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Jo Geraghty

Director

Engaging the work-life balance

Date added: 08th Aug 2014
Category: Employee Engagement

According to Ofcom a ‘millennium generation’ of those in their mid-teens are the most tech-savvy in the UK.  These teenagers are the first to have grown up with broadband and smart phones on tap and they are changing the face of communications.

Whilst it will be a few years before they hit the workplace in numbers, the always-on availability of the internet is also changing the way in which employees view their working lives.  According to the survey 60% of us do some form of work-based activity outside of core working hours with 46% of us e-mailing and 41% taking part in work-related calls.

Balancing out this work activity we also expect to be able to let our personal lives intrude on office time.  60% of us send or receive personal texts in work time whilst 46% take personal calls.  Interestingly 25% of us also use office time to shop online.  This realignment of the work-life balance is only going to increase as fast broadband and wi-fi availability become generally available across the country.

Traditionalists may try to hold back the tide and impose draconian restrictions on activities carried out in office time but they are on to a losing battle.  If employee engagement and treating employees as people is to mean anything then working time expectations have to allow individuals to be responsible for their own working patterns.  The days of working to time with bored employees clock watching the last few minutes or hours of each day are over.  Enlightened employers are now far more focused on task fulfilment and if the task is complete then why sit around.  If the task requires out of hours working then why not balance that with some ‘me time’ in work.  Technology is driving this change and we suspect that we are only just starting to see the edges of a whole new revolution in work-life expectations.

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