work life balance

Employers who want to find and retain talented employees in today’s job market are learning that workers’ job priorities have shifted. Not surprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic has played a huge role in changing the needs of people everywhere. For employers, this means developing strategies to satisfy a sustainable work-life balance. 

  1. Employee burnout is real and getting more real as Covid continues to play a role in the workforce.
  2. The crisis has caused most people to turn inward and evaluate their values. In many cases, this has led to reprioritizing what matters most. 

At Masiello, we hear from our clients daily, employers and job seekers alike, about changing approaches to work-life balance. We’re constantly gathering creative solutions professionals have found and implemented as well and the whys and hows behind them. 

To keep their talent, top employers must do the same. Let’s dig into the details of what is propelling this shift of culture, as well as valuable strategies companies are using to keep their businesses thriving. 

Where Did All the Workers Go?

A tremendous number of American workers left their jobs in 2021, a record 68.9 million, with a whopping 47.4 quitting by choice. CNN Business shared these stats, noting that most of these vacancies were created due to family needs, retirement, preference to live off savings, or to “reassess their lives.” 

According to Business Insider, Goldman Sachs researched this question of the 5 million people who disappeared from the labor force during the pandemic. They found that 3.4 million left due to retirement. But 1.5 million of those were early retirements. In the same article, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh explained further that older workers may continue to be concerned about health risks due to Covid-19.

Dad working with daughter

Consider this: Bharat Ramamurti, the Economic Council Deputy Director, is calling this event “The Great Upgrade” rather than “The Great Resignation.” Goldman Sachs is predicting that a million people will be returning to the workforce this year but not to their same old jobs. It’s time to move up in life, and Masiello is ready to help you upgrade. 

mug with work life balance

What Workers Want

In order to address the needs of talented employees, local companies have been working hard to find a new balance that was set off course by Covid-19. Of course, new hires are getting financial incentives like higher wages, signing bonuses, and even paying off student debt. But it turns out that time is the biggest draw for retaining talent. Time is so valuable, it’s become the #1 priority for job seekers in 2022. 

Making the Most of Your Time

Time well spent, making your work more efficient and effective is the big picture. There are many ways to accomplish this with the big aim being an improved work-life balance. 

team meeting

Meetings Get the Axe

For starters, good, productive meetings can be a game-changer full of collaboration. On the other hand, meetings can sap time away from other critical tasks. This time suck can be stressful. It often means longer hours, bringing home work, missing tasks, or poorly done, rushed assignments.

In response to this, companies are reformatting the traditional meeting. Wiley, Peloton, and Axiata designed full or partial meeting-free days. Thomson Reuters shortened meeting default time frames from 30-60 minutes down to 25-45 minutes. Axiata even canceled all meetings after 1pm on Fridays with the goal of allowing employees time to complete current assignments and get home for the weekend. 

Asynchronous Communication: a New Buzz Word

Again, moving away from traditional meetings, employers are supporting a more relaxed form of communication through email and instant messaging tools. This has the benefit of giving people time to craft a well-researched response and finish their current work. Lower stress, follow through and thoroughness are the result. 

Unlimited PTO

What’s this now? A 2021 survey by Mercer found up to 20% of companies implementing a version of unlimited paid time off. Here’s the shocker: with the ball in their court, workers are found to take even less time off. Think peer-pressure, if he’s working then I should be too.

Company Wide Vacation

In order to make vacation time fair and square, LinkedIn, Nike, Hootsuite, Bumble, Thomson, and Reuters are enforcing collective time off. Like a family meal, no one brings their phones to the table, because it’s time to relax.