For many, the family is the biggest motivation for going to work every day. As the culture of work changes, it is critical that the value of work-life balance is championed by employers, particularly for parents and those with family commitments.
It’s important to note that creating a family-friendly workplace culture doesn’t only benefit the workforce. Research shows there are tangible business benefits that can be gained from implementing such policies.
“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.” Richard Branson
Leading employers in the UK are increasingly investing not only in their workforce’s well-being but also that of their families. The Working Families Special Awards honour these employers and this year’s winners include Lloyds Banking Group, Dulas and Imperial College London.
Studies from all over the world highlight why employers are making the wellbeing of their employees’ families a top priority.
Employee demand for a family-friendly workplace
When it comes to creating a suitable work-life balance for staff, the employer needs to be at the front line. Results from a 2016 report from Employers For Childcare show that parents with supportive employers are more satisfied with their work-life balance than those parents with unsupportive employers.
And when it comes to making new hires, being able to point towards your family-friendly and wellbeing policies can mean the difference between winning or losing your perfect hire. A recent study by Glassdoor revealed that employee health benefits (along with salary) are the no.1 factor for employees considering a new job. The study also shows that four in five workers today value benefits – workplace health and wellness programs, retirement plans, free meals, paternity and maternity leave – over a pay raise.
The business case for committing to family
A family-friendly workplace doesn’t just benefit the employee. Five benefits that are making this policy increasingly attractive to employers include the following:
Providing staff with family-friendly working practices, in particular, flexible working policies, have been shown to increase productivity. Flexitime can often include job sharing and teleworking or simply enabling the employee to alter their work hours as needed.
Family-friendly policies are also related to a reduction in absenteeism. Furthermore, surveys show that enabling employees to work from home are hugely effective in helping employees prepare for and manage absences.
Family-friendly policies have become a big factor for parents when it comes choosing a job. According to a 2014 report by The Council of Economic Advisers, a US government agency, one third of employees have turned down a job because it conflicted with their family responsibilities.
Employees are far more likely to be loyal to employers who offer family-friendly policies. This benefits employers as they retain their skilled, trained and experienced staff and reduce recruitment costs due to the stability and flexibility delivered by these policies.
Reduced operating costs
Many businesses are now offering roles on a part-time basis for those who want them, decreasing the organisation’s wage bill. Meanwhile, enabling employees to work from home can save on premises and energy costs.
How to prove your commitment as a family-friendly workplace
Online family healthcare with VideoDoc
A VideoDoc corporate subscription is one example of how an employer can help their staff achieve peace of mind for themselves and their families. Throughout our day we often think of our loved ones, check-in on them, and sometimes worry for their safety. With VideoDoc, employees will have access to an online family doctor from any location using a mobile, tablet, or computer.
VideoDoc can be invaluable for employees with young children. Traditionally, the only course of action when caring for a sick child was to drive to the GP’s clinic, wait to be seen by the doctor and drive to the pharmacy for any required prescriptions – a full morning’s absence.
Now, a quick call to one of VideoDoc’s GPs can provide parents with all the advice they need within a few minutes. If a prescription is required, the online doctor can fax this to a convenient pharmacy. Providing a healthcare service such as this is an excellent way for an employer to prove their family-friendly ethos.
Other popular options that employers can provide include:
Childcare assistance can take various forms. Some large multinationals have their own childcare facilities on-site. Other childcare policies pay a portion of the employees’ fees at an off-site facility.
Family bonding activities
Family-friendly workplaces look to build a sense of community among co-workers by organising events for employees’ families to come together inside and outside of the office. These family events look to facilitate relationships between employees’ families and to allow them to get to know the employers a little better too.
Family-friendly = business-friendly
With so much focus on the importance of work-life balance, employees are increasingly searching for employers that will not only support their personal wellbeing, but their families’ too.
The research, as well as the potential benefits for employee and employer alike certainly indicate that a family-friendly approach is a business-friendly approach.
If you’d like to learn more about how a VideoDoc corporate subscription could benefit you and your employees, contact us: