Glassdoor has published its list of the top UK employers for work/life balance.
The ranking has been produced based on the overall work/life balance rating companies received from employees on the employer review site during the past year. Expedia, Lookers, American Express, HomeServe and Peninsula topped the list (see below for full rankings).
Mark Di-Toro, careers expert at Glassdoor, told HR magazine that between them these companies boast a broad range of initiatives that contribute to a strong sense of work/life balance among employees. This shows that when it comes to promoting strong engagement through good work/life balance there is no one-size-fits-all solution or silver bullet.
Many might assume ensuring a good balance between staff’s work and private lives is chiefly about flexible working and warding against excessive hours, said Di-Toro. But integrating fun, non-work elements into the working day (as Google does through massages and music lessons for example) can be equally powerful, he explained.
“Work/life balance comes in many shapes and sizes – from travel to family care, from home working to wellbeing,” he told HR magazine. “For some it’s working over the weekend and clearing emails Sunday night so they can come in fresh and relaxed on Monday. For others that’s their worst nightmare. So it’s employers taking a tailored approach not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
“Work/life balance is an ever-changing philosophy,” he added. “And what works for one person doesn’t work for another. It’s about people finding [their] own equilibrium and sticking to that.”
Di-Toro highlighted some key strategies among Glassdoor’s highly-ranked employers. The success of Expedia’s flexi-time policy sets the company apart, he said, praising its and other firms’ used of cloud-based technology to allow employees to work anytime and anywhere.
He also highlighted HomeServe’s EAP system and ARM’s sabbatical system, where every four years employees can take four weeks off. For Peninsula, integrating health and wellbeing activities such as HIT classes into the working day has been particularly successful in promoting a strong sense of work/life balance among staff, he added.
Andrew Stephenson, HRD at Lookers, who ranked second in Glassdoor's list, explained that key at his company has been compensating staff for long working hours by introducing a much more generous than average holiday allowance. This has been successful in boosting retention and attracting the right candidates, he said.
"We recognise that our industry requires a commitment in hours to meet the needs of our customers and we are grateful to all of our people for the efforts they put in," Stephenson told HR magazine. "In order to help them maintain this great service while keeping a great work/life balance, we invested in significantly increasing holidays across the group, in most cases to more than five weeks, in others up to seven. This with our other benefit changes has made a huge difference"
Glassdoor's Di-Toro urged more employers to realise the power of ensuring employees have a good work/life balance, whatever this means for them. “If you as an employee feel you’ve got that you’re going to stay at that company a lot longer,” he said.
Glassdoor’s top-rated employers for work/life balance are:
3. American Express
6. Cisco Systems
8. Financial Conduct Authority
9. Royal London
10. Thomson Reuters
11. Procter & Gamble
14. Mott MacDonald
15. Rank Group
18. BAE Systems UK
19. Rolls Royce