MANAGERS can improve productivity by actively encouraging a better “work-life balance”, a group of economists announced today.
Flexible working policies “do little to reduce stress unless there is positive endorsement from managers”, the report from the London School of Economics and Political Science argues.
“Stress results in increased absenteeism and reduced productivity so it is clearly in management’s interest to address this,” said the author, Dr Alexandra Beauregard, who surveyed 224 local government employees in the south of England.
Stress and health-related absenteeism costs companies an estimated £11bn a year.
Productivity can be reduced if employees feel they are expected to put in long hours at the office in order to progress their careers, the report found.
Beauregard recommends a “culture change to acknowledge the importance of employees’ family and non-work roles”.