• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Flexible work regime: A key to achieving work-life balance in Nigeria

Flexible work regime: A key to achieving work-life balance in Nigeria

In recent years, the concept of work-life balance has gained increasing prominence as individuals strive to maintain equilibrium between their professional commitments and personal lives. In Nigeria, where the demands of work often overshadow other aspects of life, the adoption of a flexible work regime emerges as a crucial solution to address this imbalance. Flexible work arrangements, encompassing options such as remote work, flexible or hybrid man hours, and compressed workweeks, offer employees the autonomy and flexibility to manage their work responsibilities while attending to personal and familial obligations.

The traditional nine-to-five work model, ingrained in Nigeria’s corporate culture, has long been the standard framework for employment. However, this rigid structure often poses a challenge for employees grappling with lengthy commutes, family responsibilities, and other personal commitments. The result is a pervasive sense of burnout, stress, and dissatisfaction among workers, ultimately hindering productivity and overall well-being. Recognising the need for change, forward-thinking organisations in Nigeria are increasingly embracing flexible work arrangements to enhance employee satisfaction, retention, and performance. By affording employees greater control over their work schedules and locations, companies can accommodate diverse needs and preferences, fostering a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

Remote work has emerged as a transformative option in the wake of technological advancements and the global shift towards digitalization. With reliable internet connectivity and communication tools, employees can effectively carry out their duties from the comfort of their homes or other remote locations. This not only eliminates the constraints of traditional office settings but also promotes greater work-life balance by reducing commute time and enhancing flexibility. Furthermore, flexible work hours allow employees to align their work schedules with their peak productivity periods and personal commitments. Whether it involves starting and ending the workday at non-traditional hours or adopting a compressed workweek schedule, such arrangements empower individuals to better manage their time and energy, leading to improved efficiency and job satisfaction.

Flexible work isn’t just a game-changer for individuals; it’s a win-win for families and communities too! Parents are the real MVPs, gaining the superpower to juggle work and family like pros. With flexible hours, they’re not just clocking in; they’re clocking in quality time with their kids, building stronger bonds, and nurturing all-round growth. But there’s more! Flexible work isn’t just about making life easier for families; it’s also a superhero in the fight against traffic jams and carbon emissions. By giving employees the freedom to work remotely or adjust their schedules, organisations are saving the planet, one commute at a time. It’s a win for the environment and a win for everyone’s sanity.

Embracing the power of flexibility makes the world a better place—for families, for communities, and for Mother Earth. Despite the clear advantages of flexible work arrangements, challenges remain in implementing and institutionalising these practices in Nigeria. Cultural norms, organisational resistance, technological barriers, and concerns about productivity and accountability are among the obstacles that must be addressed to facilitate widespread adoption. To overcome these challenges, concerted efforts are needed from policymakers, employers, employees, and other stakeholders. Governments can play a pivotal role by enacting supportive legislation, providing incentives for organisations to adopt flexible work policies, and investing in infrastructure to enable remote work capabilities.

Employers, on the other hand, must embrace a cultural shift towards trust, autonomy, and results-based performance evaluations. By fostering a culture of accountability and empowering employees to take ownership of their work, organisations can cultivate a positive and inclusive work environment conducive to flexible arrangements. Employees, too, have a role to play in advocating for flexible work options and demonstrating their value through productivity and performance. By communicating their needs and preferences to employers and showcasing the benefits of flexible work arrangements, individuals can drive positive change within their organisations.

In conclusion, the adoption of a flexible work regime holds immense potential to enhance work-life balance, promote good health and wellbeing, human resource productivity, and overall public health in Nigeria. By embracing remote work, flexible hours, and other alternative arrangements, organisations can empower employees to thrive both personally and professionally. As Nigeria navigates the challenges of a rapidly evolving global economy, flexible work practices offer a pathway towards a more sustainable, equitable, and fulfilling future for all, in line with the SDG agenda.

Michael Fasina is the Research Assistant at the Institute for Work and Family Integration, Lagos.