It’s a buzz-phrase that many like to throw around in conversation, but what does it actually mean?
It means pretty much what it says – it’s the ideology of a balance between your working life and personal life. However, as simple as this should be, it’s not an easy balance to maintain.
Not everyone has a 9-5 Monday to Friday. Thanks in no small part to zero-hour contracts, hundreds of thousands of individuals find it near-impossible to find the balance between working and their homelife.
Many employers don’t fully grasp the implications of this monumental flaw in the working world. Zero-hour contracts, though they’re paraded as 20-30 hour contracts usually, have no set times or days. This leave individuals at the mercy of the rota and creates a scenario wherein maintaining a balanced personal life becomes harder and harder.
Some individuals work well with random variations or irregularity, but for the majority of people the key is routine.
Small deviations won’t have much of an impact, but when your work-life has shifts that are, more often than not, seemingly completely random it can cause a lot of stress on the body and mind.
There are many differing shift patterns that exist and many individuals find themselves juggling their working hours week to week.
It becomes overwhelming on the body and the mind – causing unnecessary stress that nobody wants or needs.
This not only leads to problems outside of work but also within. Routine is a paramount for healthy living. Those not on a balanced routine can find themselves fatigued and worn down to the point of lowered productivity. It can also cause negativity and resentment, an ever virulent and contagious blight that can spread throughout a work-team at lightning speeds.
Don’t get me wrong, businesses need flexibility – I get that. However, there’s a big difference between flexibility and bending something until it breaks. Of course there’s a need to adjust to supply and demand within the hyper competitive market, but if the solution is to work people into the ground it becomes a 1 step forward 2 step back scenario.
There’s no reason for this system and the solution is just right there, in front of everyone’s eyes.
Employ individuals on the contracted hours they want and need. That’s it.
Certainly, no system is ever going to be perfect but it’s way past time we started to look at the current one in place and start to realise that there has to be a better way.