We are a small company (30 ppl). We are a software provider in a B2B mode, with our largest team being comprised of exempt customer service reps. This is not a call center environment. Our calls may take 5 minutes to resolve, or 5 days to resolve. Our average salary for these positions is > $50k. All of these folks travel to perform conversions, training, etc. That's just background to try to establish that I think of us all as professionals, and that we don't really have 'entry level' positions, and that our customers really rely on us.
So the question: what does work life balance mean? To me, it means not consistently requiring or expecting our associates to work evenings and weekends. Sometimes, that is necessary but it is not the norm.
To our associates, or some of them at least, work life balance means working less than 40 hours. Working less than the number of hours they were hired to work. Not shifting hours to hit the 40, but reducing hours to be able to tend to non-work life items. Requests have been made recently, always couched in the "work life balance". Those requests may result in the associate saying "and therefore I need to work 26 hours per week."
My reaction to that, internally, is: you were hired to work a full time job; you're asking me to 1. create a part time job when I don't really need a part time person; 2. you will need to take a pay cut, and one that is greater than simply taking annual / 2080 * new number of hours b/c you're not available to me to work as an exempt person would and you cannot travel; 3. you've put me in a bind if I accommodate this because I now need to go hire another full time person when I really just need a full time person; 4. the hours you want / can work don't sync up with the hours that we need someone here.
Am I off on my thoughts on work-life? Or does it actually mean something closer to same pay, fewer hours (less than 40)?