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Thesis Statement: Companies can increase productivity and happiness in workers by ensuring there is adequate family leave, allowing work-at-home days for applicable positions, and encouraging the use of all vacation time and sick time as needed.

Adequate Family Leave

One way companies can ensure productivity and happiness in workers is by providing adequate leave time for both parents following the birth of a child. Mothers need time to heal, rest, and become adjusted to the schedule and needs of a new baby. Newborns can sometimes have problems such as jaundice, feeding issues, or sleeping difficulties. New parents should be able to take care of these issues before the child goes into some kind of day care. If new parents have time to spend with their baby, they will not be so anxious, tired, or unsettled when they return to work. This makes for an easier transition and a happier parent and baby.

Work at Home Days

Workers’ happiness and productivity can also be increased by adding one work-at-home day to weekly schedules, if it fits with the position. Research has shown that allowing more flexible work schedules improves the work environment. While at first glance it may seem like an impossible task to create such an accommodating work arrangement, there are a lot of ways this can work for a company and its employees. Remote access via computer can make employees available anytime. Employees can participate in meetings via Skype, share documents, and send emails. The modified work schedule also makes it possible for employees to work outside of a traditional eight-hour workday as needed. Even if a company cannot spare someone for a whole day every week, this plan might be available as needed occasionally for the employee.

Vacation and Sick Time

Finally, companies should encourage the use of all yearly vacation time, as well as sick time when needed. It is possible that a situation may arise that an employee just cannot avoid. Employees should not have to worry about vacation days which they need at unusual times to cover days when schools are closed as well as to take vacations. Sick days mean tending to a sick child at home. A workplace culture that frowns on people who stay home when they or their child cannot be at school or is sick only harms everyone working. It encourages people to lie or even sometimes inappropriately bring the child to work with them. Allowing people to use these days as “personal days” for whatever reason creates a more honest workplace and more productive workforce when employees are at work.

References

Daipuria, P., & Kakar, D. (2013). Work-life balance for working parents: Perspectives and strategies. Journal of Strategic Human Resource Management, 2(1), 45-52. doi:http://search.proquest.com/docview/1478029323?accountid=35812

Krasulja, N., Blagojevic, M. V., & Radojevic, I. (2015, April). Working from home as alternative for achieving work-life balance. Ekonomika, 61(2), 131-142. doi:http://search.proquest.com/docview/1708884357?accountid=458

Schulte, B. (2014, October 26). Taking care of employees boosts Patagonia’s bottom line. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/docview/1616420140?accountid=35812