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Work Life Balance

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Abstract
Work-life balance effects families all over America. This paper examines many contributing factors that determine the work life balance of families and they include ethnicity, social status, type of work, work leave policies, flexibility of employers, and what industry employees are employed in. There are few government regulations that help with the work-life balance of employees. Most of the work-life balance decisions are made by the employee’s family structure and employers policies. When there are work life imbalances stress, spillover, and burnout occur at work and also effect the family. This literature review aims at looking at all the factors that contribute to the growing issue of work-life balance in America. Currently only one law, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed by the United States (US) government gives employees unpaid time off for certain situations. The review reveals a lack of US government and private companies’ involvement in creating better work-life balance policies for employees.

Work-Life Balance People across the United States struggle with work-life balance. Married and un-married people are just trying to make ends meet and provide for family. The same people have to make sure the house stays maintained and children are taken care of. Finding time for stress relieving activities or something enjoyable can be tough. Companies can help with work-life balance by providing certain policies to increase the satisfaction of work and life. Studies have shown that only 36% of US workers are satisfied with work-life balance (Burnett, Cooper, Gatrell, & Sparrow, 2013). The work-life balance dilemma continues to be an issue in the US and needs to be addressed by government and private companies.
History
In the 1970’s a women’s movement pushed for women to have two roles within the family (Moen, 2011). People started to change family structures from a traditional family to a dual earner. During the 1980’s employment of women increased and some men started to stay at home, and some companies started supporting more flextime policies (Moen, 2011). In the 1990’s more laws passed to support women joining the workforce.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) went into effect February 5, 1993 giving leave to employees for certain circumstances but the act only applies to companies with 50 or more employees (Colopy & Dielman, 2009). This law gives the right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the employee. The government put FMLA into law, but many other states have taken FMLA a step further and have varying laws that help with work-life balance. Two states California (2004) and New Jersey (2008) have mandated paid maternity leave for employees (Rossin, 2011).
Many countries have better leave policies when compared to the US. People in Sweden have the opportunity to take 12 months of paid leave (Rossin, 2011). Germany offers 14 weeks of paid leave and the UK offers 52 weeks of leave with 39 weeks paid (Carnes & Williamson, 2013). Some studies have indicated that democracy, conservative evangelical Christianity and the lack of women government leaders are the reason why US polices are behind other countries (Carnes & Williamson, 2013). In the 1990’s FMLA made little impact of rectifying the work-life balance issue in the US.
World economies and globalization in the 2000’s give more issues to the work-life balance. More technology makes it easier for people to get in touch with one another and do business. Traditional families continue to be fewer and fewer and there are more dual earner families. Workers started to deal with burnout, work overload, uncertainty, time pressures, and economic uncertainty (Moen, 2011). A global recession brought more unemployment and uncertainty. This puts more pressure on families and companies to try and balance work and family life.
Family Standards The family plays a huge role in the work-life balance issue. The family dynamics dictate how much stress the family will have. The family structure and whether kids are involved are big indicators of whether the family will have stress because of work-life balance. Multiple family structures exist such as the traditional family, dual earner, single parent, and same sex. Another big factor when talking about families are the social status, ethnicity, and education of the family. All these family factors indicate the degree a family will have stress because of the work-life balance.
Dual Earner Americans continue to transition to a dual earner household where the mother and father both have jobs. Jang (2009) states, “78% of employees are living in dual earner families in 2002, up from 66% in 1977” (p. 93). These families tend to have more issues especially when children are introduced to the family. Many times the family will rely on childcare to take care of the children during the day. This can have varying effects on the emotions of children. According to Goldberg, Lucas-Thompson, and Prause (2010), women that have a job are good role models for the children, giving girls the impression that they can be anything they want to be (p. 923). There are some affects to the children but no conclusive evidence points to what the effects are (Christensen, 2013). People think that since families have two incomes that they should not have many issues at home. This could be true but most of dual earners are middle and lower class families just trying to make ends meet (Bell & Shepher-Banigan, 2014). Domestic outsourcing becomes hard for families because of the cost of hiring someone to maintain the chores around the house (Windebank, 2010). Also dual earners do not necessarily work the same hours, so schedules might be opposite of one another adding stress.
Dual earners face many challenges as it pertains to work-life balance and some of them can be overcome when work allows some type of flexibility. When dual earners add children to the family another stress gets added to the work-life balance (Minnotte, Minnotte, & Pedersen, 2013). Decisions need to be made on how the children need to be raised and who will watch them while the parents are at work. The males’ beliefs and perceptions are more influential in the dual earner relationship than that of the woman (Minnotte et al., 2013). Even in the dual earner relationship the head of the household will still be assumed by the male.
Traditional Family Most of the American households are transitioning from a traditional family. There are very few families that still have the mother as the homemaker and the father as the breadwinner (Jang, 2009). Unlike the dual earner family the traditional family does not worry about someone watching the kids because someone will stay home and take care of the kids. Most people think of women as taking the homemaker role but recent studies show a growing number of men taking that role (Burnett et al., 2013). These types of roles bring a different type of work-life balance stress. The traditional family will be better able to take care of children and household chores, due to one person staying home (Windebank, 2010). Traditional families have someone at home to take care of the chores but can have money issues by only one person earning a wage.
