Slideshow 5 ways Facebook, Virgin, Yahoo encourage work-life balance

Published
  • April 27 2015, 9:24am EDT
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Of the 100 million employees in America, just 30% are actively engaged and getting their jobs done, according to Gallup. So how do companies engage the other 70 million? Executives at Virgin, Facebook, Yahoo and Gallup shared at a recent panel how they manage employee work-life balance, including working from home, e-mail after hours and paid time off.

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Virgin Group

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has worked from home since he was 22 and built many companies in the 42 years since. For “the vast majority of companies, trusting people to work from home is the right thing and if they don’t do their work, they no longer work for the company,” he said. “I feel if I can do it, other people should be able to do it.”

[Image: Bloomberg/file]

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Yahoo!

Two years ago, Yahoo ended allowing employees to work for home for a very specific purpose, said the company’s Chief Development Officer, Jackie Reses. “We wanted everybody on deck, focused, looking at innovation, collaboration and the benefit of peers to innovate and change Yahoo,” she said. “It is the right decision for Yahoo, where we were, where we are.”

[Image: Bloomberg/file]

The Huffington Post

For Arianna Huffington, the major issue for her company is predictable time off. At The Huffington Post, when employees finish the workday, they are not expected to be on e-mail. That way, they can be “fully present with their family.” The same policy applies if an employee is on vacation.

[Image: Bloomberg/file]

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Gallup

At Gallup, CEO Jim Clifton expects his chief of staff to be on e-mail 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “That’s the job she chose,” he said. That drew a strong response from Huffington. “Before the decade is over, no company can say my assistant is expecting to work 24/7,” she said. “I don’t expect people on my personal team to work seven days a week, this is unsustainable.”
“Things are changing, we are in an amazing period of transition,” she added. “You have companies [with a] new way of running the workforce, we have others who are not.”

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Facebook

Facebook has four months maternal and paternal paid leave within the child’s first year. Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, said they encourage employees, especially senior employees — both male and female — to take the leave. “People need to see the policy is not just on the book, but people take advantage of it,” she said. She added people have even been promoted while on leave.

[Image: Bloomberg/file]