Creativity, Equity and Balance at Work

by May 24, 2022

Based on our episode Creativity, Equity and Balance at Work” with Orly Lobel

Work-life balance is an important conversation. It has always been, but it’s coming to a head lately with COVID. In fact, more employees are managing it, but how do we build work-life balance both personally and for organizations?

With the pandemic, there’s a lot of talk about the great resignation, where people are really reassessing what’s important to them. People talk about what they want to get out of the workforce, out of their careers, how they want to strike that balance between technology and the situation with the accelerated global pandemic. They all changed the way that we work, so it’s all accelerated with circumstances where people understand that they can work more. 

Remotely flexible employers are recognizing that these are all quite good developments that technology is enabling us to do. People who want to manage their careers want to have more autonomy over how they work.

There are also risks when we’re kind of constantly available digitally. We’re always connected, and so there’s a policy perspective and initiatives, more so in Europe, about the right to disconnect sometimes. Your work and family balance in that way of not being constantly available, but it’s a really exciting time for all of us in this sphere of culture and policy.

If you’re an owner, head, leader, and in charge of the company, it’s important to have pretty clear boundaries that once you clock out, you don’t want your employees working unless you’ve talked about it with them, or sometimes there’s overtime certainly for some sort of project. It will be very helpful to know where you stand on work-life balance.

Businesses have to understand that most of the time it’s a win-win situation because employees are happier. There’s a lot of evidence that we’re actually more productive when we disconnect sometimes. We’re more creative when we have time to recharge and have some time away, but there’s software that helps with that too. 

A good thing for retention is providing for child care expenses and providing for flexible work shifts. A lot of companies are moving to remote work or hybrid options and modeling great examples of achieving that.

Paid vacations are always great for finding balance through all sorts of retreats. This is part of the great resignation that we’re seeing in social psychology and industrial relations research that more and more people, especially younger generations, are really valuing intangible things, not just the salary. 

Salary used to be the number one reason why we chose one job over the other, so people value really enriching their human capital. People don’t expect to start at one job and stay there for too long, so they really want to think about their careers and build their skills. They value companies that have a mission that’s bigger than just profit. Most of the time, it’s really win-win and these interests align, but when companies are doing well, they care about the work environment, innovation, and creativity.

When you’re doing that, you love what you’re doing, and you feel connected. Your identity is more tied to your workplace than the burdens of having a lot to juggle, which inevitably will happen when you have small children, a career, and you have a life and you want to do other things, but then even that busyness feels more fulfilling because your organization supports that.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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