Juggling life in the office and life at home is a trying task, and it became even more challenging during the recession when employees were expected to work longer and harder. But even as things improve, balancing your family and career is no easy feat.
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It turns out some of America’s biggest and brightest corporations are sensitive to the issue of work-life balance, and many are offering perks to ensure their employees are maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Glassdoor.com, a social jobs and careers community, just released its second-annual list of the Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance. The report is entirely based on feedback shared by employees within the past year.
“Work-life balance can be defined differently from one person to the next,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor’s career and workplace expert who ran global HR departments at Electronic Arts and PepsiCo before co-authoring “Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business.” “As an individual, you need to define what it means to you. For example, if you want to make sure you can attend your kid’s soccer games that happen every Wednesday at 5 p.m., look for a company that is open to a flexible work schedule.”
Work-life balance can feel virtually impossible in today’s highly connected world, given that we all have greater access to our jobs around the clock, Rueff said in a Glassdoor press release. “Companies that make sincere efforts to recognize employees’ lives outside of the office will often see the payoff when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent.”
The companies that make this year’s list offer a range of perks: flexible hours, telecommuting options, compressed workweeks and family friendly work environments. “In addition, we see many of the companies offering ease of access to food and fitness amenities,” said Samantha Zupan, a Glassdoor spokesperson. “What also stood out about several companies on the list was senior leadership’s support of work-life balance.”
MITRE and North Highland received the highest work-life balance rating (4.5 on a five-point scale) from its employees over the past year. According to Glassdoor, employees at MITRE, a not-for-profit organization based in Massachusetts and Virginia, commented on the high value the company places on work-life balance as shown through flexible schedules, generous paid time off and other great perks like an on-site cafeteria and gym.
North Highland employees mainly spoke to the company’s family-friendly work environment. For example, one employee noted, “North Highland is full of genuinely nice people who value family and work-life balance over high-stress (and high-reward) consulting.”
Other big names to make the list: LinkedIn, Discover, Morningstar and Bain & Company. The Calif.-based social networking website, LinkedIn, earned a 4.3 work-life balance rating, while Discover, Morningstar and Bain all earned a 4.2.
“Increasingly we see technology blur the lines between employees’ work and personal lives,” Zupan said. “Many employees are strapped to their smartphones at all hours, and the speed at which new information now travels has placed increasing demands on employees.” A healthy sense of work-life balance can help employees feel more satisfied in and out of the office. Plus, it can help improve productivity and creativity, she concluded.
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