The couple must make sure that that breadwinner can make enough money to support the family with one income. If the one job does not meet the requirement the family will either look at the dual earner model or the breadwinner can get two jobs to support the family (Jang, 2009). The added stress of two jobs can have a great effect on the family. The total income of the family will determine the stress level within the relationship (Minotte et al., 2013). People are not generally traditional families anymore because of the amount of unemployment and globalization. The future will lead to less traditional families due to globalization and increased unemployment (Van den Scott, 2014). Traditional families feel stress and may feel that the dual earner model fits the family better to earn more money and have more financial stability for the future.
Social Status Families considered white collar are upper middle class or upper class, do not have the same work-life balance issues as other social classes. The families that have more money can have a choice of what family structure they want and they do not have the money issues that lower class families have (Devoe, Lee & Pfeffer, 2010). Middle class families will have more dual earners and will face more stress due to the work-life balance. The lower class families will have the most work-life balance issues considering that the family will have trouble making ends meet and the parents will be working multiple jobs (Bell & Shepher-Banigan, 2014). The lower class families live pay check to pay check and sometimes are unemployed.
Ethnicity and Education Different ethnicities are present in different social classes influencing work-life balance. Education also becomes an indicator to whether a family will have more work-life balance issues. People that are more educated tend to have the higher paying jobs and have less work-life balance issues Van den Scott, 2014). People that are less educated tend to be in the lower class and have multiple jobs.
Work Standards A person’s job will impact the work-life balance. Support from supervisors and the type of schedules that are put in place effect work-life balance. The work-life balance will also be affected by the type of child care options and parental and maternal leave companies give the employees. Childcare and company leave policies are used as a recruiting tactic when companies are trying to attract the best candidates Mansour & Muna, 2009). Organizations use position words and phrases in the mission statements and guiding principles to show employees where the company stands as regards to family policies (Cowan & Hoffman, 2008). These subtle phases are hard to recognize but cause prospective employees to think of the company a certain way. The leave policies of the company will regulate how much time an employee can take off and whether it will be paid leave or not.
At Work Work becomes the fundamental place where stress contributes to work-life balance. People tend to bring work and stress home, which causes more stress and issues at home (Rhenen, Schaufeli, & Taris, 2008). Supervisors can support or deter stress at work and at home. Employees tend to have some of the same characteristics of the mangers they work for when it pertains to ethics and work-life balance (Verschoor, 2007). Also the different types of schedules that companies and supervisors put together can hinder or help when dealing with personal or family situations. The way supervisors deal with employees show support for flexibility and family leave polices. Supervisor support. Supervisors can support an employee in many different ways but they can also hurt the work-life balance as well. Woman supervisors are more empathetic towards people taking leave for personal and family reasons more than men are (Huffman & Ruppanner, 2012). This shows that supervisors care and people would rather work for someone that cares about the employee’s emotional and mental conditions. Some occupations and work do not allow for this type of support from a supervisor (Huffman & Ruppanner, 2012). Different schedules and different industries require for people to be at work at a certain times (Glass & Noonan, 2012). The supervisor that does not support certain family and personal issues will give the employees the perception that the supervisor does not care about the employees issues. Followers will tend to act like the leaders of the organization (Mansour & Muna, 2009). Employees that dread coming to work every day because of supervisors are less productive and have a lot of negativity. These situations will add more stress and have a negative effect on the work-life balance. Work schedule flexibility. Flexibility determines if employees are able to take care of personal and family situations that may arise. When Xerox became more flexible and collective with scheduling, individuals became happier and more productive (Bailyn, 2011). Work schedule depends on many factors such as the industry, location, and some laws effect a company’s work schedule. Best buy came up with a collective agreement called Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) which showed productive gains of 35% (Bailyn, 2011). Companies that are collective with employees have work flexible schedules that help employees and increase productivity and profit for the company. Big factors that influence work-life balance are whether the employees are paid a salary, by the hour, and whether they are full-time, or part-time. A new trend among some of the industries continues to be telecommunicating (Nam, 2014). This gives the employees the opportunity to have a more flexible schedule. Studies have shown the companies that let people telecommunicate have seen better employee satisfaction and results than before the company implemented telecommunication (Glass & Noonan, 2012). Not all companies will have the flexibility in the work structure to be able to telecommunicate. This also requires a lot of trust between the employee and employer as work needs to get done with little supervision (Glass & Noonan, 2012). Salaried and hourly employees. Salaried employees are also generally management, executive and white collar jobs. Salaried employees generally have more flexible schedules allowing employees to leave when they need, but they are also not regulated by a time clock (Cooke, Mann, & Zeytinoglu, 2009). Since salaried employees are not regulated by a time clock, they tend to work more than the standard 40 hours a week and more responsibilities which means more work. Employers give them more work, expecting the work to get done no matter how many hours it takes to complete (Sullivan, 2014). These long hours can lead to many different health and psychological issues that the employee and employer will have to pay for (Sullivan, 2014). Employees that work long hours take time away from being with family and friends to make sure work gets done. This causes an imbalance in the work-life balance paradigm (Cowan & Hoffmann, 2008). Salaried employees are paid more, but with more money comes more stress. Employees paid by the hour work generally 40 hours a week and will get paid overtime but usually do not exceed 48 hours a week. The hourly employee will have stress in the schedule having to get an amount of work done in a standard time frame. Some hourly employees must get work done after hours and do not log the hours in fear of reprimand (Devoe et al., 2010). People also think that if employees log those hours it will also show the supervisors that the employee cannot do the work in the time allotted. This will look badly on the employee and will cause even more stress for the hourly employee. Both salaried and hourly employees have stress because of the work-life balance. The salaried employees are not limited to a work clock but do have more stress when it comes to the amount of work and deadlines that need to be made (Van den Scott, 2014). Additionally people that tend to have salaried jobs have work cell phones that have them connected to work at all times, adding more stress to daily life (Nam, 2014).The hourly employees also have deadlines to make, but employers discourage overtime because companies do not have money to pay the overtime and it shows lack of competence of the hourly employees.
