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What do you do on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

What do you do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, read the Sunday paper of course!

And this week end once I reminisced over the contribution the ANZACS made to Australian history and then ploughed through the analysis of the Melbourne Storm debacle, I found an article called: ‘We’d pay to do less work.’

As usual, the attention grabbing headline, didn’t really match the substance of the story. The article described the results from a work/life study of 1360 Aussies by the Australia Institute.

I wouldn’t have thought that 1360 was a significant number to indicate a definite trend amongst employees in Australia. Nevertheless, I hope you are sitting down because the findings will blow you away (insert sarcastic tone).

It found 60% of respondents who work more than 40 hours want to work less and play more “even though their incomes would be lower.”

It was also discovered that 28% of respondents were not satisfied with their work/life balance.

And finally, the Executive Director of the Australian Institute, Richard Denniss said, “Most employees think it’s them that do the giving and their employers do the taking.”

I really hope that this was not a tax payer funded survey, as there is nothing new here!

The article has neither shed light on the challenge of work/life balance nor presented any solutions. It just added further evidence that employees and employers lack balance.

Mr Denniss did make one powerful statement: “We need a national conversation about what work is doing to our health and to our families.” And I couldn’t agree more.

I would love Mr Rudd, Mr Abbott and their respective teams to sit down and discuss how we can ensure both employers and employees can work together to ensure business doesn’t suffer while maintaining positive family relationships. If they could fix this, it could well cost way less than the current health reform agenda.

Is that too deep for my blogs?

Well maybe?

So moving along.

Have a conversation with your staff about what work is doing to their health and their family.

You will be able to develop key strategies and maybe uncover some great opportunities. If you can improve the balance after knowing how they feel, the result could well increase productivity. This simple conversation could well improve your staff retention.

Showing you care about staff beyond what they do for you between 9 and 5, shows you care about them as a person. It shows that they are truly your best asset as you really look after them.

According to Marcus Buckingham in his book  ‘First Break All The Rules’ this is just one of the 12 key components to keeping staff – show you care about your staff as a person.

What do you think?

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Justin Tamsett

Justin Tamsett

Justin is Australia’s leading fitness business management consultant. He’s worked in the industry since 1989, as a personal trainer, sales manager and health club owner. He understands the pressure that SME business owners and managers sometimes put themselves under. He’s been there and done that and now suffers from a stress-induced chronic illness! In his blog he’ll share his tips on how to stay healthy, productive and happy at work and at home, whether you’re a couch potato or a gym bunny. Follow him on Twitter @JTActiveMgmt or check out his personal blog www.JustinTamsett.com

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