The stats don’t lie. A recent survey found that 81.5% of employees seeking a work-life balance are considering leaving their jobs to go freelance. This is according to an online survey of 200 skilled South Africans, cited by Bizcommunity, which found that a quarter of respondents are already in the process of taking that leap, while 37% see it happening in the next few weeks or months. Just 10% admit it’s more of a long-term fantasy.
Skilled professionals are keen to take more control over their careers – and their life – for a variety of reasons but the main factor is the ability to enjoy a better work-life balance, according to the report. What’s holding them back is mainly the risk of financial instability, followed by the fact that they will lose their corporate pension and medical aid. Making such a dramatic change in their lives is another concern.
Many businesses have already taken a knock since the start of the pandemic, and losing valuable employees can add to their struggles. On a positive note, there are various ways a company can retain their staff and they need not break the bank. As the study’s findings suggest, employees are seeking a work-life balance, which can be obtained with a few simple reconsiderations.
Offer flexible and remote working
Previous data has shown that employees actually value flexible working hours, or the opportunity to work remotely, over pay increases. Not only does this grant them time to focus on their personal lives, it also shows that you trust them to manage when, where and how they work.
Focus on productivity, not hours
Not all projects are equal. Some will require long hours of work while others will take half the time to complete. Rather than counting the hours employees work, rather focus on their productivity and completion of particular tasks.
It is important to ensure that individual employees have achievable workloads, which is why it’s instrumental that you review this regularly. Certain tasks may seem small, but they may actually take hours, even days, to complete. This could leave staff feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Check in with employees to see how they are coping with their workload.
Reconsider time off
Many employers ask the question, “can I afford to give staff more time off,” when they should be asking, “can I afford NOT to give staff more time off.” It may seem like doing so could reduce productivity but the opposite may actually be true. This is because, ultimately, more time off from work means employees can achieve a better work-life balance. It can also help prevent burnout and increase levels of happiness and contentment among staff. This will reduce staff turnover and save you in the long run.
The question is, if you are offering more leave, how do you manage it? Tracking leave can be unnecessarily time-consuming, even overwhelming — especially if you are doing it manually. For starters, there is all the paperwork. At issue is that this method can set you up for errors that can cost you. These errors could include:
Unavailability of staff: Without the visibility to see who is on leave and who has leave coming up, you could end up inadequately staffed.
Legal issues: It is crucial that employers comply with Labor Laws, which outline the different leave types that often vary depending on the nature of employment. It can be difficult to stay compliant when managing these various types of leave.
Financial risk: Labor laws and the company leave policy define how much leave can be taken, be encashed, and how much can be carried forward. Leave encashment on accrued leaves is a financial liability to the business as you will have to pay out and if you are unaware of the financial outstanding in terms of due leave encashments, it may come as a surprise and upset the cash flow.
Update to an Online Leave Management System
Solving these problems is as simple as opting to use an online leave management system like LeavePro instead of spreadsheets to track leave. LeavePro offers several features that will prevent the above-mentioned issues from arising. You will be able to easily see who will be away via a company leave management system, which can be accessed from multiple devices. It includes all leave types you need to comply with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and allows employees to apply for leave easily, with full access to their leave balances and history. LeavePro also keeps track of employees’ balances for you.