One More Digital Technology That Helps with Work-Life Balance

Employers need to find ways to meet the shifting expectations of their employees for better work-life balance. Critical to the employee value proposition is creating a humanised employee experience that recognises and respects that work and life experiences are intertwined.

 

Outside distractions are an inevitable part of any workplace. The many hats people wear as employees, parents and partners mean that family problems, financial concerns, health issues and many other distractions habitually spill into work lives.

According to the September 2020 State of Wellbeing report by the Australian HR Institute, the top struggles people face at work include mental health (35.3%), physical health (23.1%), dealing with colleagues and clients (21.9%) and managing money (20.8%).

With the pandemic reinventing how we work and where we work, the distinction between personal life and the office has become ever more blurred.

A question of balance

While work-life balance can take many forms, it can be said to represent the ability to create harmony between work and personal life.

It is well-documented that stress, burnout, and disenchantment are the expected outcomes of not having the means to juggle competing priorities. The resulting lack of focus, absenteeism and loss of productivity associated with this work-life imbalance can directly impact an organisation’s bottom line.

The 2020 Workplace Burnout Study surveyed people from 16 countries, including Australia, and found the pandemic has exacerbated workplace stress. It found a strong correlation between burnout, job performance, the quality of work and overall wellbeing. Over 30% of respondents admitted to feeling less productive and producing lower quality work. 42% reported feeling some level of burnout, with exhaustion consistently given as the most prevalent cause. 

In 2019, the World Health Organisation for the first time classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon to recognise its role in undermining work performance.

The employee experience a chief concern

Employees who achieve equilibrium between work and home life are more likely to feel valued, in control and engaged.

The HR Industry Benchmark Survey conducted across Australia and New Zealand in September 2020 found employee wellness ranked among the top five pressing challenges for HR leaders in 2021. Given the reported rise in mental health issues from the pandemic, many employers realise that work-life balance and wellness loom large as issues of the day.

As employers and business leaders, we can benefit from taking an approach that seeks to help employees, both in their personal lives, work and community. Fundamental to a thriving work-life culture is acknowledgement and support for the responsibilities and commitments of all employees outside work. Redefining this balance is a crucial step towards making an organisation an enabler of positive employee experiences.

Technology as a tool

Fortunately, technology provides some tools to help meet these new challenges and priorities. With a workplace culture that promotes a sustainable combination of connectivity and productivity, these digital tools are invaluable for increasing efficiencies.

Verification Exchange by Equifax is an example of a digital technology that benefits both employee and employer. It is a secure, automated service that streamlines the movement of employment income information between employers, employees and their financial service providers. Once the employee  provides their consent, a lender can request a verification of their employment income directly and securely from Verification Exchange. This eliminates steps and delays involved in having to manually contact the employer or the employee having to source, scan and email copies of their payslips, both of which aren't a very secure way to share their personal information.

Further, by automating the manual process of employment income verification for an employee, the decision-making process for their mortgage, credit card, car loan or any other financial service that they may have applied for can be materially sped up. Which is a great outcome for them. For employers, Verification Exchange offers the chance to reduce workplace distractions and support employees in their personal lives. Once enabled, it can fulfil the employment income verification requests on behalf of the employer. This means no more wasted time and HR resources  involved in responding to those requests.

Bringing efficiency and data security to the employment income verification process, Verification Exchange comes at no cost to employers or employees. And credit providers know they are getting current employment income data promptly, directly and securely. It’s one example of how Equifax is leveraging technology to achieve positive benefits for all.

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