The Concept Of Work Life Balance Social Work Essay


The construct of work-life balance has now become Centre of attending for about all companies, political establishments, research establishments, households, persons and trade brotherhoods at both national and international degree. Work life balance is an of import subject in human resource direction that means to unite work and life in a manner, that both are accomplishable. Work life balance is by and large related to function overload, clip direction, clip force per unit area, occupation satisfaction, occupation emphasis, organisational committedness, life satisfaction, turnover, public assistance, societal security, working clip, flexibleness, household, birthrate, ( un ) employment, migration, ingestion, demographic alterations, leisure clip and so on.

In this paper, work agencies paid work i.e. a individual earns money by supplying his/her services to the organisation. Both work household balance and work life balance is same thing. Furthermore, work life struggle and work household struggle are used interchangeably. We will discourse some relevant definitions, its importance in organisation and in life of single, ancestors and effects of work life struggle, factors which help in making work life balance, advantages of work life balance, cost of implementing its policies, some findings from literature, our recommendations and deductions and in the terminal decision. From our literature we try to happen some quantitative informations about status of work life balance in different states but we were non able to acquire it.

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”There ‘s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life picks, and you make them, and they have effects ” , stated by Jack Welsh, former General Electric ‘s CEO and all-around concern guru ( Khallash & A ; Kruse, 2012, p.

682 ) . The two most of import spheres of an person ‘s life are work and household and their interface has become Centres of attending in the past two decennaries for research workers in the field of human resource direction world-wide. The altering societal constructions originating out of double calling twosomes, individual parent households, globalisation, alterations in the demands and forms of work, an increasing figure of parents with kids attention duties, increasing figure of adult females work force and ageing parents all have contributed to intensifying research in the country of work life balance. There is a demand to incorporate and equilibrate household and calling demands otherwise work life balance is in hazard as a individual is unable to execute his functions due to tiredness from work or household duties hamper concentration at work ( McCarthy et al. , 2010 ; Valk & A ; Srinivasan, 2011 ) . Work life struggle is opposite of work life balance, that can be either related to strain-based or time-based struggles between work and life. There are two conflicting countries: ( 1 ) how work impacts on household life i.

e. work-to-family struggle and ( 2 ) how household life impacts on work i.e. family-to-work struggle.

But the net impact is same and that is Work life instability or struggle. Work-life balance is non chiefly a adult females ‘s issue as the rules every bit apply to work forces ( Pichler, 2008 ; Crompton & A ; Lyonette, 2006 ) . This construct extremely aims to promote employees to follow flexible working agreements that can assist them to accomplish balance between their professional and private life.

History of Work-Life Balance

In 1986, the term “ Work-Life Balance ” was foremost identified, but it ‘s usage in mundane linguistic communication was still sporadic for a certain figure of old ages.

Although, interestingly work-life plans existed in early old ages such as 1930, but people did non acknowledge them. Before the Second World War, the W.K. Kellogg Company created some flexible work hr displacements for their employees who replaced the traditional day-to-day working hours, and the new displacement resulted in increased employee efficiency and morale. In 1977, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, for the first clip in his influential book, Work and Family in the United States: A Critical Review and Agenda for Research and Policy, raised the issue of Work-Life Balance and brought it to the head of organisations and research. This construct forces organisations to follow work-family friendly environment. Therefore, in the 1980s and 1990 ‘s, some organisations began to offer work-life plans who aimed to advance balance work-life.

The first moving ridges of these plans were chiefly to back up adult females with kids ( Brough et al. , 2008 ) . Now-a-days, many work-life plans have been introduced which are less gender particular and place other duties every bit good as those of household.

Definitions of Work-Life Balance

Now-a-days, the construct of Work-Life Balance is non new ; because of its importance it has been discussed extensively. It has been conceptualized as an person ‘s orientation across assorted life functions and inter functions phenomenon. Different bookmans have given different positions on how they perceive the construct of WLB. Some of the of import definitions are: ( 1 ) Kofodimos has defined it as ‘a satisfying, healthy and productive life that includes work, drama and love, that integrates a scope of life activities with attending to self and to personal and religious development, and that expresses a individual ‘s alone wants, involvements, and values ‘ ( Valk & A ; Srinivasan, 2011, p.

