The Home Depot’s inverted pyramid of stakeholder importance with the customers and then associates’ interests being the highest priority suggests that the company should promote work-life balance among its employees. Indeed, Arthur Blank – one of the organization’s co-founders – claims that he has always sought to spend sufficient time with his family and has urged his followers to do the same (Schafer, 2018). Similarly, there are also attempts to promote the company as a place where employees can enjoy work-life balance. However, according to Akhtar (2020), The Home Depot ranked 17 among 25 large companies that operate in the U.S. in 2020 in terms of the practices that promote harmony between work and personal life. These findings suggest that there are certain improvements that the organization’s managers can introduce.
On the contrary, the company makes substantial efforts to improve worker efficiency. In this regard, all the associates receive timely and sufficient training, which allows them to complete the tasks faster and with minimum mistakes. Additionally, the company often invests in technological innovations which simplify the work and improve performance. For instance, The Home Depot developed a PocketGuide application that allows employees to check detailed product characteristics while being on the sales floor (The Home Depot, n.d.). This, in turn, promotes better customer service and, at the same time, serves as a training medium.
Yet, on the other hand, the company has certain issues that may lower the employee’s perception of having a work-life balance. For example, in my opinion, one of the major problems is the work schedule for part-time employees, who comprise a significant percentage of the frontline workers. As such, the company may require, for instance, 13 working hours one week and 30 hours the next week. This situation negatively affects both the ability to plan one’s time for a relatively long time ahead and the ability to plan the income. Moreover, home improvement is a seasonal business, which implies that full-time and part-time employees have to overwork quite often during the spring periods.
At the same time, there are also certain mental and cultural barriers that employees have which prevent them from embracing the harmony between work and personal life. For instance, one of such barriers is prioritizing work over other aspects of life. For this reason, people take on additional responsibilities, which leads to significant overworking. Similarly, many employees are unwilling to ask for leave due to personal reasons as they think that managers would not appreciate this type of behavior.
As for me, although the working hours in The Home Depot did not change significantly during the last years, my work has become easier due to technological advancement and emphasis on training. Such an approach coincides with the company’s values to prioritize the interest of workers over managers. However, it is fair to say that online communications with managers and coworkers increased during non-working time, which is not a good trend because work-related messages usually disturb other activities.
Thus, considering all the factors mentioned above, I think it is, first of all, crucial that the company leaders cultivate a culture that restricts work-related interactions during non-working hours. Moreover, it is important that the company reconsiders its part-time workers’ schedule policy and offer a more predictable timetable and salary. Finally, The Home Depot can initiate workshops that would teach employees how to effectively achieve the work-life balance.
Overall, the current paper identified the factors that promote or discourage The Home Depot employees from achieving a work-life balance. It was noticed that the amount of working hours has not changed during the last couple of years, but the amount of online interaction during the non-working hours has increased. Therefore, it was suggested that the company should cultivate a culture that restricts the latter behavior, create more stable schedules for the part-time employees, and conduct workshops that teach people to balance work and life.
Akhtar, A. (2020). 25 large companies that offer the best work-life balance, according to employees. Insider. Web.
Schafer, S. (2018). Work-life balance: A lesson from the Home Depot founder. Farm Journal. Web.
The Home Depot. (n.d.). Onboarding on the go: Mobile application enhances associate training. Web.