Resources

Policy Ideas – Work-Life Balance

How Returning to Work is Good for Your Health

The Institute for Work and Health underwent a systematic review of research looking at the impact of returning to work after an illness or injury.  The research leans towards better health outcomes when employees return to work–and the earlier the better.  The challenge is finding the right balance.  To learn more about this study, click [...]

Encourage Employees to Use ALL Their Vacation Days

It is getting more difficult to find employees who would say that they don’t experience any stress in their work lives.  Taking time away from work allows us to recharge our batteries, regain some balance and return to work re-energized. Expedia.ca conducted a survey with Canadian workers looking at vacation deprivation.  According to the results, [...]

Explore the Feasibility of Telecommuting (a.k.a Telework)

With technology comes opportunities to do our work differently.  Some workplaces are moving toward having their employees work from home.  Depending on what line of business your workplace is in, think about the pros and cons of telecommuting (a.k.a. telework).  To start the “pro” list, check out the list below taken from an article in [...]

Supporting Employees in Balancing Work and Caregiving

Family status is a protected ground under human rights legislation so it is important for employers to consider what accommodations might be required.  The Canadian Human Rights Commission has produced “A Guide to Balancing Work and Caregiving Obligations.”  Be sure to check it out. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Be Open to Where and How Work Happens

The Government of Canada, through the Public Works and Government Services department, has been looking at what the physical workplace of the 21st century needs to be.  They call their initiative Workplace 2.0 and it looks at how to use today’s technologies into our work and our work environments.  Click here to learn more. New [...]

The Law and Return to Work Plans: Supporting Employees with Mental Illness

On November 6, about 100 workplace representatives attended a session hosted by the Peterborough Health at Work Committee and the Peterborough Chapter of HRPA.  Dr. Martin Shain provided a good background on the legal issues around mental health in the workplace.  With seven areas of law influencing a workplace’s duty to provide a psychologically safe [...]

Family Friendly Workplaces

Is your workplace family-friendly? Check out the August 2013 issue of the Health at Work e-Bulletin to see if there is one new family friendly initiative that you might want to introduce into your workplace. Source: Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Dealing with Mental Health in the Workplace: Are you ready?

Only one in four employees feel their supervisor handles mental health issues well and only 56% of managers say they have received any training on mental health.    These are only two of the interesting findings you can find in a report produced by the Conference Board of Canada. In June 2011, they released the [...]

Aging Workforce – Local Project

Over two years ago, the Workforce Development Board, Trent University and the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education partnered up to take a local look at the aging workforce.  The research involved talking with older workers as well as employers.  The following reports have been generated: Older Worker Stories Project – Final Report Summary of Older [...]

Flexible Scheduling that Encourages Exercise

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees have [...]

Prohibit Excessive Overtime

Excessive or mandatory overtime may only worsen the potentially negative effects of working late into the night or evening.  Make sure that your workplace policies don’t inadvertently urge employees to work during times at which they aren’t scheduled to do so. Source:  Brant  County Health Unit

Place a Limit on Employees’ “Homework”

If your employees regularly take work-related assignments home in the evening to complete during their time off, chances are they’re taking time away from other activities and family time that make up a balanced life.  Considering feedback from employees, create a policy that establishes guidelines for the amount of time that employees should spend on [...]

Enact Flexible Scheduling Options

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity, personal appointments, family obligations, stress relievers, or other pleasurable activities.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within [...]

Flexible Schedules Allow for Counselling

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to attend substance misuse programming or counselling sessions as needed.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees are able [...]

Coming Down with Something? Get Some Rest—Away from the Workplace

Encourage employees to take a “sick day” and stay at home when they’re feeling ill.  This will help prevent the spread of colds and other illnesses from one employee to another, reducing the total number of sick employees and the amount of lost work time.  Additionally, consider encouraging employees who are parents to stay at [...]

Take-Home Food Options

Work with cafeteria staff to implement a take-home dinner option from the food that did not sell during the lunch hour.  Recognizing that families are stressed for time, healthy pre-packaged meals (refrigerated if needed) that are quick to grab could be sold to employees to take home to their families. Or, prepare bagged lunch options [...]

Family Benefits

Consider providing flexible, family-oriented benefit packages that can be reassessed based upon family life situations. For example, parents could select different options based on the age of their child(ren), such as opting for orthodontic coverage for braces or day care coverage if children are young. Source: Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Provide Breastfeeding Support

Facilitate breastfeeding or breast milk expression in the workplace by providing private rooms, milk storage arrangements, adequate breaks during the day, flexible work schedules, and on-site child care facilities. For more detailed information about why you need to support breastfeeding employees, including policy ideas, check out this publication from the Ontario Public Health Association: http://www.opha.on.ca/resources/docs/BreastfeedingFriendlyWorkplace-Sep08.pdf The [...]

Create a Flex-Time, or Adjusted Work Day Policy

Employees whose work schedules are more compatible with the demands and responsibilities that they face outside the workplace are better equipped to balance work and home.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established [...]