40 ) . ( 2 ) Kirchmeyer has viewed Work-Life Balance as ‘achieving fulfilling experiences in all life spheres, and to make so necessitate personal resources such as energy, clip, and committedness to be good distributed across spheres ‘ ( Greenhaus et al. , 2003, p. 512 ) .

( 3 ) Clark positions work life balance as ‘satisfaction and good operation at work and at place with a lower limit of function struggle ‘ ( Greenhaus et al. , 2003, p. 512 ) . ( 4 ) ‘Work life balance is the term used to depict the organisational enterprises aimed at heightening employee experience of work and non-work spheres ‘ ( Darcy et al. , 2012, p. 112 ) .

( 5 ) ‘Work life balance is experienced when demands from the sphere of work are compatible with demands from other spheres, e.g. household ‘ ( Pichler, 2008, p. 3 ) . These definitions portion figure of common elements for illustration ; all highlights the balance between work and non-work spheres and equality of inputs and results.

On the other manus, work life struggle is ‘a signifier of inter function struggle in which the demands of work and household functions are incompatible in some regard so that engagement in one function is more hard because of engagement in the other function ‘ ( Voydanoff, 2004, p. 399 ) . In short, work life struggle is conflict between work and household duties.

Significance of Work-Life Balance

Literature has shown that construct of Work-Life Balance is deserving for treatment as it aims to make a balanced work-life. Work life balance is going an of import issue as people trades with shriveling workplace and clip force per unit area. Many surveies have highlighted that work-life enterprises offer a win-win state of affairs to both employees and employers and affect concern advancement and public presentation in many ways as bettering work life balance patterns increase productiveness, employee wellbeing, reduces costs, lead to better keeping and enlisting and better motive and morale for employees ( Maxwell, 2005 ) .

Assorted theories have revealed that work life balance policies try to minimise emphasis and add to a healthier and safer work environment. Work life balance has been associated with greater employee committedness, occupation satisfaction and organisational citizenship behaviour and its policies are good for persons, their households, physical wellness, mental wellness, relationships, creativeness, organisations, and society ( Brough et al. , 2008 & A ; Grzywacz & A ; Carlson, 2007 ) . Employees expect their employers to acknowledge that in add-on to occupation they besides have a life that includes their household, friends and societal assemblage. Surveies have shown that a work force that is out of balance faces emphasis and dissatisfaction which reduces household and work battle. Work life balance issues are one of the chief grounds which forces workers to discontinue their occupations. Therefore, work life balance is an of import and progressively hot subject because it ‘s about bettering people ‘s quality of life and aims to widen entree to career chances and paid employment.

Firm size is besides the following best forecaster of the presence of work life balance policies ; because its size affects the extent and type of work life balance policies a house can offer. Large companies are more likely to offer longer and paid parental leave and flexible working hours ( Beauregard & A ; Henry, 2009 ; Kucharova, 2009 ) . In short, houses have recognized that making a balanced work and household life of employees is the lone solution of all jobs. Now, senior direction has become more proactive about their employees wellness and they are presenting and implementing work life schemes.


There is no as such one measuring tool for work life balance in literature. But most widely used tool is questionnaire and studies. Most companies do questionnaires and study to their employees to happen out how balanced is their work and life is.

One such questionnaire is discussed here. Employee has to choose one option and each option is assigned different point. Options were based on a 5-point evaluation graduated table that ranged from ne’er to ever. Questions are: I have come place from work excessively tired to make the jobs which need to be done? It has been hard for me to carry through my household duty because of the sum of clip I spend on my occupation? I have arrived at work excessively tired to work good because of the family work I had done? I have found it hard to concentrate at work because of my household duties? Keep worrying about work jobs when you are non working? Feel excessively tired after work to bask the things you would wish to make at place? Find that your occupation prevents you from giving the clip you want to your spouse or household? Find that your spouse or household gets fed up with the force per unit area of your occupation? If employee faces these jobs rather frequently it means he/she is confronting work life struggle ( Pichler, 2008 ) . Higher tonss indicate instability instead than balance of work and life. ( Other studies and questionnaires are mentioned in appendix ) .

