Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

3 stats that highlight the need for better work-life balance

workplace trend employee deskStaples’ annual survey on workplace trends seeks to determine what makes employees want to stay, and what makes them want to leave. Work-life balance came into focus in this year’s Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index findings, and it’s clear some employers need to improve it. 

Based on survey results, it’s obvious that Human capital management professionals should begin focusing more on employees’ work-life balance and access to technology. If staff can’t comfortably separate office life from personal time, then there’s a chance they’ll leave for more flexible opportunities. Right now employees are working hard, they don’t have the tools they need to succeed and they’re having trouble maintaining balance between work and play. These issues are stressing them out. 

There’s a big opportunity here for employers to step in and help staff relax and enjoy their time in and out of the office more. With the goal being to improve employee retention and establish a strong workplace culture that attracts talent. There are three key statistics from the Staples survey that HCM professionals should address in this effort. 

91 percent of people sometimes work over 40 hours per week
There are a couple reasons this statistic is relevant. First, the Department of Labor raised the exemption threshold for overtime, which means many employees currently salaried will be eligible for overtime pay come 2017. To avoid having to shell out extra cash for overtime, we’ll see more employers finding ways to ensure employees aren’t crossing over the 40-hour line. But even more important, this amount of work can burn staff out, dragging down their productivity, stressing them out and hurting workplace satisfaction. 

89 percent of the workforce uses outdated technology
One possible reason for employees sometimes working over 40 hours per week is the lack of access to the latest technology. Outdated tech can lead to inefficient and slower processes. In addition, it can be plain frustrating. Employees want better access to smartphones, social media and wearable devices in the office, which is what we also found in our latest Pulse of Talent Survey. However, the vast majority of the workforce cannot use this sort of technology in the office right now. This can leave staff unhappy and disconnected. 

22 percent of people have changed jobs because of work-life dissatisfaction
What happens when people are asked to work with outdated technology or are constantly feeling burned out? They leave. In fact, just over 1 in 5 employees have done so already. People want the right culture fit, and to feel like their hard work is appreciated. When they don’t have this, they’re prone to perusing job listings for better opportunities.

If you don’t improve work-life balance through better scheduling, efficient processes and new technology, retention rates may suffer. HCM professionals who hope to keep current staff, and attract new talent, have to begin investing more in employees. Otherwise, they may follow the lead of Staples survey respondents who left old employers in search of better work-life balance. 

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