Work. Life. Balance. Three little words our candidates LOVE to hear… 

The Pursuit of Happiness hit screens in 2007 and many of the morals of the story still stand – ‘don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something’ and ‘if you want something, go get it, period.” Our superstar job hunters are on a pursuit for balance (and ultimately, happiness) when it comes to work and home life. As someone who’s worked every unsociable hour there is, who’s missed friends’ birthdays, family parties and concerts in exchange for a 2am cash up in a windowless office…with a broken fan…I often pondered work life balance. Fast forward to the current day &  Sixty Eight is on a mission to help everyone find their own… Whatever that might look like. 

During Covid, valuable lessons were learnt. We saw what it was like to have more time at home and less time at work. Some people have even argued for rearranging the sentence “work life balance’ to ‘life work balance’.. Emphasis on life before work. And honestly, I’m here for it.  

Work life balance isn’t just about how many hours you work, it’s about how you genuinely recharge your batteries. One of the biggest ways my superstar job hunters could achieve more balance is having their rota early. Earlier enough for you to plan your life around – simple yet effective! Balance is also having time to completely switch off from work. Setting boundaries on contacting people during their down time also plays a key role here. If someone is off, let them be off.

Increasingly, I’m having this conversation with employers. I got you. A lack of balance is one of the most popular reasons we are seeing amazing people leave our industry. The onus is on employers to deliver a sustainable, realistic balance, tailored to their teams. Without a doubt, employers find it difficult to achieve, but there are people out there leading the charge and breaking the mold all in the name of the pursuit for balance.

A LOT of employers are keen to prevent you from missing out. A few stand out ways they’re trying to help include: 

  • Reduced shift patterns which means you’re only on-site 4 days of the week
  • An agreed amount of weekly hours & dedication from the leadership team that you won’t do more 
  • Discounted wellness programmes, encourage healthy ways to switch off in your downtime
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity – some employers even offer “pawternity” leave for new four-legged friends 
  • They don’t just let you take your birthday off but purposefully check in before producing rotas to be sure to give you time to enjoy family birthdays and special occasions 

We launched CLASSOF68, our brand new hospitality training division recently & I got speaking to Toby Wilson, Director of People Operations, Foodomnia who shared his thoughts on working too many hours and how we need to change perceptions…

We can’t glamourise that person who did 70 hours a week, you know when we were younger we used to wear it with a badge of honor. We should be glamorising that this person had two days off and they haven’t been contacted or this person wants a weekend off because they’re going to a sporting event.”

Equally, Joseph Andrew, Head of People for Yotel believes…

“…getting that work life balance right and having time with their families outside of work” is one of the hospitality industry’s biggest challenges… 

Seems like we’re all in pursuit (and working towards) the same thing… happiness!  I’m pleased to say most employers get it. Life, work, and balance is important to them too. Happy teams = happy guests = happy businesses! They can’t wait to tell me about their culture & flexible work approach. 

Here’s a few types of “balance” our superstars have been looking for, sound familiar…

  • Rotas in advance, with enough notice to plan life outside of work 
  • No AFDs 
  • Flexible hours to pick up kids
  • Work from home admin days
  • Not working every weekend, and yep – not closing every Saturday. 
  • Access to wages early 
  • Boundaries being respected – this is a BIGGIE making it company policy that if someone isn’t working, they aren’t contacted so they can completely switch off, relax and recharge 
  • Having time each and every day to disconnect from work and connect to your life outside of it

If any of the above hits home & you’re sat reading this thinking ‘I’d have a bit of that’ then we encourage you to chat to your employer and see what steps they can take to support you in your quest for balance. We think you’ll be surprised at how happy they are to jump on board…