Ancestors Which Cause Imbalance Work-Life

In many researches both work forces and adult females has reported that they face troubles in maintaining a balance between household and work life, hence, their lives suffer because of this instability. One of the chief grounds for this trouble is deficiency of support and aid from their better half or partner.

In add-on to this, work life ( im ) balance extremely depends upon on occupation function, project-based occupation and nature of industry. For illustration, project-based work with unpredictable work force per unit area and demand to present undertaking systematically with preset clip, frequently requires extended travel disturb household dealingss. Additional working hours and working outside normal hours at disbursal of place and household clip with high work strength and force per unit area may ensue in bad wellness, emphasis, anxiousness, weariness and adverse/unpleasant psycho-physiological effects that can hold awful affect on quality of household and work life. Some researches has indicated that despite of an overall diminution in hebdomadal working hours across Europe over the last decennary, the increased emphasis degree, insecurities and competition at work-place are considered to be extra factors which are relevant in making break of balance in life ( Valk & A ; Srinivasan, 2011 ; Pichler, 2008 ) . Literature has besides highlighted that fact that highest degree of emphasis occurs when occupation demands are high whereas work life balance patterns and policies are low. There are besides some barriers which restrict organisations to implement work life balance policies that are occupation demands, committedness and trueness, cultural values, and alteration ( Chiang et al. , 2010 ) .

Harmonizing to Voydanoff ( 2004 ) , work demands expected to be extremely associated with work-to-family struggles which are of two types i.e. clip based and strive based. Long paid working hours restrict an person ‘s clip that can be spent with friends and household.

This deficiency of clip may make troubles for employees in keeping household relationship and executing household orientated undertaking or responsibilities. Sometimes, strain-based demands ( occupation insecurity or concern over losing a occupation ) threaten the economic wellbeing that is necessary to quality of life and stableness. The emphasis related with occupation insecurity decreases interpersonal handiness and restricts effectual engagement in household life. Sometimes, household duties besides restricts individual to execute his/her work responsibilities efficaciously but researches have been more focussed on work to household struggle instead than household to work struggle.


Conflict between household and work has existent and deserving discussing effects which extensively affects quality of life and calling success for both adult females and work forces. Stressfulness, lower productiveness, low employee morale, decreased occupation satisfaction, absenteeism and illness are some common effects which are caused by work life struggle. The effects for adult females may consist serious calling picks and restraints, limited calling promotion chance and success in their work function and demand to take between an active satisfying calling or matrimony and kids. Most of the work forces face trade-off between calling and personal values when they tries to happen out ways to do double calling households work that frequently requires them to keep household functions that are far different and unfastened.

Other serious effects of instability work-life are alcohol-drug maltreatment, negative physical and mental wellness effects, poorer results for dependents and other family members, a lesser work part, a decline of societal citizenship and community engagement, depression, fiscal and matrimonial jobs, misgiving, tardiness, cheating and force in workplace, undertaking turning away, peculation, organisational sabotage, compulsive feeding upset and burnout ( Voydanoff, 2004 ; Pocock, 2005 ) . Because of these serious effects organisation faces with the chance of losing talented work forces and adult females who because of instability between work and life become unable to get by with double household and work demands. That is why ; organisations reconsider forces policies and outlooks.

Factors Which Help in Creating Work Life Balance

The function of social/family support and supervisor/co-worker support has systematically emerged in literature as an of import factor that influences work household balance in a positive mode. Social support includes support from an employee ‘s parents, siblings, partner or spouse, kids, friends and extended household.