Full and part-time employees. The amount of flexibility a job will have can be determined by what type of hours and status of the employee. Full-time employees are employees that work 40 hours or more a week. These employees have full benefits to include healthcare and paid-time off. This gives the employee some flexibility to take time off when needed and not have to worry about healthcare costs (Cooke et al., 2009). They have days to take off but they are usually limited to those days.
Part-time employees do not have the same benefits as full-time employees and work 32 hours or less a week. Part-time employees in most cases are not given the opportunity to participate in the healthcare program (Devoe et al., 2010). Employers are also usually less flexible with the work schedules given the employees work for less than 32 hours a week (Cooke et al., 2009). Many companies are changing employees from full-time to part-time to avoid paying the benefits. Sullivan (2014) states, “involuntarily part time workers has increased from 7.9 million in December 2012 to 8.2 million in July 2013” (p. 4). More part-time workers mean companies do not have to pay for certain benefits. This will save the company substantial money given the current economic conditions. The type of work will affect the work-life balance of individuals. Most people will prefer to work full-time because it will give the most benefits. People that work part-time jobs tend to not have benefits which raises the stress level on the family (Bell & Shepherd-Banigan, 2014). The people that work one part-time job tend to work a second part-time job just to make ends meet, putting more stress and having more of a work-life imbalance (). Structure and work flexibility will have a huge impact on work-life balance.
Outside of Work There are many items that the employer can control at work that will have an influence on work-life balance, but there are also items outside of work that the employer will have some influence on. The employer will affect the time the family interacts after working hours (Christensen, 2013). If the employer demands long working hours, that takes away from employees being at home with friends and family. One of the biggest determinations that the employer will make will be in regards to what policies are for child care and parental leave. Child care. The employer can assist with how the company deals with childcare and what options an employee can have. Some employers offer on-site childcare for the employees or a referral system for child care services (Christensen, 2013). While situations like these are rare, some companies offer this benefit and employees are relieved of the stress from having to find a baby sitter or childcare facility.
Flexible schedules will affect how employees deal with child care. Some offices allow children to come to work or have the employee leave earlier to pick up the children. These types of employer policies relive stress from work-life balance. These same policies also act as a retention and recruiting tool when talking to potential and current employees (Cowan & Hoffman, 2008). The policies around child care will have a huge effect on work-life balance.
Parental and maternal leave. Companies polices on parental and maternal leave are a huge factor when employees need time off. Many studies just discuss maternal leave because the mothers are usually seen as the primary child care provider (Burnett et al., 2013). The fathers must also have time to take as well in the form of parental leave. Employers will have polices that dictate how many days can be taken and whether it will be paid time off or not (Colopy & Dielman, 2009). Maternal and Parental leave are different from FMLA, which are policies guided by federal law.
Companies that allow mothers and fathers to take time off for a new or ailing child will help employees. FMLA regulates leave for up to 12 weeks unpaid for employees with serious health conditions of self or family member, and birth and adoption of child (Colopy & Dielman, 2009). This government policy states unpaid leave and not paid leave which might not be possible for low-income families.
Many low-income families do not take any leave under FMLA because they cannot afford a parent not being at work (Rossin, 2011). Employees do not have to worry about whether or not they have the time to take off or whether they will be paid or not. Companies normally offer the mother time off but are starting to offer parental leave to fathers as well (Minnotte & Pedersen, 2012). Employees need to be careful not to take too much of this time as it might look bad if an employee misses to much work. Employers and employees look at leave polices as a deterrent to the amount of work and productivity a business can have but should look at leave policies as a benefit to help with work-life balance.
Psychological Outcomes When work and life are not in balance certain psychological affects effect the well-being of individuals. Symptoms such as stress and depression start to overcome people. Also conflict, spill over and a sense of overload happen when an imbalance exists (Rhenen et al., 2008). The employee and employer have the goal to not have employees with these feelings because employees that have these symptoms are unproductive.
Stress, Depression, and Dissatisfaction Employees that have an imbalance can show signs of stress, depression and dissatisfaction. If an employee works too much and does not spend much time with family and friends the work-life balance will be off and leads to poor health (Mansour & Muna, 2009). The employee can show signs of stress and depression because they are stuck at work instead of at home. The employee becomes unproductive and show signs of diminishing returns. Burnout can also happen when a person works too much with no rest. When people burnout they are more irritable and short tempered toward others causing conflict (Walsh, 2013). People experiencing burnout are more likely to quit the jobs causing retention issues for the company. When looking at the medical field woman seem to burnout more than men do (Walsh, 2013). This could be caused because of the amount of work women are responsible for on the job and at home.

