Magazine article New Zealand Management

Work + Life + Community. (News, Trends, People)

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Work + Life + Community. (News, Trends, People)

Article excerpt

One trend which is emerging from global research and practice in work/life strategies is that employers are now starting to approach the issue in a more holistic manner.

That's according to work/life author and consultant Juliet Bourke who last month addressed an EEO briefing in Auckland on findings from a major work/life conference in Florida.

From focusing mainly on gender equity or the competing demands of work and family, she says companies are increasingly taking into account the impact of wider community and environmental concerns on their workforce.

These might range from local child or elder care services, to transport or health services, and air or water quality. The message is: "If you really want to do better at giving people a balanced life then you have to look at how your company interacts with the community," says Bourke.

She also stresses the importance of consulting with employees as to their needs rather than offering blanket solutions that may not appeal to everyone.

For instance, a recent IBM global study involving more than 25,000 people found men and women report very similar levels of work-to-family conflict but prefer different solutions. Fathers are much less likely than mothers to go for options that involve pay loss (parental leave or part-time work) but really go for flexibility in terms of work hours or location.

Another study found differences in the way men and women respond to managerial intervention. …

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