Flexible working hours help work-life balance and productivity

The International Labor Organization (ILO) said more flexible work schedules, like those utilized during the Covid-19 pandemic, can benefit economies, enterprises and workers as well as pave the way for a better and healthier work-life balance.


Arrangement of different working-time and their effects on work-life balance including shift work, on-call work, compressed hours and hours-averaging schemes. Flexible schedules provide “better family life” according to the repot of ILO’s working time and work-life balance around the world.


"There is a substantial amount of evidence that work–life balance policies provide significant benefits to enterprises, supporting the argument that such policies are a 'win-win' for both employers and employees," the report said.


"The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon has placed work-life balance at the forefront of social and labour market issues in the post-pandemic world," said Jon Messenger, lead author of the report, citing an ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic.


Messenger added: "This report shows that if we apply some of the lessons of the Covid-19 crisis and look very carefully at the way working hours are structured, as well as their overall length, we can create a win-win, improving both business performance and work-life balance."


The report did issue a warning but the advantages of some flexible arrangements, including spending more time with the family, can potentially be accompanied with worsening gender disparities and health hazards.


According to the report, when compared to a standard eight-hour day/40-hour work week, a sizeable part of the global workforce works either lengthy or short hours. More than one-third of all workers consistently work more than 48 hours per week, whereas a fifth of the global workforce works short hours (part-time) of fewer than 35 hours per week.


Inclusionary short-term labor programs which not only protected jobs but also raised buying power and mitigated the consequences of economic crises, were recommended by the study as efforts that should be supported by countries going forward.


In many countries, it also advocated for a shift in state policy to reduce working hours and foster a good work-life balance.

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