Spillover When an employee becomes unhappy at work those feelings could spill over to the family. Dissatisfaction and stress at work effect the employee but spill over will cause stress at home. Low-income mothers who get stressed at work have a tendency to come home and try to withdraw from interactions with the children (Goldberg et al., 2010). Employees at home might have a quick temper because of the stress from work and create a hostile environment for the family. Spill over can also be positive. People that are happy at work and have a good work schedule will spill over the feeling of happiness to the family (Goldberg et al., 2010). Spill over will happen regardless of the person, it depends on the employee and work environment (Minnotte & Pedersen, 2012).
Conclusion
Many factors contribute to a work-life balance in the U.S. When comparing the U.S. to other countries the U.S. falls last in the amount of paid leave can be given legally to employees. Other factors influencing the work-life balance include; social status, age, ethnicity, and earnings. Companies and state legislator also have a role in how people deal with work-life conflict. The economy effects the work-life balance because of high unemployment and how companies deal with full, part, and temp workers. Each of these classes of workers have pros and cons, but families must be able to make provide. Work-life conflict will continue to be a big issue for many individuals in the United States until properly addressed by a collaborative effort between the federal government and private companies.
Questions for Further Research Much of the research conducted on work-life balance covers families’ structures and how work influences the family. The research points out what affects the balance but the research lacks insight on alternative lifestyle couples. There are a growing number of couples that do not have the traditional mother and father family. Families can be constructed with the extended family living at the house, two males, two females, and other constructions. These alternative lifestyles have an influence on the work-life balance but there are not a lot of research articles that explore the factor of a non-traditional family.

