I googled “work-life balance productivity” and checked out some of the first 10 links.
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Far from jeopardizing productivity, flexible working arrangements and other measures to improve work-life balance motivate staff and boost efficiency, corporate executives told a seminar in Hong Kong on Wednesday… In Hong Kong, a survey by local non-profit organization Community Business, found that employees work an average 51 hours a week — 25 percent higher than the maximum working hours set by the International Labour organization. A third of respondents said their productivity was being affected by long hours while 31 percent said long hours were causing health problems. Companies that don’t provide a more attractive work environment will lose out, executives said.
“In Hong Kong there’s a cultural challenge because people believe that if they’re working long hours they’re working hard,” he said. Executives said that was true of Asia generally. In any country work-life balance policies had a better chance of success if senior management took the lead, they said.
Many organizations regard work-life benefits as an investment designed, among other things, to attract and retain talent. How do such benefits affect productivity for the individuals, the company, and society?
Management Practices, Work-Life Balance and Productivity: A Review of Some Recent Evidence (only the Abstract is free for this though)
First, WLB outcomes are significantly associated with better management, so that well-run firms are both more productive and offer better conditions for their employees. Second, tougher competition increases average management quality but does not negatively affect employees’ working environment. As with many other studies, better WLB practices are associated with significantly higher productivity. This relationship disappears, however, after controlling for the overall quality of management.
From the conclusion of Work-life balance, employee engagement and discretionary effort: A review of the evidence (haven’t read the entire 34-page document though)
This report argues that organisations which encourage work-life balance in principle and in practice will reap the benefits of increased employee engagement, discretionary effort and therefore productivity. A strategy to encourage work-life balance or a series of work-life initiatives is not sufficient to increase discretionary effort and employee engagement. Work-life balance must be supported and encouraged at all levels of the organisation, including senior management, line managers and all staff.
Building an organisational culture which supports work-life balance is a long-term process for large organisations. It involves changing the way people think and talk about their work and about work-life balance so that using flexible working options and other work-life initiatives becomes accepted and normal for everyone regardless of their gender, seniority within the organisation or personal commitments.
Only 16 percent of employees are satisfied with their organization’s work-life practices. Nearly a third of workers are skimping on work to meet personal commitments.
And speaking of skimping… Most employees who call in “sick” are lying. In the survey conducted, two-thirds of U.S. who call in sick aren’t actually sick.