The conversation around work/ life balance has been growing louder over the past few years. And with good reason. Work/ life balance is necessary to mitigate burnout, stress, and the employee turnover problem. But while some companies are working hard to ensure that their employees are well-positioned to balance out their working hours with their time at home, others aren’t. For employees and job seekers, it is important to understand a few factors affecting work/ life balance and what they can do to achieve it on their own. We will then look at ten companies that are making work/ life balance a priority.
According to the latest Venngage study into company culture myths, there are a number of factors that affect work/ life balance and the happiness of employees. These factors include:
We will dive into these factors to better understand what kind of companies might have the best work/ life balance and are prioritizing it in their operations and even their brand guidelines.
An employee’s job role has a significant impact on their work/ life balance. According to this news piece by CNBC on a Glassdoor study, more managerial level jobs have better work/ life balance.
Some other positions that are doing well in this aspect include executive assistants, operations analysts, web developers, copywriters, research fellows, and data scientists.
These roles are fairly limited, and seem to suggest that work/ life balance can only be achieved by a few. Which brings us to the next point.
Among the various industries profiled in the Venngage study, it was found that the tech industry had the best company culture among all industries.
And the positive company culture has had an impact on their work/ life balance — you can read more about tech and IT companies here.
The tech companies profiled in the piece almost unanimously scored over 3 out of 5 points for work/ life balance, with only one company scoring 2.8.
The tech industry also showed more consistency in terms of work/ life balance than other industries such as the banking sector and healthcare.
However, it is important to note that the tech industry is quite vast, stretching across the internet and beyond, while other sectors are more limited.
For job seekers, the tech industry may be a good area to look for employment as the company culture creates better conditions for work/ life balance.
The Venngage study found that employees are happier when they get traditional benefits such as health insurance, vacation time off, and maternal leave.
This is in direct contrast to the popular belief that companies that offer perks such as pets, free lunches, and gym memberships make employees happier.
In fact, employees’ comments showed that they weren’t even as interested in remote work or flexible working hours.
Clearly, to achieve better work/ life balance, companies should be looking to offer traditional benefits packages.
And for employees, they should keep an eye out for companies that have traditional benefits, not just fancy perks.
The study states that companies that provide better salaries also tend to have a healthier and positive company culture.
In fact, just a 7% increase in company pay can make a company more attractive for employees.
Employees should take a look at this payroll guide to understand how the pay system works and what they should look for if they want to achieve work/ life balance.
It has been long believed that older companies — by dint of having existed for a long time and having had the time to improve their company culture — would be better places to work in.
However, it has been found that this is not true. Older companies tend to be quite set in their ways, and less likely to be flexible to the needs and happiness of their employees.
Newer companies were found to have better company culture and values, making them better places for people to work at for a healthy work/ life balance.
For those in the job market, newer companies are clearly a better bet than older ones.
Prioritizing work/ life balance should be on every company’s agenda, but there are a few things employees can do to achieve this balance, as well.
Here are a few ways that employees can maintain a balance between work and life.
While many believe they should create a schedule and stick to it stringently, it often isn’t possible in reality.
Employees will find that sometimes work has to take precedence—requiring you to stay a little bit later than usual.
While at other times, your home life will cause you to come in late or leave early.
There’s a balance that is struck between these two aspects of one’s life if you can allow yourself to be flexible.
Having a hobby may seem like a chore to people—you’re working all day, why would you want to come home and do something that simulates the working environment?
But hobbies can be helpful in structuring your time away from work, and for engaging your mind.
Looking forward to indulging in your hobby when you go home will keep you motivated, and give you a reason to leave work on time, that will help you balance out the two spheres of your life.
Technology is great for keeping people connected but sometimes it can be a burden. You don’t always want to be ‘switched on’ and available.
Switch off email notifications when you are at home—the world will not end if you look at your emails at work the next day.
If there is an emergency, colleagues and managers can call you to discuss next steps.
Having a distinct off-time will help you separate work life from home life better.
It can be tempting to take on as much work as possible to make yourself indispensable to your organization. But avoid this urge as much as possible.
The worst thing you can do is agree to every task and request, thus prolonging your time at work at the expense of a balanced lifestyle.
You can’t do everything and you should be cognizant of that so that you can achieve work/ life balance.
With the above factors in mind, we found from the Venngage study that these top ten companies have the best work/ life balance:
These 10 companies consistently scored over 4.1 out of 5 points in the rating for work/ life balance, and above 3.9 in terms of compensation for employees.
Their overall scores were also incredibly high — between 3.8 out of 5 and 4.6 out of five — across nine factors.
Interestingly, only two of the companies in the top ten were over 50 years old — Nokia and Clorox — while the newest companies were Workday and LinkedIn, at 14 and 16 years old.
These 10 companies are all quite large, raking in billions in revenue every year so employees trying to enter these organizations can be assured of a healthy future in the industry.
From the above studies, it is clear that newer companies are prioritizing employees’ work/ life balance, and that it has had a positive impact on the company’s profile and popularity.
Achieving work/ life balance needs to be a priority all round—not only for organizations, but also for employees.
But it is important to remember that employees should feel comfortable enough in their company’s environment to prioritize work/ life balance.
Employees can deep dive into the top 10 companies that have been mentioned here to see what works for them and what similar traits they can look for in the areas they want to work in.