Of peculiar importance is support from the partner who contributes in a assortment of countries including moral, domestic and childcare support, net incomes and personal fiscal direction, place and household duties, calling direction and interpersonal support. Family support besides includes the exchange of support among relations. The personal societal support can be farther conceptualized as emotional and instrumental support, therefore proposing that it positively influences the person ‘s operation at work. The function of workplace support, i.

e. , the support received from supervisors and colleagues is another critical component of work household balance. Organizational and supervisor apprehension of household responsibilities are positively related to satisfaction with the balance between work and household life. Workplace support via an organisational attack involves the execution of household friendly policies, which are associated with incorporating work and household duties and accomplishing a healthy work and household balance. Organizations offer a broad scope of work household benefits and plans to their employees ( these are discussed in appendix ) .

Through research it is found that flexible work agreements allow persons to keep a balanced life. There is besides importance of supportive supervisors, equals and co-workers in pull offing their work household balance. Literature recognizes that all of the above mentioned variables have a greater impact on adult females. An emerging class appeared to accomplish work life balance that is self-management or reinvention: reconsidering non merely the sort of work one wants to make but besides the sort of individual one wants to be and the forfeits one is prepared to do to turn into that new ego ( Valk & A ; Srinivasan, 2011 ; Wayne et al. , 2007 ; Voydanoff, 2004 ) . Communication about work life plans to employees and supplying proper resources and wagess to them besides contribute towards work life balance.

Advantages of Balanced Work and Life

Research workers are now concentrating on how household and work can profit each other and this construct is known as work life facilitation. This facilitation may take topographic point when addition from one sphere can be transferred to and bettering the operation in the other sphere.

Work life balance can function as a usher for organisations to turn to household work balance issues by redesigning the HR patterns and policies for easing household work balance. This will assist farther assist in enabling workers to be more committed to the organisation, execute better work, and contribute to growing of economic system and positive impact for society as whole ( Valk & A ; Srinivasan, 2011 ) . Work-Life plans promotes improve productiveness and employee committedness, lower rate of turnover, therefore consequence in fewer employee relation challenges and decreased likeliness of unethical concern patterns. Furthermore, execution of work life balance policies can ensue in less loss of cognition workers to rivals, decreased staff turnover, lower preparation and enlisting costs, reduced absenteeism, improved quality of workers, decrease in work emphasis, reduced usage of ill leave, high self-pride, assurance and trueness, better public presentation and high morale and satisfaction. Some critical benefits that employer additions from work life balance includes employees experience valuable and work harder, maximized available labour, more loyal and motivated work force, less nerve-racking workplace, high employee engagement, organisational effectivity and positive employee attitude and behaviour ( Beauregard & A ; Henry, 2009 ) . Work life promotes felicity and better dealingss among employees and employers.

Costss of Implementing Work Life Balance Policies

The cost of implementing work life balance policies is another critical issue which organisations take into history.

These costs include direct cost e.g. parental leave payments, child care subsidies, cost of excess infinite associated with increased installations like suckling suites or child care installations, supplying equipment to telecommuters and indirect costs such as temporarily registering absentee ‘s station and decrease in productiveness from impermanent breaks ( Darcy et al. , 2012 ; Brough et al. , 2008 ) . It has besides highlighted that director ‘s function plays a critical function in policy development and execution. Poor managers/supervisors accomplishments and behaviours in work life balance pattern can take to increase costs ( Maxwell, 2005 ) . Harmonizing to Roberts ( 2008 ) a decrease in worked hours is possibly the most obvious path for employees to better their work life balance despite the affiliated costs in footings of income, calling and position.

Managerial Implications/Recommendations

Based on feedback from household and colleague a individual can measure whether he/she carry throughing both household and work duties ( Grzywacz & A ; Carlson, 2007 ) . Work life balance support and patterns promotes a mean by which workers may change their work hours and status in a manner which can cut down emphasis. When employees enjoy high grade of freedom and flexibleness, sense of occupation control will increase, therefore relieving occupation emphasis ( Chiang et al.

