Management must buy into benefits of work-life balance

"Work-life balance" is a much touted phrase, but even though it is embraced by some organisations, it remains lip service for many others ("Work-life balance a win-win for bosses and workers" by Mr Jeffrey Law Lee Beng; Jan 23).

Having been in the corporate sector for more than 35 years, I have observed many cases of senior and top management who are more preoccupied with the bottom line than with staff welfare, given that the company's earnings have a direct impact on their remuneration and promotion.

A friend's son, who works in a foreign private bank in Singapore, was told by his managing director that to be rated well, he needs to be a 24/7 banker, that is, he has to be at the beck and call of management and clients all the time.

The boss habitually calls staff at odd hours and expects them to answer.

He defines this as reliability, which sets apart good employees from mediocre ones.

How can work-life balance be achieved with such bosses?

Top management must appreciate the need for and benefits of work-life balance. It must be an integral part of the organisational culture; a mantra of sorts.

Only then can we breed motivated, dedicated, productive and happy employees, who will contribute positively to the organisation.

With this, a win-win outcome from bosses and employees is possible.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Management must buy into benefits of work-life balance'. Print Edition | Subscribe