Work-Life Balance Programs

1890 Words8 Pages
Work-life balance can be defined as creating and maintaining supportive and healthy work environments, which will enable employees to have balance between work and personal responsibilities and thus strengthen employee productivity. Numerous studies have been conducted on work-life balance. According to a major Canadian study conducted by Lowe in 2005, 1 in 4 employees experience high levels of conflict between work and family, based on work-family interference and caregiver strain. If work overload is included, then close to 60 percent of employees surveyed experience work-family conflict. Of all the job factors that influence work-life conflict, the amount of time spent at work is the strongest and most consistent measurement. The higher levels of work-family conflict reported by managers or professionals often are a function of their longer work hours. Other reasons include: job security, support from one’s supervisor, support from co-workers, work demands or overload, work-role conflict, work-role ambiguity, job dissatisfaction, and extensive use of communication technology that blurs the boundaries between home and work. Today’s workers have many challenging responsibilities such as work, children, housework, volunteering, spouse and elderly parent care and this places stress on individuals, families and the communities in which they reside. Work-life conflict is a serious problem that impacts workers, their employers and communities. It seems that this problem is increasing over time due to high female labour force participation rates, increasing numbers of single parent families, the majority of the dual-earner family and emerging trends such as elder care. It is further inflated by globalization, an aging population, and h... ... middle of paper ... ... managers, helps to increased work-life balance. Work-life balance programs have been established to have a positive impact on employees in terms of recruitment, retention, commitment and satisfaction, absenteeism, productivity and accident rates. Companies that have implemented work-life balance programs recognize that employee welfare rebuilds the foundation of the business. Parameters are required to ensure that programs are having the desired effect on both employees and the company. Six parameters that can be used to evaluate work life balance programs are: degree of management buy-in and training, how programs are communicated to employees, corporate culture, management controls, human resources policies and employee control. Finally, self-management is important; people need to control their own behaviour and minimize expectations regarding work-life balance.
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