Work-life balance pursuit requires all to be on board

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has focused on the importance of work-life balance. But for it to be effective and successful, both the employer and employees have to work in concert. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

I am a strong advocate of work-life balance because only when the family is happy is the worker happy. And a happy employee is more likely to turn in quality work.

The key lies in employees knowing their priorities and having good time management, and how well the organisation accepts the concept of work-life balance.

In some organisations, 13-hour to 15-hour workdays are not uncommon, and workers are expected to do unpaid work on weekends.

This, despite Singapore's labour laws, which carry limits on the number of hours an employee can work, after which overtime wages are to be paid.

The MSF has come up with various programmes and courses on work-life effectiveness that employees are encouraged to learn and adopt. However, the key point is whether the organisations are on board.

This is where the unions can also play a pivotal role in promoting the importance of work-life balance. Only when all stakeholders walk the talk will we see a well-balanced work-life environment.

Kumar Pillay Thangavalu