14 October 2019
A free event celebrating 10 years of the society’s Work-Life Balance Working Group is taking place today in London.
The day will focus on how to set boundaries between work and personal life. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance has become a major challenge for workers and employers, especially with the implications of the ‘always on’ culture, for personal life and wellbeing.
The DOP Work-Life Balance Working Group was established to directly address these concerns and provide practical solutions.
Through research they found that many employers only provide workers with general health and safety guidance, and that formal policies or targeted training to help people manage technology in a healthy way were largely absent.
Many workers struggled to set limits and felt overwhelmed by the volume of email traffic and expectations for a rapid response.
The working group has influenced policy makers and employers by identifying activities, processes and policies that are needed in a culture where rapid technological change and intensifying work demands means that setting firm boundaries between work and personal life is increasingly difficult.
Professor Gail Kinman, who co-founded the DOP Work-Life Balance Group said:
“An increasing number of people are working in the ‘gig’ economy, meaning that work contracts are often short-term, ill defined, or based on zero guaranteed hours.
The need to be responsive to clients and meet tight deadlines means that many feel unable to switch off from work, which has implications for their health as well as the success of the business. This has particular problems for people who are trying to combine work with caring responsibilities.
Our working group aims to help organisations think creatively about how to improve work-life balance and avoid simplistic, ‘one-size-fits’, solutions that may do more harm than good.
It’s vital to raise awareness of the strategies which different people use to manage the boundary between work and other life domains.”