How to Determine a Company’s Focus on Work-Life Balance

work-life balance

Categories: Job Search

One of the chief considerations many job seekers have when embarking on a search for their next position regards a potential employer’s approach to work-life balance. Thankfully, with the world at our fingertips, conducting research is easier than ever.

While Millennials have brought the topic of work-life balance to the forefront, as outlined in a 2018 Forbes article, the term has expanded to be an important aspect of many job seekers’ requirements moving forward to a new position. If it’s important to you, how can you determine the company’s focus on keeping work and life separate? Here are some suggestions to help you learn more about the organizations where you might want to work.

1. Research the Company’s Culture

One area that will provide insight into a company’s focus on work-life balance it its culture. This is its foundational approach to running the company and includes its mission, vision, and values. Start by visiting the company’s website, where you should gain a feel for its priorities. Focus on the about page, where the company’s “why” should become apparent.

Next, read employee reviews on platforms such as Glassdoor, and look for any information or testimonials regarding work-life balance initiatives. Pay close attention to employee testimonials, as they often provide candid insights into what it’s really like to work at the company.

Additionally, take note of any awards or recognition the company has received for its workplace culture or employee satisfaction. Organizations that prioritize work-life balance tend to receive accolades from reputable sources.

2. Review Company Policies and Benefits

Companies that value work-life balance typically have policies and benefits in place to support this stance. Look for information on flexible work hours, remote work options, and paid time-off (PTO) policies. A comprehensive benefits package that includes generous vacation days, parental leave, and wellness programs can be indicative of a company’s commitment to employee well-being.

This information may be found on the careers page of the website or even in the job description itself.

It’s also worth investigating if the company offers resources for stress management, mental health support, or wellness campaigns. All these components play into a culture of a strong work-life balance.

3. Evaluate Workload Expectations

A company’s attitude toward workload can reveal a lot about its approach to work-life balance. During interviews or discussions with current and past employees, ask about typical work hours and if overtime is normal. Ask about the expectations for after-hours communication and whether there’s a culture of responding to emails or messages during off-hours.

Pay attention to any signs of an “always on” culture, as this can be an indicator that the company prioritizes work over personal time.

4. Seek Feedback from Employees

One of the most valuable sources of information about a company’s work-life balance is its employees. If possible, connect with current or former employees through LinkedIn. Ask about their experiences with work-life balance at the company and if they feel or felt supported in their efforts to maintain it.

Be sure to approach these conversations with sensitivity, as some employees may be hesitant to discuss this topic openly. However, many will appreciate your interest in their experiences and be willing to share insights.

5. Assess Leadership and Management Styles

The behavior and attitudes of company leaders and managers can greatly influence the work-life balance within an organization. Pay attention to how leaders communicate their expectations regarding work hours and personal time. Do they encourage employees to take breaks and prioritize self-care? Are they respectful of boundaries?

While researching the company and individuals on LinkedIn, look for how long the average tenure is at the company. High turnover rates can be a red flag for burnout and a lack of balance between work and personal time.

6. Consider the Industry and Nature of the Work

Not every company is considered equal when it comes to how much time you should expect to work, and certain industries may naturally involve longer hours or more demanding schedules. For example, startups and technology companies often have a reputation for intense work environments. On the other hand, you could be looking to join a company that is strict about working 8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday.

Keep in mind that while some industries may require more intensive work commitments, it’s still possible to find employers within those sectors who prioritize a work-life balance.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance

Evaluating a company’s focus on work-life balance is a crucial step in finding a job that aligns with your personal and professional priorities. By conducting thorough research, reviewing policies and benefits, seeking input from employees, and assessing leadership styles, you can gain valuable insights into a company’s approach to work-life balance.

Remember that work-life balance is a two-way street, and open communication with potential employers about your own priorities and expectations is equally important. By taking these steps, you can make an informed decision about whether a company is the right fit for you in terms of work-life balance. Your overall job satisfaction and well-being will likely benefit as a result.

Resume and Career Services supports job seekers throughout their job search, including writing resumes and career documents and providing career and interview coaching. Learn more about how we can help.