Could there be a relation between stress, illness, absenteeism and the fact that we are essentially overworked? Of course, there is! And these days, many of us are a victim of being caught in this vicious cycle. Parents are desperately trying to juggle with their busy schedule and making time for everyone while responding to their high demanding jobs. Not enough vacation time or holidays combined with thriving for a better balance work/family life has become a challenge or really, a concern.

Let’s analyze what could be some great alternatives to help employees and employers dealing with this new reality.

Reorganizing work schedules 

The 8 hours work schedule per day or 40 hours per week has been adopted in the United States of America since late 19th Century. It has stayed as the norm since then and most workers while mostly confined to an office or workplace all day, can access freely review their emails outside of work. This freedom is possible because of the advanced technology such as laptops or smartphones.

Now, it is fair to think that this technology revolution could help improve productivity and managing work and family life better. However, it is quite the opposite. The opportunity of working from home and over time has caused many to live a more stressful life. It has increased the number of burnouts while also causing an increase in dissatisfaction of the clients’ everyone works so hard to try to keep.

Many firms have now started to help with that matter. Companies such as Google and Hubspot offer child care on site or the possibility of unlimited vacation time. These new benefits can greatly improve the stress caused in the worker’s life. It can also reduce the amount of hours spent away from home, trying to fit all obligations in. Many other companies introduce flexible schedules and the opportunity to telecommute when possible as well.

Changing the traditional work week from 40 hours to 35, for example, can be very worrisome for many employers. They are afraid that the more they give to their employees, the more they will take and possibly end up being less productive. They notice a positive impact all the way around. People are happier and performing better when they are trusted with their schedule, reducing the overall employees’ turnover within the company.

There is even a brokerage firm in New York, called Betterment that has introduced total freedom policy to their employees. Their new policy includes no set schedule, no limited time off and no specific work location. How is that working for them? Apparently, very well! They are retaining their valuable employees, and people are happier and more productive than ever. Their biggest fear of employees abusing this new policy could not be further from the truth.

So, remember, never accepts what has been anchored for years. Everything is negotiable. A 40 hours schedule does not have to be what works for you if it does fit your goals and family life. Workers and employers can both benefit from rethinking their offers and demands.

Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital. As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki. Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or

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