Friday, 29 May 2015

[Today] Firms must recognise value of work-life balance

I refer to the report “Work eating into S’poreans’ family time: Survey” (May 27). Family time is important in helping ensure communication and closer bonds between family members.
Companies should understand that family life is essential to a person’s well-being, and should have days for family outings or for family members to just spend time with their loved ones. Men, too, should be given equal time for this.
The authorities must step up efforts to send a clear message to companies that work-life balance is crucial in maintaining workplace productivity and employee satisfaction, and urge them to create more opportunities for family time.
Recognising this issue would help companies tailor the working hours for employees while still getting the work done on time. To allow for work-life balance, better planning is necessary.
Companies must create a flexible work environment for their employees to better manage work stress. With more family time, parents or caregivers can fulfil their responsibilities to their loved ones and also be productive at work.
More help should be given to those who are divorced, separated or widowed when addressing their concerns, as they have a greater responsibility to their family.
Also, the authorities should look at ways of providing better wages and solutions for the low-income group, to give them the same benefits of more family time. Flexible work arrangements would help them as well to foster stronger family ties.
On another point, the survey found that relatively fewer married respondents were satisfied with their marriages. Couples must work together in managing their work schedules so that they spend time with each other. Through marriage counselling, talks and preparation courses, couples could also see the need to have realistic expectations of marriage.
Ultimately, a greater sense of balance between work commitments and family time is necessary for better support of families, which would increase Singaporeans’ long-term satisfaction with their family and marriage lives.