance their different commitments makes a huge difference to employee mental health and wellbeing. They also see employees performing at their best and reduce the risk of burnout.
Learn more on this topic
Sometimes it’s hard to get others to understand the importance of creating a workplace environment that supports balance. Organisations look at the short-term bottom line rather than looking at the bigger picture of long-term rewards.
The dot points below show why working at best practice level makes good business sense. The Fair Work Ombudsman also lists employers' obligations and further information in the best practice guides for work and family. Use this information to help others understand why you are focusing on increasing balance.
Vokke is a small business and finalist in the 2017 WorkSafe awards for Commitment to Workplace Health and Safety. They embed balance as part of their workplace culture. Watch the video and see if you get any ideas on how to foster balance in your workplace.
WorkSafe Award Finalist - Vokke - Commitment to Workplace Health & Wellbeing
Why offer better work/life balance?
A cost-effective way of keeping the most skilled employees and attracting new ones
Improvement in staff morale, leading to greater engagement in the workplace
Reduction in staff turnover, leading to lower recruitment and training costs
More efficiency through the benefits of long service, e.g. industry knowledge, networks and contacts
Assess your workplace
Tick the items that you can confidently say your organisation practises. It's helpful to get others involved in answering these questions too, to get the perspective of different people in your workplace.
Checklist for a family-friendly workplace
Does your organisation recognise that employees have important roles and responsibilities outside the workplace?
Are there processes in place to allow employees to talk both as a team and individually about the need for work and family balance?
Are employees aware of what family-friendly entitlements exist in the workplace and how to access them?
Are the work life balance entitlements in writing and easily accessible to all employees?
Have you considered using an individual flexibility arrangement to accommodate an individual employee’s specific needs?
Do you create part time opportunities that are meaningful?
Make a start
The dot points below have some examples for you to think about. Not all will suit your workplace, but you should think about how you might be able to make some of them fit.
TIP: choose a strategy that you implement in the next 3 months. This will show your employees that you are committed to their wellbeing.
Strategies to help create balance in the workplace
Family-friendly working hours
Part-time or casual work offered equally to all staff
Taking time in lieu for working overtime hours
Working additional hours to make up for time taken off
Allowing parents to start later or leave early for school pick-up
Putting family-friendly arrangements into your flexible workplace policy
Make balance one of your workplace values
A variety of growth and development opportunities to improve skills (formal training, coaching and mentoring opportunities)
Education leave (paid or unpaid)
Encouragement to participate in wellbeing and resilience programs
Review and keep improving
As your organisation changes over time, the needs of your employees and business change too. Legislation also changes so it's recommended you regularly review your balance requirements to ensure you’re up to date.
Specify a date that you will review your requirements and set a reminder to do so.
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