Balancing work fairly with other parts of our life is a goal for workers and unions across Aotearoa-New Zealand. Partly it is about workload but it also is about the type of work people do, our hours of work, leave entitlements, pay, workplace culture and individuals’ life, family and community participation.
The government, employers, unions and the community all have a role giving New Zealanders decent jobs that allow us to work for a fair day’s pay and still have time to spend with friends, family and our community. Workers are happier, healthier and contribute more when our job leaves room for all the other things in our life that help make us who we are. A core element of improving workloads is changing the entrenched values and culture of workplaces that drive people to work longer, but less productively.
Online resources and information:
This site contains research suggesting that improving the balance between our working lives and our lives outside work can bring real benefits for employers and employees. It also has resources and case studies to introduce and manage work-life balance in your workplace.
In this report parents who work long hours reported impacts such as having no energy or time for family activities, through to poor health and changes in their children’s behaviour. Finding Time [pdf, 761KB] focuses on the experiences of a range of families selected from industries that are most affected by long working hours.
Flexible work can benefit employees, employers, the economy, communities and the environment. It is about people having the opportunity to make changes to the hours they work (over a day, a week or over the year), the times and days they work or where they work. It is also about how careers are organised, how transitions in and out of work are managed, and how flexible working is managed in the workplace so that employees and businesses benefit.
An important aspect of diversity and EEO practices is recognising that people lead rich and complex lives outside their working hours. By providing flexible work options and other work-life initiatives, employers can help build an engaged and productive workforce.
“Work-life balance is about the interaction between our paid work and other activities, including unpaid work in families and the community, leisure, and personal development. Work-life balance for any one person is having the ‘right’ combination of participation in paid work (defined by hours and working conditions), and other aspects of their lives.
By encouraging work-life balance, employers can broaden their recruitment pool and encourage a more productive and creative workforce. WMany organisations are taking a positive and flexible approach to work-life balance and reaping the benefits.