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  • Writer's pictureRegina Reinhardt

Healthy Work Cultures... Breed Success

In a world of innovation and constant change, employers need a healthy, agile workforce to remain competitive. New arrangements, such as part-time employment, are the key to creating the sustainable employment culture necessary to stay on top.

After successfully recruiting a professional, an employer commits to take care of their new hire. They cover unemployment and social security contributions, offer paid vacation and finance professional development opportunities. Some go even further to contribute to employees’ health insurance, reimburse travel and meal expenses, or offer child care solutions. In return, an employee offers full-time engagement, the benefit of their know-how and work experience and their loyalty. But often, whether to get ahead or simply keep up with demands, employees find themselves doing overtime - working through lunch, answering emails on weekends, and so on. Competitive markets, economic crises or personal financial obligations may leave an employee no option but to play along until it’s simply too much.

The costs of overwork are well known. Chronic stress leads to chronic health issues. Although these may go unnoticed at first, they can add up to hours of missed work, and if left unattended, resulting in more severe consequences, such as heart attack, burnout (recently classified by The World Health Organization as a disease) or at worst, suicide. The traditional benefits offered by an employer may not be enough to offset these effects. Some lucky employees may manage to leave before their body screams for help – for another job, their own business, a sabbatical year or extended travel – but the majority cannot break from routine. It’s therefore up to an employer to set the standard for a healthy work culture.

In many companies, the cultural norm is to never slow down, in order to keep up with widely spread work pace. Presenteeism is common - up to 70% of employees claim they come into work even when they are sick and up to 30% don’t want to sacrifice their paid time off to illness. Most organizations don’t encourage breaks. Employers typically offer their full-time employees 30 to 60 minutes’ break a day – though sometimes less – even though breaks have been proven to increase productivity, creativity and mental well-being.

Knowing that it takes time and effort to change the status quo, some countries have started to regulate work breaks through laws that ‘force’ employees and employers alike to get used to this new productivity-boosting tool. Going even further, there is a great demand for new employment arrangements. Remote working is one option. But part-time employment - also called time-splitting - is a particularly interesting arrangement for employees and employers alike.

Employees - Benefits of working part-time

  • Higher motivation

  • Increased concentration level

  • Greater agility - for those who choose to work on multiple part-time projects and shift between a variety of roles

  • Flexible leisure time - not only on Saturdays/Sundays

  • Ability to spend time with family while working

  • Overall greater happiness

Employers - Benefits of hiring part-time

  • Higher productivity – employees achieve more in less time