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Working for a company has its perks and disadvantages, as well. You will get job security, be able to access training and pension schemes, and socialize. Working for a company can be stressful, though. If you have to work long hours, commute to work being stuck in traffic, and are expected to deliver more than your paycheck suggests, you will face burnout. While some companies now embrace new initiatives to help you create a work-life balance, such as flexible working and the ability to carry holidays over to the next year, many still lag behind and create workers more stress than necessary. Find out more about the worst workplace practices for work-life balance.

“slightly stressed” by Nadya Peek is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Being Tied to One Job

Doing the same job all the time can be monotonous and very tiring. When you are unmotivated, you will not be able to grow professionally. You will be bored at work, and have no energy to do anything after you finish. Instead of giving you challenges, your company will expect you to be ready to do your shifts and complete the same tasks hundreds, or thousands of times a day. This will affect your work-life balance, and make you feel burned out. Becoming a freelancer can be an option for people who want a better work-life balance, but it comes with its disadvantages, such as casual long hours, job insecurity, and doing your own accounts. Having job security and a variety of different tasks is a challenge for most employees.

Expectations for Overtime

Even if you are doing your job to the best of your abilities, you might want to be appreciated for the effort and go home satisfied. Some companies, however, put a pressure on employees to volunteer for overtime, when there is an extra demand for staff, and penalize those who don’t. This means that single employees without children will be happy to do the extra hours, while those with a family will be turned down for promotion, with the management claiming that they are not flexible enough. Workers are often required to choose between extra hours spent at work or with their family. Low-paid jobs, at the same time, almost force employees to do overtime.

Long Commuting Times

Even if you only work 7 hours a day, you might spend another two hours stuck in traffic getting to work. Many companies in the future have moved their offices and gave employees a choice to either lose their job or commute an extra half an hour-hour every day. Even if their hours haven’t increased, their work-life balance has been affected. Offering a car share to reduce time spent on traveling using public transport, or a free bus service can reduce the impact of office move on employees.

Night Shifts

Unfortunately, not all people can work normal 9-5 shifts. Shift workers, however, constantly on night rota, or those who do too many hours after 10 p.m. can suffer the consequences of fatigue, tiredness, and a confused body clock. They will not only lose the nighttime hours they spend at work, but also the next they they spend recovering. Their children will suffer as they cannot take part in daytime family activities.

Compulsory Weekend Work

“Panel. Stress.” by Kyle Taylor is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Nobody likes spending their weekend in the office. Some jobs, however, come with the requirement of working two-to four weekend days a month. Those with kids will find it difficult to stay focused on the work while they know that they could spend some quality time with their family. Instead of expecting weekend work, companies should give workers an option and offer premium rates for working on the weekends.

Lack of Flexibility on Holiday Bookings

Booking your summer holidays is one of the most exciting times of the year. When you try to manage time and get your work vacations aligned with your kids’ breaks and your preferences, getting the best price on flights and hotels, the last thing you want to hear is that you are not allowed to go on holiday on your chosen dates. While some companies let you book your holidays 12 months in advance, you might not know that far ahead when you can go. If you try to book your vacation later, you might find that other colleagues have already booked your dates, and you cannot take time off. Some companies that embrace the idea of work-life balance offer emergency holiday bookings and holiday swapping among employees.

No Holidays During School Holiday

It is bad enough to have to arrange school cover and day care for children when they are at home, but spending the days at work instead of taking them out on day trips makes it even worse. Companies that offer a set amount of holidays in the school vacations for their employees who have children can improve their work-life balance. Taking into consideration one’s personal life and family needs is important to building a happy and committed workforce. Flexible working patterns can also be offered for workers who have families, so they can make up for time off during school holidays.

Lack of Flexible Working

Not being able to sign up for flexible working can have its tolls. It can build up stress. People working 9-5 and having to visit the doctor for a regular checkup or go to speak to their child’s school, take time out to move house will find it difficult to understand their employer’s inflexibility. Stress at work can cause serious illnesses, and the lack of work-life balance will negatively impact every aspect of your life. Companies, such as Quittance Legal Services can help you find out what caused your illness and how the workplace practices contributed towards your anxiety or illness. Offering flexible working is proven to improve work morale and make employees more satisfied with their job.

No Access to Leisure Activities

Workers are generally happier when they are given the opportunity to relax and unwind after a hard day at work. Companies that offer free or discounted gym memberships, swimming passes, or even memberships to different leisure clubs are more successful at keeping their employees and keeping them happy. Single people who go to work and go home, too tired to go out again will feel excluded and less motivated. Organizing on-site leisure facilities and offering creative breakout areas for workers can keep them happier and more committed to the company. Even allowing workers to cycle to work and setting up a cycle to work scheme with perks given to employees can reduce their stress levels and let them achieve a better work-life balance.

No Customizable Perks

Some companies offer a range of benefits for new workers when they join, but they might not be suitable for them. For example, a single person might not appreciate free tickets to a waterpark, while a worker with a family would not make use of a discount at the local bar. Allowing workers to mix and match their employee benefits can help them design their work-life balance how they like it. Health insurance might be a priority for some people, while discounted holidays and car rental deals will appeal to others. Providing customizable perks is a great way of engaging with employees and keeping them happy.

Offering flexibility, custom benefits, and listening to employees is the best way for companies to help achieve a work-life balance, prevent stress and workplace burnout.