The concept and theory of work/life balance
This essay will be looking at three main areas, first part of the essay will be about the concept of work life balance, and what are the main ideas of work life balance, in the second part, it will be mainly focusing on the reasons and the rising of work life balance, and the point of view of both employers and employees, and last, will be discussing on how organization and company could improve and help their employees to balance between their work and life The concept and theory of work/life balance
Work/ life balance, is one of the major problem through out history, one of the main reason is because many companies specially office, are giving so much work to employees that could not possibly finish during a day, in order to complete the given work, the employees most likely have to start the work very early and stay in the office very late or even bring the work home to finish it. Although they can finish the given task, but it won’t benefit the employees due to the stress and pressure they giant from the extra works, for example.
A business company have a marketing project that have to be done within days or weeks, which will take a team of 10 members of employees, but if the company have lag of employees to finish the project, those who are working on it will have to work extra on it with extra energy and extra time, another example, a travel company most likely will need some employees to travel around, and those employees will be kept away from their families and friends for days, weeks, or even a month.
Second reason is that, have a good balance between work and life is one of the key element to motivate and influence employees, a good or a poor work life balance, will highly effect the employees attitude and motivation towards their works, which also will highly affect the quality of their works. For example, if employees build up too much stress from their works, it will most likely affect their emotion and behavior and become abominable, and affect the quality and productivity of the employees as well as the company.
“Work life balance is about people having a measure of control from When, Where and how they work. It is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society. ”
Every employees have there very own unique way of life, there for, work life balance is not a fix solution for every employees, it is nearly impossible to set up an equal balance between working hours and their own life, since it will change from time to time, the right work life balance for you today, maybe different for tomorrow, base on the jobs you are working now, it will be totally different when the person is working as a part time job, full time job, a student, single or married. the core of an effective work life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each us, they are daily achievement and enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity. ” (Jim Bird Publisher. Worklifebalance. com 2003). How important for an employees to have a good or poor work life balance Nowadays, many employers understand the important of work life balance for their employees, since the world’s economy situation is changing.
For the past century, many workers are work in factory physically, but nowadays, many factory workers had been replaced by machine, with new technology growing everyday, there for more and more people have to improve their knowledge and get a higher education to be able to work in an office. , but since there are more and more people who work in an office, company will have to focus on the creativities, knowledge and reactivity’s on their employees. And employees will giant a lot more stress from it.
Since new technology are growing every day, and the economy are changing dynamically, employers are commonly ask the employees to work over time or bring their work back home to be finish before the next day. And this it what the employees have in mind, if they want an promotion in their career, they must do what their manager was told to, and try to impress them with something new by working longer hours or finish their work as quick as possible, and most employees will gain stress and pressure from their employers.
People whom working for IT technology need to be very intelligent and require a very high education. For example, a banker have to understand how the system works as well as IT skills, and they need an ability to deal with customer request with a good respond and good solution. For some employees who are working in an international investment company, they may have to work 24 hours a day to be able to see how the economic is running, and deal with the customer’s world widely.
Therefore those employees may find it difficult to balance their work and life, and got less time for social activities, friends and family. A poor work life balance not only affects the employee’s social life. It also cause the business or company to have a negative impact. For example, if an employee are all stressed out due to the work they have got. It may affect their emotion, behavior health or even mental health. Which will highly affect the company’s productivities and qualities. “Having kids has been a fantastic thing for me. It means that I am a little more balanced.
In my twenties I worked massively, hardly took vacation at all. Now, I, with the help of my life, I am always making sure I have got a good balance of how I spend my time. ” ( Bill Gate’s Business Quotation) , this states that the requirement will change base on the employees life, and also work life balance will highly affect the employees productivities. According to a research from Kenexa institute (2007) if an employees have a poor work life balance, they tended to have a greater chance of leaving the company or organization and have a very poor respect to their employers.
Therefore a good work life balance will increase the employees productivities, creativities as well as qualities of works, they also achieved a higher job satisfaction and willing to recommend their company, and employers to their friends and family. ( http://library. cqpress. com/cqreseacher/cqresrre1995080400 access on 11/10/2010). A lot of companies are tended to develop a good work life balance to their employees by setting up a good environment for them to work in. y doing so, it can highly affect employees absenteeism and competitiveness, it also increase their morale, motivation commitment. Nowadays, work life balance became one of the responsibilities of a company or business, employers are willing to building a good relationship between them and their employees. In UK, under the federal law, if a company have a number of more then 50 employees, the company must let their employees take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year for any reason, for example, a new born baby, a sick leave, or taking care of sick family member.
