Essay: Background of work-life balance issue

Essay: Background of work-life balance issue
April 14, 2011 Comments Off on Essay: Background of work-life balance issue Academic Papers on Business Studies,Sample Academic Papers admin

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Work-life balance means that employees should have enough time available to them so that they can take proper rest and participate in the joys and worries of their families besides discharging their professional duties (Mcshane & Travaglione, 2004). This is very necessary for the physical and mental health of the employees. To understand it well, it is necessary to see the opposite of it i.e. work/life conflict. Work life conflict can be defined as the conflict of roles of employee due to contrasting demands from all the stake holders like family, children’s and employer. In such situations, fulfilling one demand means leaving the other unsatisfied (Cieri, Holmes, & Pattit, 2002).

Work life conflict gets sever when the time requirements of work and family life are equal and conflicting with each other. Suppose an American soldier deputed in Afghanistan is facing some problem at home back in the US because of his long absence from his home. His wife becomes interested in some other guy and his children lose interest in studies. He has filed a reference in court for taking divorce and his attorney wants that he should be in the US for successful proceedings of his case. This entire situation demands that he should be in the US to tackle all these problems. But he cannot quit his job because he also needs money to pay his all kinds of bills and his attorney fee. There are many examples like this in the United States in present times and in other countries as well. The ultimate impact of such type of situations is that the motivation level of employees lowers down and productivity of organization suffers, particularly in the commercial sector (Higgins, 2001). Normally, these conflicts appear in three different forms which are: the role overload (employee has to face a lot of workload), family to work meddling and work to family prying (Higgins, 2001). In the family to work meddling situation, urgent family needs come in the way of work like marriage of brother or accidents or death of some close relative. In the case of work to family prying, there is increasing demand of time by his /her job that he/she can’t give proper time to his family. The WLB became a hot issue, particularly in Canada in the decade of 1990s because of high competition from all over the world and technological advancements diminished the boundaries between the work and family (Higgins, 2001). In all these imbalance situations, employees come under pressure and feel helpless as they cannot quit their job and at the same time, they don’t want to lose their family. This work life conflict proved to be hostile for both the employees and organizations. From employee’s perspective, it is observed that there is a sharp increase in the level absenteeism, lower level of motivation, decrease in commitment to their work, fall in health, rise in medical leaves and psychological problems (Higgins, 2001). Suppose, if some parents are working in a company where the job requirements are stringent and long sitting is a normal routine, it become very difficult for them to take care of their kids properly and for those employees who are not parents, they are very concerned about having babies. It is one of the many reasons why there are so many late marriages and late pregnancies in the modern world.

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