Employers and work-life balance
Latest researchJargon busterLegislationOpinionsNews ArchiveContact us

Business case – Factsheet

Work-life balance Work-life balance is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society.
Business benefits

Work-life balance business benefits include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved recruitment and retention
  • Lower rates of absenteeism
  • Reduced overheads
  • An improved customer experience
  • A more motivated, satisfied and equitable workforce.
Case studies – problems that work-life balance has responded to
  • BT – Needed to develop a 24/7 culture for customers
  • Camden – Needed to gain buy-in from managers
  • Elli Lilly – Needed to attract and retain high calibre employees
  • Inland Revenue – Needed to extend opening hours and improve work-life balance
  • IXL – Needed to introduce work-life policies in a small business with no history of work-life balance
  • LloydsTSB – Need to ensure everyone has access to work-life balance
  • M&S – Had large number of parents in the workforce
  • PwC – Needed to manage heavy workload whilst maintaining work-life balance
  • Royal Bank of Scotland – Need to retain business agility in an increasingly competitive market
  • Unilever – Needed to develop a consistent strategy across a large business
Best practice guidelines include:

– Review business and employee requirements in terms of meeting customer needs, employee satisfaction and ensuring compatibility with relevant legislation.
– Research other organisations’ experiences
– Have success measures, including productivity indices, labour turnover, sickness and absence rates
– Consult with management and staff representatives about implementation
– Support management through implementation- Monitor progress and amend as appropriate.

Demographics mean it won’t go away

The structure of the labour market in the UK has changed dramatically over the last few years and will continue to change:

  • We are in full- or part-time education until we are older, while more of us are opting to retire at an earlier age.
  • The largest growth in labour market participation between 1990 and 2000 occurred among mothers with young children.
  • It is projected that 66% of the increase in the UK population between 2000 and 2025 will be attributable to immigration.
  • Young workers look at an organisation’s track record on corporate social responsibility and are not afraid to negotiate flexible working terms.


Contact Us - [email protected] | © Work-Life balance part of The Work Foundation 2005