What organization and company do to improve work life balance of their employees There are a lot of ways that can improve work life balance, many company’s offices have changed their working time in to five day week scheme, in this scheme, employees will only have to work five days a week and have Saturday and Sunday off. With this scheme, employees can have more time to spent with their friends and family. And much more relax, which they believed it can improves employees productivities. Currently the maximum working hours in Europe is 48 hours per week.
But many of the European country have chosen less hours for their employees, for example, in France and Germany, companies seeks to introduce 35 hours per week and Sweden and Finland are even 5 hours fewer. (http://www. worklifebalance. org) access on 11/10/2010. Most organizations are now providing a much more relax, warm, commodious, working place for employees. Moreover, they provide more facilities in an office for employees, for example a gym room, cafe, arcade machine. Where employees can spent time during a short break.
According to some readings, employees in an office, most likely can increase their productivities by taking a short break and have some fun, for example, a little internet gaming, small exercise, hot food or drinks or a sweet snacks, it can help employees to relax there brain and help them to release some of the negative feelings due to a long period of work, although some of the facilities require a small amount of payment, but it is an beneficial idea for employees to increase their work efficiency. (http://www. microsoft. om/presspass/press/2006/apr06/04-13Pause2PlayPR. mspx) access on 11/10/2010. other then these, companies will organize events or functions where employees can have fun and make them feel more like a part of the company, those events and functions are also opened for those employees friends and family, it could be a party, a charity event, a out door event such as sports day or camping, it is a great opportunity for employees to get to know each other, learn more about the organization, and reduce stress and pressure at the same time.
Even though organization and companies are doing so much for their employees, they also want the employees to understand that they have to make a balance between their work and life, to do so, companies are hiring people outside the company to train and teach employees the concept of work life balance, on how to use their time more effectively and a balance manner.
Some companies are even introducing a new idea to fit in with different needs people, like part timing working, flexi time, or job sharing, for example, 40 hours per week for 5 days in to 10 hours per day for 4 days, by this, employees can choose when or how long they want to work, and make it suitable for their own goods. Company also provide maternity leave for employees when they need it, for example, if a family of an employees had an new born baby or pregnant, they will need more time to take care of the baby or get use to the new born baby’s existence.
It is quite stressful for a parent to look after the baby and working hard at the same time. Even though they manage to take care the baby and go to work regularly, they won’t be able to fully concentrate on their work, at that time, company can provide a maternity or paternity leave for those father and mother, which they are still under partial pay until they are fully be able to come back to work. To summarize, management team have to consider and understand work and personal life balance, and to be able to balance them to satisfy their employers, the best way to do so, is to build up a good relationship between employees and emplyers.
My Own Experience In my own experience, I’ve work in Hong Kong Polo Restaurant for 2 summers as a waiter for a summer holiday job, at the beginning, it was a 9 hours shift, and 7 days a week, but since the customers coming non-stop. I found it quite stressful to work there, and since I am a type 1 diabetes. I’ve spoke to my manager about my condition and she understand it quite well. Ever since then, I only have to work 6 hours a day, and 7 days a week. But since they have lag of stuff. Some time I have to work over time and an extra day.
The manager also would like to ask her employees if we would like to get any food home for dinner as a take away. As a employee, I respect her very much, as in she is willing to manage my working time with my condition, and are willing to put out extra affect to listen and build up a friendship between employers and employees. Conclusion All in all, work life balance is a topic that most management are concerning about. Although there will never be a perfect balance between work and life, but the closer balance it get, it will help organization and company to achieve the goal and keeping a happy work team.
At the same time, management should not only consider how much to pay their employees and how long should they work for because of the law, they should really get involved and help the employees to balance their work life, the management should understand the employees needs and try to adjust the right work life balance for them. The best way to build up a balance is not just considering a balance between employees needs and their work, it is also the best if the employees have a good relationship with the employer, and to create a better environment for the work force