References
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Carnes, M., & Williamson, S. (2013). Partisanship, Christianity, and women in the legislature: Determinants of parental leave policy in the U.S. states. Social Science Quarterly, 94(4), 1084-1101.
Christensen, K. (2013). Launching the workplace flexibility movement: Work family research and a program of social change. Community, Work & Family, 16(3), 261-284.
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Cooke, G., Mann, S., & Zeytinoglu, I. (2009). Flexibility: Whose choice is it anyway? Industrial Relations, 64(4), 555-574.
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...Sociologica http://asj.sagepub.com/ Work-Life 'Balance' in Europe Rosemary Crompton and Clare Lyonette Acta Sociologica 2006 49: 379 DOI: 10.1177/0001699306071680 The online version of this article can be found at: http://asj.sagepub.com/content/49/4/379 Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: Nordic Sociological Association Additional services and information for Acta Sociologica can be found at: Email Alerts: http://asj.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://asj.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Citations: http://asj.sagepub.com/content/49/4/379.refs.html >> Version of Record - Nov 13, 2006 What is This? Downloaded from asj.sagepub.com at University of Huddersfield on October 7, 2012 ACTA SOCIOLOGICA 2006 Work–Life ‘Balance’ in Europe Rosemary Crompton and Clare Lyonette Department of Sociology, City University, London, UK abstract: Although work–life ‘balance’ is an EU policy priority, within Europe there are considerable variations in the nature and extent of supports that national governments have offered to dual-earner families. In general, the Nordic welfare states offer the highest level of supports, although other countries, such as France, have historically offered extensive childcare supports to working mothers. We examine national variations in reported levels of work–life conflict, drawing upon......