, 2010 ) . Work life balance patterns can hold positive impact on employees and competition at house degree. These are some suggestions to advance work-life policies and plan: ( 1 ) Use questionnaires to happen out what workers feel about work life balance. ( 2 ) Review HR scheme and see if they support company ‘s mission. ( 3 ) Develop work-life wages plans by utilizing non-cash inducements associated with concern aim.

( 4 ) Align HR scheme ( e.g. employer of pick ) with work-life enterprises ( McCarthy et al. , 2010 ) . Work-life enterprises besides create positive employer stigmatization, promote organisational citizenship ; endorse being an employer of pick and support diverseness plans.

To get down work-life plans, directors should see these cardinal countries: employee keeping, absenteeism, employee clip save, addition productiveness and motive and lessening emphasis related unwellness and wellness attention costs. However, the full work-life plans can non be told steadfastly by merely quantitative measurings. HR professionals must see four important inquiries: ( 1 ) do supervisors and directors aware of the impact work life balance and its policies has on their employees, ( 2 ) does a steadfast civilization and environment genuinely back up work-life benefits, ( 3 ) does the company ‘s direction doctrine unfeignedly promotes work-life benefits, ( 4 ) are workers cognizant of and do they acknowledge company ‘s work-life policies and plans. If a company is already in pattern of offering work-life benefits, so the following measure for it would be to re-communicate and repackage them so employees can see how such benefits may happen them ways to cut down or pull off work-family struggle. Furthermore, making a HR scheme that clearly comply with company ‘s mission will exhibit that how committed the company is to its employees demands.

Organizations may necessitate to follow more modified work life balance plans, enterprises and have the bravery to travel beyond from a one size fits all attack ( Darcy et al. , 2012 ; McCarthy et al. , 2010 ) .

In other words, Companies may necessitate to re-think work life balance more specifically and need to pay more attending on it. Work life balance plans are non reduced hours, flexible bringing, but it is about helping people to fit their behaviour to their values ( Reiter, 2007 ) . Harmonizing to Grawitch et al. , ( 2010 ) it ‘s non about balance, it ‘s about resource allotment ( in appendix, it is discussed in more item ) . Companies should orient its HR and work life balance policies harmonizing to the demand of the employees and should implement it efficaciously to acquire coveted consequences.

Discussion & A ; Findingss

From the literature we found that younger employees and employees in professional and managerial places account higher degrees of work life struggle. Singless are by and large more balanced than people whose spouse is in paid work. Long on the job hours, high degrees of occupation insecurity, a deficiency of power in make up one’s minding when to get down or complete work and demanding occupations consequence in higher instability in work and life.

Womans with kids besides report high degree of work life struggle ( Pichler, 2008 ) . But it was revealed by Emslie & A ; Hunt ( 2009 ) that there is no clear relationship between work life balance and gender. It is decidedly clear that adult females is considered to make the place related work, on other manus work forces is besides supposed to carry through household duties. There is besides no clear relationship between work life struggle and age of employee ‘s kids, but there is some grounds about those employees whose kids are below three faces more work life instability. A ‘one size tantrums all ‘ attack used for the development of work life balance plans is dearly-won and uneffective to run into the demands of different type of employees. Job engagement was negatively related to work life balance whereas, perceived managerial support was positively related to work life balance ( Darcy et al. , 2012 ) . It was found by Kucharova ( 2009 ) that there is no clear relationship between work life balance and economic status of the different states.

It was found that sometimes flexible working and working from place addition work life struggle and portion clip work and occupation sharing besides sometimes increase work force per unit area. There was no clear relationship found between flexible working agreements and working conditions such as wage, publicity chances and employee committedness ( Russell et al. , 2009 ; Moore, 2006 ) . Through survey of Reiter ( 2007 ) it was clear that organisational development field is fighting with the evident deficiency of success of work life balance plans in many organisations and this is caused by deficiency of investing by companies and authorities in work life balance enterprises. Furthermore, to derive existent value from investing in work life balance, organisations need to acknowledge it as a complex issue and use much more holistic solutions than has normally been the instance.


