It is no overstatement to say that without energy and a healthy work-life balance, you will not be able to perform as effectively and do the best job possible. It may sound like common sense, yet it is something we need to remind ourselves and our people about.
The business case
The business case for a healthy work-life balance is simple and easy to argue. Vitality is key to productivity and exceptional client service. There are three further areas where it can have a profound impact: quality of work produced; extending and supporting career longevity; and attracting new talent.
Productivity and quality of work go hand in hand, and both are proven to increase when employees are healthy and focused. Quality of work also has a strong correlation to employees who are well-rested. Auditing, for example, is a detail-orientated and insight-driven profession where many decisions depend on the judgment of an individual.
In any profession, a sleep-deprived individual who has been working long hours is less likely to make the right call, and these decisions can, at times, be business critical. Similarly, the risk of burnout is a significant concern in these times, meaning that careers can be cut short and individuals put off entering some professions.
At EY, we are working to make sure that the concept of vitality is embedded into team structures and reflected in the culture, and that this in turn is translated appropriately across global markets. The EY organization is partway through the journey and in no way has the magic solution been found, but conscious steps have been taken toward promoting vitality.
These steps include:
- developing a vitality framework incorporating a range of factors to drive change and deliver on the work-life balance expectations of EY professionals
- taking a neuroscience approach to understanding how and when the brain works most effectively and what we can all do to make small but impactful changes
- changing the day-to-day experience through discussions with engagement teams
This is not a one-off project but a constantly evolving exercise to instill vitality into the EY corporate DNA.