There are a plethora of reports and studies out there on work-life balance, but astonishingly little explanations of what it really looks like in practice. And maybe that’s not astonishing.
The idea of work-life balance is constantly evolving, with workers across diverse generations, having their personal take on what it means and how it should be attained (Kohll, 2018).
Since work-life balance is so unique, it’s natural that its meaning will differ depending on multiple circumstances such as age, family responsibilities, health situations, personal events and changes, and our personality types and perspectives to life.
We know for certain that, individuals want to live purposeful lives both at home and work without giving up on either. Work-life balance is the equilibrium between the amount of time and attempt an employee commits to work and personal interests, in order to sustain an all-embracing sense of peace and harmony. It is the capability of individuals, regardless of age or gender to detect a rhythm that will permit them to blend work with non-work responsibilities, interests and ambitions. It is relevant to all individuals who are in paid work, regardless of whether they have family accountabilities or not.
Work-life balance is a vital feature of a healthy work setting. However, if not balanced properly, it can cause serious consequences for employees, companies and the community. An imbalance can have an impact on the quality of life and job performance of employees. Substandard work-life balance can lead to:
• Shortfall of Family Time: Two of the most prioritizing parts of an adult’s life are work and family. Being immersed in work may lead to missing important family gatherings and events. Eventually, this imbalance can steer the way to reduced life gratification, family conflict, brutality, challenges with parenting, and increasing divorce rates.
• Health Problems: work overburden, working overtime hours etc. can cause huge amounts of stress, which can seriously affect the immune system. And these stress related issues can also make people vulnerable to different substances, thereby, increasing the risk of depression and anxiety.
• Fatigue: Tiredness and certain mood swings reduce an employee’s capability to work productively, which in turn affects the quality of the company’s overall performance.
How can a company promote work-life balance?
Organisations can promote the work-life balance of employees by offering a flexible work setting, regardless of what age or gender workers come from. A flexible work setting has been shown to reduce stress levels, magnify levels of job gratification and help employees keep up flourishing habits. Employers should provide flexible hours, the option of working from home and limitless PTO, whilst encouraging employees to make use of their annual leave, in order to create a more adaptable work setting (Kohll, 2018).
Aside from encouraging flexibility, companies should also aspire to boost the overall workplace experience for their employees. Nurturing a healthy culture and a joyful workplace setting encourages work-life balance. When employees feel happy and collected in their roles, work starts to feel more like a second safe haven and less like working for a salary. Moreover, they start to work better with the organisation and they can attend to work and family problems individually without intrusion. Companies that promote work-life balance are attractive to experienced, knowledgeable, qualified applicants and draw a precious pool when recruiting. These companies take great delight in higher employee retention rates, dedication, gratification and loyalty.
By Nathasha Hindurangala
Kohll, A. (2018). The Evolving Definition Of Work-Life Balance. Retrieved 30 June 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/03/27/the-evolving-definition-of-work-life-balance/#75b3a4e69ed3
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