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...struggling to chart a path towards success in our careers and fulfill our goals in all other aspects of our lives. We have lots of things to fit into our lives. We need to achieve our objectives at work as well as at home, but the problem is that there isn’t enough time. A balanced life means different things to different people. It’s about living a lifestyle that nurtures a person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For most people, juggling the demands of a career and a personal life is an ongoing challenge. Why so much importance has been given to this area? What has changed now? Traditionally in India, we had joint family system where men of the house used to go for work and women used to take care of the children and the home and there used to be perfect balance. Nowadays the joint family system is slowly eroding and more nuclear families are emerging. Since both husband and wife go to work, there is nobody to take care of children. Work has taken over the top priority of many people. But the problem is too much focus is on work and there is less time for home. This imbalance causes stress. We all know that stress is the cause for many illnesses. So there is a need to strive for a healthy balance. When we feel satisfied with both personal and professional life, it can be said we are...

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...straight at a leading Citybank had admitted that he felt “pressurised” to succeed. Moritz Erhardt, 21, was found dead as he neared the end of a gruelling seven-week placement with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch's (BAML) investment bank division. He collapsed in the shower in his student flat in East London amid claims that he had worked throughout the night eight times in two weeks in a bid to impress company bosses, returning home at 6am on three consecutive days. It has been claimed he suffered an epileptic fit. In an online profile, Mr Erhardt, from Germany, revealed that he had developed a tendency to be “over ambitious” at an early age. He said: “I have grown up in a family that expected me, in whatever respect, to excel in life. By implication, I felt somehow pressurised. However, I did not intend to belie my parents’ expectations. “Therefore, I have become a highly competitive and ambitious nature from early on.” Members of internet message boards used by City staff claimed that other interns had been ordered not to discuss Mr Erhardt’s death. One poster wrote: “One of the best interns in IBD BAML — 3 all nighters — didn’t turn up, colleagues went to find him.” Another claimed that someone who worked on the same floor as Mr Erhardt had told him: “He was working very, very, very long hours (as in 4 days spent almost without sleeping).” One intern who lived in his block said: “Apparently he pulled eight all-nighters in two weeks. They get you......

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...Research Topic: Work-life balance Bryson, L, Warner-Smith, P, Brown, P & Fray, L 2007, Managing the work-life roller-coaster, Science & Medicine, vol 65, pp 1142-1153. In the article “Managing the work-life roller-coaster,” Bryson, Warner-Smith, Brown and Fray state that the challenges of finding a work-life balance has had a greater impact on the women in today’s society, and they may be more exposed to stress related health issues as a result of this. Time issues have been the focus rather than the potential health related effects that the stress of managing these time issues could have. With longer working hours and more pressure in the work place for many women, the line between work and leisure is becoming blurred creating a more stressful environment. While it is becoming more recognised that time issues are creating more stress, these are often dealt with privately, and the authors see this as a potential “public health issue”. The article goes on to discuss the reasons why women become so stressed when trying to manage their work-life balance, as well as the numerous health issues that can arise from high levels of stress, both psychological and physical. Different circumstances, such as class, country you live in, industry you work in, even gender, affect the level of pressure, however, the potential health implications are the same. Studies have shown that the lack of control surrounding time management, and therefore lack of life satisfaction, is a......

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...Benefits of Work-life balance Benefits for you Employees in companies already implementing work-life practices enjoy significant benefits such as: * Being able to effectively manage multiple responsibilities at home, work and in the community without guilt or regret. * Being able to work in flexible ways so that earning an income and managing family/other commitments become easier. * Being part of a supportive workplace that values and trusts staff. People want to be able to have1: * a good quality of life * an enjoyable work life and career progression * training and development * good health * affordable childcare or eldercare * further education * more money * time to travel * time with friends and family * time to do sports and hobbies * time to do voluntary work Benefits for your business Good work-life balance policies and practices are good for business.  Some of the benefits for you and your staff are: * Getting and keeping the right staff * Getting the best from staff * Being an ‘employer of choice’ and future proofing * Improving productivity Getting and keeping the right staff Finding and keeping good staff can be difficult especially in a tight labour market. Employers who can offer work-life balance and flexible work options are likely to have the competitive edge, gain access to a wider recruitment pool, and are more likely to hold onto existing staff.  As a result......

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...| Work Life Balance Brief | Organization Behavior and Change Management | | | | | Introduction Work-life balance does not mean that both your work and personal life will be equally balanced. Work-life balance does not mean that what might be the right balance today is going to be the right balance tomorrow. For many employees throughout the world, balancing their work and personal lives is a significant concern (Mathis & Jackson 2012). The current dynamic global economy ranks work-life balance as one of the most important workplace attributes, second only to compensation (Bloomberg Businessweek, 2009). In the US the workforce is culturally diverse and encompasses numerous generations (Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y aka Millennials), each one with a set of his or her own priorities. For the Millennials, work-life balance is of the utmost importance (Gilbert, 2011). Alluding to the fact that while there aren’t standardized concepts of work-life balance; there should be a set of variables to define “what is balance”, as more and more Millennials enter the workforce. In this brief I hope to show how work-life balance is about creating and maintaining supportive and healthy work environments, which will enable employees to have balance between work and personal responsibilities, thus strengthen employee loyalty and productivity. Defining Work-Life Balance Work-Life balance has been referred to as a balancing act between organizations and......