In decision, we like to state that people who combine all facets of their life in a balanced mode should hence be the most satisfied and happiest one. In short, work life balance is portion of the general wellbeing. The higher work-life instability, the lower are life satisfaction, felicity, subjective wellness and emotional wellbeing. Work life balance plans have the possible to extensively cut down absenteeism, better employee morale and maintain clasp of organisational cognition, peculiarly during difficult economic times. In such a market place where there is increasing globalisation and companies aspire to cut down costs, it depends upon human resource expert to grok the serious issues of work life balance and become of victor work life plans. It will be some money, but in the long tally, the company will profit from this. If decently introduced and implemented so work life balance plans can be win-win state of affairs for employee, household and organisation. Flexible on the job agreements are of import but it should be catered harmonizing to employees ‘ demands, resources, clip and demands to acquire more improved consequences.

Work life balance is associated with quality of life and is non merely a moral issue – it is productiveness and economic issue, a workplace issue and a societal issue, and needs to be addressed as such.We can besides mensurate by utilizing some other inquiries and that are, how successful do you experience in equilibrating your paid work and household life? Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the balance between your occupation or chief activity and household and place life? I am satisfied with the balance I have achieved between my work and life? I am able to equilibrate the demands of my work and the demands of my household? I experience a high degree of work-family balance? I am satisfied with the balance I have achieved between my work life and my household life? How successful do you experience in equilibrating your paid work and household life? Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the balance between your occupation or chief activity and household and place life? Responses were based on a 5-point evaluation graduated table that ranged from ‘strongly disagree ‘ to ‘strongly hold. ‘ ( Allen & A ; Kiburz, 2011 ; Kucharova, 2009 ; Reiter, 2007 ) .

Factors Which Help in Creating Work Life Balance

Organizations offer a broad scope of work household benefits and plans to their employees such as occupation sharing, staggered hours, compressed working hours, telecommuting, occupation protected parental leave, parttime return to work options, displacement swapping, flextime, resource and referral services, unpaid household leave, dependent attention aid, shorter standard work hebdomads, betterment in occupation conditions, interruptions from work, work for place, on-site child care, support groups for working parents, athleticss installations, day-care installations, wash installations, and canteen installations ( Valk & A ; Srinivasan, 2011 ; Wayne et al. , 2007 ; Voydanoff, 2004 ) .

It ‘s non about Balance, It ‘s about Resource Allocation

Literature has re-conceptualizes the frame work of WLB. Previous researches have given more emphasized on the ways in which work and non-work life affect each other, but now new surveies has introduced the construct of Personal Resource Allocation ( PRA ) model which considers that all life demands forces an person to do picks about where, when, how to apportion personal resources across the life domains.

This Framework has four chief cardinal constituents which include personal resources, demands, resources allotment schemes and the single results. It suggests that effectual work-life balance is an effectual personal resource allotment across all life chases. It allows research workers to travel beyond the old premise of WLB, in which work life is considered bad and household life considered as good, to person-environment interactions that brings positive single results. Harmonizing to PRA model, persons bring their personal resources to their day-to-day lives, and because they come across repeated demands ( anything that competes for personal resources ) on their resources so, these demand forces them to do picks where to apportion these resources. Once the resources are allocated, so persons are left with fewer resources to run into extra demands ( Figure1, in appendix shows the PRA model ) . Therefore, positive results can merely be achieved if ( a ) perceives that they have necessary resources to react to their demands of life, ( B ) when they believe that they have equal control to apportion their resource harmonizing their penchants, ( degree Celsius ) when they feel satisfied with the manner they have managed their resources ( Grawitch et al. , 2010 ) .

This Model has presented the rethinking construct of WLB interface by de-emphasising the negative function that work dramas in life and stressing a resource allotment scheme. This theory incorporates person-environment interactions that conveying positive results, alternatively of, merely those that lessening or increase results.