Take notes: there are some lessons here you can apply to your workplace.
Earlier this month, careers website Glassdoor released its list of the 29 best jobs to have for work-life balance, pouncing on the Western World’s slowly building attention to the benefits of treating your employees as assets rather than resources – bound to traditional conventions of the 9-5 work routine.
It’s no surprise then, that several of our recent stories have had a particular focus on how companies can better integrate employee health and wellbeing programs into daily working life: from the importance of a good night’s sleep, to shorter working weeks and flexible work policies.
Glassdoor, which is well-known in the business world for its crowd-sourced company reviews, grouped the job comments by title to come up with the final list. The top 10, interestingly, fall in some way or another under the umbrella of tech.
1. Corporate Recruiter
2. User Experience Designer
3. Data Scientist
4. Strategy Manager
5. User Interface Designer
6. Recruiting Coordinator
7. Technical Account Manager
8. Mobile Developer
9. DevOps Engineer
10. Research Engineer
Allison Berry, a community expert at Glassdoor, explains that it’s an industry that has emerged – and grown – with an in-built mentality about employee independence. “Tech employees typically have more flexibility when it comes to their hours, either working from home, setting their own hours, or coming into the office later than 10 a.m,” she explains.
So what did a role need to have to make the cut? At least 75 work-life balance ratings on the site, from 75 or more companies – and the ratings had to have been posted in the past nine months or less.
For those considering a career change, this list might prove to be a valuable starting point to think about re-skilling or up-skilling. However, as Jeff Kauflin writes for Forbes, we shouldn’t forget that “in many roles you have more control over your balance than you think.” Work-life balance is an ambiguous term – so much can depend on the specifics of a workplace culture and an individual’s expectations.
And as the Glassdoor team writes on their study’s results page: “work-life balance can look different depending on what’s important to you – whether it’s the option to work remotely, set a flexible schedule or take advantage of a generous vacation policy.”
For HR managers on the front lines of this issue, finding ways to appease individual desires has the potential to go a long way. This involves providing an environment that encourages a balanced working experience, whether it’s policies instituted across the board, or specific agreements with individual employees.
So if an employee asks for your help to find a solution that will work for them, it’s in your best interests to take the consideration seriously. If you don’t already have policies in place that allow for flexibility, consider looking into changing it, particularly if you notice an upswing in requests for flexible-work schedules.
That said, you also have the right to refuse requests if you have sufficient reason, and you’re never obliged to make allowances above and beyond company policy. If in doubt, a trial period is always a better solution to a flat out no, or jumping head-first into a new – and untested – practice for your organisation.