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...Seven Categories of Work-Life Effectiveness Successfully Evolving Your Organization’s Work-Life Portfolio • Caring for Dependents • Health and Wellness • Workplace Flexibility • inancial Support F for Economic Security • Paid and Unpaid Time Off • Community Involvement • liciting Management E Buy-In and Transforming Organizational Culture C1 Defining Work-Life Effectiveness Work-life refers to specific organizational practices, policies and programs that are guided by a philosophy of active support for the efforts of employees to achieve success within and outside the workplace. These employersponsored initiatives comprise a strategic framework referred to as the worklife portfolio, a key element of the organization’s total rewards strategy to attract, motivate and retain employees. Career Build Your Portfolio Step One: Assess your present work-life situation It is easy to construct the outline of your organization’s existing work-life portfolio by performing a simple inventory of the policies, practices and programs currently offered within each category of the work-life portfolio. A useful resource for this activity is the Work-Life Audit, available on the Alliance for Work-Life Progress website. www.awlp.org/pub/selfaudit.pdf he term “work-life” refers to the T intersection of self (the worker), career (work), family and community. Self Life Family Community Creating and Sustaining a Successful......

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...of doing”. An organisation may have the most employee-friendly policies in the form of health insurance, vacation time, various benefits, and possibly EAP or education programmes or flexible work policies but still these may not give positive results. In addition to laying down these policies, it is also important to have them implemented and put in place and ensure that they are working. As an enforcer of WLB policies, it is also important to keep on reinforcing on them. For this you need to: Reinforce through better communications what you are already doing. All the work-life benefits, procedures, and policies of the company need to be put together and communicated to the entire organisation rather than keeping them isolated. It is essential to publicise them as a package and post it on the web site of the company. It is advisable to give a half day off on Fridays ensuring that the individual has completed his work and has no other engagement with any stake holders Give a choice to the employee to work from home one day a week. Offer subsidies for off-site exercise. Provide one or two days off with pay for approved community involvement work. Create and encourage an annual or quarterly “bring your family to work” day. Encourage employees to have a mandatory “disconnect from work” vacation policy with no cell phones or laptops. Create a more accommodating “on- and off-ramp” policy for those who leave the firm, especially if it is to spend time with family. When they...

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...WORK LIFE BALANCE AMONGST MIDDLE LEVEL OFFICERS: IS THE IAF SUPPORT ADEQUATE? NOTE: This study is aimed at establishing the service support in supporting work life balance amongst officers of middle seniority in the IAF. Your free and frank views/opinions would assist in improving the validity of the study. Your ‘personal identity’ will not be used in any manner. 1. I had come across the term "Work Life Balance" earlier? (a) Yes (b) No 2. As compared to 10 years back, the total my total work load as compared to 10 years back has:- (a) Increased (b) Decreased (c) Unaffected 3. As regards my work profile during recent years:- (a) I have started handling more conceptual tasks and am now rid of mundane jobs. (b) Still handle routine tasks as say 5 -10 years back. (c) Have actually started handling more routine tasks than ever before. 4. As a senior functionary, when I delegate tasks:- (a) It helps me in completing the task in time and easing my burden. (b) Increases my workload, since I require more time in chasing and coaxing subordinates to complete the delegated task. 5. During weekends:- (a) I generally get time to spend with family (b) I am mostly unable to spend time with family, because some new work invariably comes up (c) I plan to catch up with the official task pending over the week. 6. Most of the days, I pack up:- (a) On time (b) 0-30 mts late (c) 30 mts – 1 hr late (d) More than 1...

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