How your organisation can strive towards greater work-life harmony

By Wiona Teo on July 25, 2022

While we are all familiar with the term work-life balance, work-life harmony is a relatively new concept to many. Its awareness and prioritisation among the workforce remains low for now. 

Work-Life Harmony is a state in which an individual is able to achieve both professional and personal goals, aided by an environment where “work” and “life” are interdependent elements. As these two facets of our lives become increasingly intertwined, work-life harmony helps to achieve a genuine and sustainable balance. It also tailors the experience keeping in mind changing employee demographics and the unique work and family obligations they face every day. 

Initiated by the Alliance for Action on Work-Life Harmony (AfA-WLH) and supported by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), EngageRocket conducted a survey with 3,332 employees in Singapore to understand the state of work-life harmony today - what are employees’ perceptions and needs surrounding it?

 

Let’s dive into the top 3 most interesting findings.

1️⃣ Only 54% of respondents are satisfied with their work-life harmony

Source: 2022 Research Report | The State of Work-Life Harmony in Singapore

Our study reveals that those who have managed to achieve greater degrees of harmony are more engaged. 32% of employees with high work-life harmony satisfaction are engaged and willing to recommend their workplace to others. 

Organisations can leverage this correlation to improve the workplace. In scenarios where the employer adopted schemes to support work-life harmony, engagement levels have also increased.

 

2️⃣ Adoption for Work-Life Harmony strategies is lagging

Source: 2022 Research Report | The State of Work-Life Harmony in Singapore

The likely antidote for promoting the implementation of WLH strategies is buy-in from top management. Involving them as sponsors of the schemes is crucial as WLH strategies may involve a change in ways of doing business, says Kris Ong, a participant of the WLH survey program.

According to our study, employee support schemes have the highest impact on work-life harmony - but are adopted the least. Employees feel that enhanced leave provisions and flexible work arrangements are a couple of initiatives that could help them achieve this harmonious balance.

 

3️⃣ More than 80% of respondents work even when unwell

Source: 2022 Research Report | The State of Work-Life Harmony in Singapore

Over 80% of employees report to work even when they are unwell, with “no one to cover” and “too much work” being the top driving factors. These statistics demonstrate the need for organisations to establish and exhibit healthier boundaries at work. 

Working while sick imposes a mental toll on people that builds up over time. Unless managers are acutely aware of it, it can easily erupt at a very inopportune time, which will then create additional costs downstream, says CheeTung Leong, co-founder of EngageRocket.

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It’s important to keep in mind that organisations would need to cater to their workforce’s work-life harmony in a tailored manner. The appropriate scheme may vary depending on the employee group, which brings about the need for accurate and scientifically proven ways to collect employee feedback. 

The path should not stop at listening. Actions must be taken if employers wish to improve work-life harmony at their workplaces. In order to do so, managers need to be involved in driving changes that would benefit their teams.

After all, effective managerial action is responsible for up to 70% of employee engagement. 

 

✅ Learn how you can empower your managers to drive real change with ACT: Action Suggestions for Managers.

 

Tags: Leadership, Employee Experience, People Science