Considering the vital role of the work-life relationship in worker effectiveness, wellbeing, and long-term commitment, employers, brokers and TPAs should prioritize it across all facets of their operations, including their benefits programs.
August 2, 2023
By Bo Armstrong
Originally posted on BenefitsPRO.com
Employees who struggle to balance their work and personal lives can suffer from health issues, poor job satisfaction, exhaustion, burnout, and problematic behavior on the job. Despite 72 percent of Statista survey respondents acknowledging the importance of looking at work-life factors when job-hunting, they often need help achieving work-life goals once employed.
Considering the vital role of the work-life relationship in worker effectiveness, wellbeing, and long-term commitment, employers should prioritize it across all facets of their operations, including their benefits programs. Brokers and TPAs can help by offering different benefit accounts, like lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs) for various wellness expenses, dependent care flexible spending accounts (DCFSAs) for child care financial assistance, and health savings accounts (HSAs) for retirement and financial peace of mind.
First, let’s examine the work-life relationship and consider how employer benefits can provide support.
Evolution of the work-life relationship
In 1817, Welsh manufacturer Robert Owen suggested that a well-balanced life included eight hours each of labor, recreation, and rest. However, blue-collar employees at the time routinely worked up to six days a week and up to 16 hours daily, averaging 70-100 hours weekly, and work schedules didn’t improve until the early 20th century.
The eight-hour-day and five-day workweek caught on when adopted by Henry Ford for his factories in 1926. Influenced partly by Ford Motor Co. findings that workers produced more when they worked less, the 40-hour workweek became U.S. law through the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1940.
Since then, radical changes in family structure, household labor divisions, political landscapes, the economy, public health (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic), and human resource practices have all combined to evolve the concept of work-life balance into what it is today.
Although workers now seek a greater balance between their work and personal lives, it’s become evident that the two can’t always be easily divided. Instead, the notion of work-life balance has transformed into a more holistic approach known as work-life integration. This perspective acknowledges that work is a critical facet of life that coexists with other essential aspects, including home and family, personal well-being, and community involvement.
The traditional idea of work-life balance measured the time spent on work and non-work activities. However, the definition of work-life integration can differ. Instead of viewing home and work as competing entities, work-life integration focuses on discovering methods to blend the two to prevent either from fully dominating a person’s time.
Supporting the work-life relationship
The benefit programs a company offers can significantly impact employee health, productivity, and retention. Some choices are obvious – e.g. health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off – while others may not be as evident.
Today’s workforce is looking to integrate their work and personal lives in a manner they find both rewarding and sustainable. To help support those goals, employers and their advisors should consider including the following in their benefits program:
- Scheduled flexibility
- Lifestyle spending accounts
- Dependent care spending accounts
- Health savings accounts
- Student loan repayment assistance
Let’s consider how each of these benefits supports employee work-life relationships.
To learn more about how employer-sponsored benefits can support a positive work-life relationship, read the full article on benefitspro.com.
Chief Marketing Officer, DataPath, Inc.
Bo has over 25 years of marketing leadership experience. His responsibilities include branding, communications, social media, product marketing, PR, and promotions. He focuses on identifying emerging market trends within the benefits industry and advocating for customers and their needs. Bo is also a national conference speaker and author of numerous white papers and published articles on the healthcare benefits industry.
DataPath, Inc. has been a full-service TPA business solutions provider for nearly four decades. Our cloud-based Summit platform is the industry’s first all-in-one solution for CDH, HSA, Well-Being, COBRA, and Billing administration. DataPath provides comprehensive Operations BPO and award-winning Marketing Services for users of all administrative platforms. Please enter your email (above right) to be notified when new articles are published.