Introduction Work-life balance (WLB) refers to the harmonisation of one’s professional and personal roles. A growing body of research suggests that this conflict may be associated with various mental and physical health problems. An increasing number of organisations are implementing measures to promote WLB, but the effects of these on workers’ health are not well known. Implemented in 2008, the voluntary Healthy Enterprise Standard (HES) targets four intervention areas, including one to promote WLB. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of HES implementation on workers’ WLB and their self-rated health.
Methods This was an intervention study with a before-after design derived from secondary data. Organisations adopted the standard of their own initiative and were responsible for implementing interventions. All active employees were solicited to participate before (T1, n=2849) and 24–38 months (T2, n=2560) following the standard’s implementation. At both time points, participants completed a questionnaire. WLB was measured using one item evaluating participants’ ability to maintain balance in their professional and personal responsibilities. Self-rated health was assessed using a validated self-report item. Exposure to the WLB intervention area was determined by qualitative analyses.
Result The overall results show a deterioration of WLB for both women and men from T1 to T2. Of the two organisations that implemented specific interventions to promote WLB, only one implemented recognised interventions (flexible schedule and telecommute). In this organisation, a slight improvement in WLB was observed for men and especially for women. However, an increase in the prevalence of negative self-rated health was also observed in both sexes.
Discussion These results suggest that workplace interventions implementing recognised and specific measures to promote workers’ WLB may be effective. The results of this study illustrate the importance of implementing concrete and recognised interventions in this field.
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