This year’s Hays Poland survey shows that more than half of employees still work overtime, which – apart from stress and negative emotions – adversely affects their well-being and physical condition. Do we have to work like that?
In recent years, the meaning of the concept of work-life balance has changed among people active in the labor market. Nevertheless, overtime – although less than two years ago – is still present in the working lives of all employees, regardless of gender, age, area of specialization, position held, and form of employment. Additionally, Poland is still at the forefront of the European Union in terms of the average number of hours worked per week by employees.
The trend of shortening working time will deepen and it is possible that Polish employers will have to face it in the future – emphasizes Agnieszka Kolenda, Executive Director at Hays Poland in the report. Currently, companies should strive to make the working hours of their employees more flexible. Firstly, it results from the specificity of the new professions. Secondly, in order to increase the efficiency of employees, they should be allowed to work during the hours when they work best – he adds.
Work-life balance does not have to contradict a lot of work. Effective balance is about the quality of time spent working and the level of commitment. You can work a lot and at the same time organize your life in a balanced way. Employees more and more often expect organizations to help them achieve this state, which is why companies that introduce solutions that help employees use time efficiently, e.g. working from home, flexible working hours or settlement for work results, and not for the time spent in it.
Too much is unhealthy
Working overtime and the accompanying stress leads to a number of ailments that reduce the comfort of work and life. Work efficiency decreases, there are difficulties with concentration as well as nervousness or inattention. Every third employee experiences negative consequences for their well-being or health problems resulting from too high levels of stress in the workplace. The most common consequences are nervousness and irritation, trouble sleeping, and fatigue. The ailments are exacerbated by overtime and non-ergonomic workplaces.
Commitment and motivation disappear, and there are resignation and low work efficiency. This is a disadvantageous situation for both employers and employees. That is why companies look more and more favorably on the issues of work-life balance and try to adapt the work culture to the expectations of employees. This is favored by appropriate additional benefits, organizational culture, and trust, which is the strongest foundation for promoting the desired attitudes – emphasizes Dorota Nakonieczna, HR Business Partner at Hays Poland in the report.
What to do?
Malaise, increasing turnover, burnout affecting key employees – this is a huge challenge for companies. Lack of commitment and reduced motivation of the employee translate into low effectiveness of the entire organization. For business it is simply unprofitable. Therefore, companies more and more often care about organizational culture that promotes appropriate attitudes and encourages healthy separation of professional and private duties. They offer flexible working hours and benefits to help you keep your balance.
Flexible work is not a privilege, but a way of working in an organization built on trust – emphasizes Paulina Łukaszuk, Communications Manager at Hays Poland in the report. It is easier for employees to maintain a work-life balance when they do not have to choose and sacrifice professional development at the expense of family obligations. However, increasing the independence of employees in managing working time poses a number of challenges for companies and managers. It forces, among others much more common use of modern technologies, remote access to company resources, and electronic document flow.
Overtime and poor well-being lead to burnout and also translate into worse performance. Hence, the overtime culture is simply unprofitable from the point of view of both parties, which means that companies pay more and more attention to the work atmosphere and work-life balance. Only in this way will they be able to meet the increasingly precise expectations of employees.