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Work-life balance more important than salary

New research to be revealed at The Safety Conference in October will show that work-life balance is the number-one factor in attracting and retaining staff, and is even more important than salary.

In his October 29 address to engineering, mining, manufacturing and electrical delegates at the conference, being held in Sydney, Converge International chief executive officer, Dr Lindsay McMillan, will explain how businesses can benefit from increased productivity and reduced turnover with the right work-life balance strategy.

According to McMillan, unemployment in Australia is currently at a record low and skills shortages are creating a ‘war on talent’, leading to employees demanding the chance for a successful work-life balance from their employers.

Recent research has shown that Australians work the longest hours of any OECD country, with 20-25 per cent working more than 50 hours each week. Yet recent Converge International research shows that 47 per cent of workers rate work-life balance as very important and another 32 per cent see it as important. An imbalance between work and life can result in declining quality of life, loss of community, erosion of relationships and resentment, according to McMillan.

“If workplaces are to avoid harvesting this kind of negative atmosphere then they really need to take serious consideration of these trends and begin concerning themselves with negotiating and transforming the current pattern of ‘work-life collision’ into one of ‘work-life balance’,” he said.

In his speech, McMillan will cover what he considers the five key aspects of work-life balance: wellbeing; satisfaction; workload; security; and relationships. According to McMillan however, the difficult part for both employers and employees is finding a means to implement strategies to strike the right balance between these aspects.

McMillan also says that work-life balance will become more important in the future.

“The skills shortage is not just an economic reality but also a demographic reality due to shifts in population, generations, perspectives and expectations. Although it may be an imagined ideal for many employees today, work-life balance needs to become tomorrow’s reality as the sustained future of the workforce depends on it,” he said.

“Any employer who is serious about signing up the best talent available, maintaining low levels of staff turnover and securing their business for tomorrow will recognise the need to do something about work-life balance now.”

McMillan will discuss Converge International’s recent research into work-life balance and explain how employers and employees can work together to implement a work-life balance strategy that works for their organisation in his October 29 address at The Safety Conference.

Sponsored by WorkCover NSW and Getex, The Safety Conference will run from October 28 to 30 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park concurrently with The Safety Show Sydney.

For more information, visit, email or phone Australian Exhibitions & Conference on 03 9654 7773.

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