HR may have new role teaching Canadians how to work less

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HR managers may soon have to learn to ask their employees to ‘let go’ and work less, turning the traditional goal of the HR function on its head.
Randstad Canada’s Tom Turpin has written in the Financial Post that businesses may need to help their employees “relearn” how to recharge.
Citing results from Randstad’s recent Workmonitor survey, Turpin said the questions HR should be asking around work-life balance have changed.
“The question is what happens to work-life balance considerations when employees themselves aren’t willing to let go?” he wrote.
“Employers have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of their employees and help them strike the right balance between their work and personal lives.
“Companies need to encourage workers to disconnect completely from time to time, and be careful as managers not to blur the lines between home and work.”
Turpin said that finding that balance can be “tricky” for HR, because not all employees were embracing opportunities to disconnect and recharge.
“In fact, more than three quarters say they’d like to be able to choose between taking time off, and receiving cash in lieu of vacation time,” he said.
The Workmonitor survey found tat more than half of Canadians don’t mind handling work-related matters on their own time.
Turpin told the Financial Post that 65 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women respond immediately to work-related calls and emails outside office hours.
In results that he labeled “troubling”, 40 per cent or respondents said they even do so while on holidays simply because they like to stay connected.
Turpin said younger workers were the most reluctant to disengage, with 18 to 24 year olds driving the trend. “Their survey responses indicate they are anywhere from 12 per cent to as much as 25 per cent more likely to stay involved while outside the office than the average worker.”
“For Canadian employers, it’s a clear sign that the needs and behaviours of workers are evolving, and we need to pay attention,” Turpin said.

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