Work life management increases health and productivity in the workplace
Finding the right balance between work and personal life is not always easy. We live in a world dominated by pressure at work and where digitalisation always makes it possible for everyone to be reached everywhere, at all times.
That is why the Italian trade union FIRST-CISL launched a project, in January 2017, to explore how to intensify social dialogue in order to improve quality within the work environment. Project participants come from France, Spain, the UK, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, and a number of other countries. The project was carried out with financial from the European Commission, it will conclude with a meeting in Dublin in December 2018.
The project seeks to achieve two major goals: to protect workers against psychosocial risks and stress at work and to promote a balance between work, life and the family. In Europe, the cost of mental health problems is estimated to be between 3 and 4% of GDP, reflected in increased absence from work and growing presenteeism.
In Europe, the cost of mental health problems is estimated to be between 3 and 4% of GDP.
The EU-OSHA notes that around 50 to 60% of all lost working days have some link to work-related stress. The gender gap is also a major problem as women’s participation in the labour market remains below its potential in many EU countries due to a lack of options when it comes to reconciling work and family obligations.
Project participants have thoroughly explored the European legislative framework, regarding work life management issues and assessed a range of relevant documents relating to their respective countries, covering collective agreements, company agreements, studies, etc. enabling them to analyse and assess good practices, throughout Europe.
In two training sessions, organised by the project, attendees shared their knowledge and experiences on key work/life balance issues. The training programme has also sought to increase participants capacity to engage in social dialogue around core work/life issues, such as addressing mental health issues within the workplace. The project also forwarded a questionnaire to participating countries in order to gather more information on the variety of needs, when it comes to work life management.
The project plans to construct a European network on work life management issues and disseminate the good practices discovered through a publication. A comprehensive document has been made available to the project participants to help achieve this goal. A final document is expected to be disseminated at the final December meeting. The aim being to promote good practices to as wide an audience as possible.
For Eurocadres, quality of working life and psychosocial health risks are priority issues.
For Eurocadres, quality of working life and psychosocial health risks are priority issues. Professionals and managers have a key role to play in pursuing trade union goals such as corporate social responsibility, gender equality and occupational health and safety. The project is a good illustration of good practices on a European level.
Project documents can be viewed here.