Essay: Work-life balance initiatives and strategies

Sample Essay

WBL issue has become very significant in most of United States’ companies. However, companies in Australia and other Pacific Rim countries are showing slow progress in this respect (Mcshane & Travaglione, 2004). But the good thing is that some Australian companies have started to pay more attention toward this aspect and realized its importance as an effective organizational tool for releasing the stress on the employees and improving their performance. Mcshane & Travaglione (2004) suggested the following five most important WLB initiatives which proved to be very effective in the United States and many other foreign organizations to improve work/life balance.

Flexible work time

It is very helpful and effective tool to improve WLB, if employers allow the flexible timing of work to their employees. This flexibility should be in the hours and days’ term like employee can do some part of their work at office and rest of the job can be completed at home.  Internet can play as a helpful tool to implement this program successfully. This is very help to release the stress from employees and provide them an opportunity to relax and do their work by sitting in homes comfortably.  However, there are limited amount of jobs where this toll is helpful like the job of a person who does most of its work online.

Job sharing

In this tool, the job is actually divided between two employees and they cooperate to help out each other and try to minimize the stress related to time and work goes uninterrupted as well.

Telecommuting

It is also emerging as one of the important WLB initiatives based on information technology, where employee can work from home. But there are certain issues like lack of trust between employers and employee, and sense of loss of control by the employer in this technique (Harrington & Ruppel, 1999). However, these issues can be resolved by the mutual effort of both the parties.

Personal leave programs

Paid maternity leaves to mothers as provided by many countries like US, New Zealand and Australia almost 16 weeks is also a good step to improve work life balance (Satterfield, 2001). Such types of personal leaves are normally given to employees to take care of their elderly parents and infants etc.

Children facilities

This is another initiative by good companies to help out the parents to bring their small babies with them and can keep an eye on them while doing their office work. Parents have the facility to have meals like lunch with their children and enjoy the company of each other. This facility is available to almost 24% of US employees as compared to 9% to Australian employees (Dyson, 1999). This practice helped to provide emotional satisfaction to employees by providing them an opportunity to spend time together with their family.

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