Work-life Balance (WLB)
Last modified: October 26, 2015
The recent global recession has produced after-effects in the work-life balance of employees the world over. Organizations, especially the multinational ones are reducing work week-days
to cutback overheads, and ostensibly, to provide their employees with an improved interface between work and family/life (Hill & Civian, 2008). Work-life balance (WLB) can be defined as the sense of equilibrium and satisfaction felt by employees concerning their professional as well as personal lives (Joshi, et al., 2002) with capabilities in discharging their work and life functions in a reasonable manner (Campbell, 2000). It has also been defined as: “a perceptual phenomenon characterised by a sense of having achieved a satisfactory resolution of the multiple demands of work and family domains” (Higgins, Duxbury, & Johnson, 2000, p. 19). The demands of the employees for work-life balance has also increased and its underlying forces too have altered owing to the needs of society, personal beliefs and the easily accessible technologies that have made work away from the work-place possible (Greenblatt, 2002).
The organizations also gain advantages by providing benefits such as flexi-time because they have positive influences on job outcomes and improve job satisfaction, job commitment, and engagement in organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) (Baral & Bhargava, 2010). Golembiewski & Proehl (1978) concluded from their study that the greater part of employees wanted the maintenance of flexi-time benefits. Such benefits resulted in substantial increases in the efficiency; improved the morale; demonstrated significant advancement in managing the balance of work and personal life, although it reduced the accessibility of others and the efficacy in communication. While there were a few instances of abuse of the flexi-time system, it served to diminish the resentment against the time-keeping system and had significant impact on commuting and commuting time. The managers saw that with this increase in the demand for flexi-time to be continued, increase in productivity and morale were observable along with better-quality modifications in the managerial role. They felt that in spite of the problems faced by the employees in communicating with colleagues, they demonstrated more responsibility. The flexi-time benefits also turned out to be an attractive and positive tool in recruitment and had favorable impact on commuting.
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