Introducing Work Life Balance: Concern and Opportunities of Work Life Balance

Work and personal life were once considered to be two separate priorities. But with the changing times due to globalization and ever-increasing work pressures, maintaining work-life balance has attracted the attention of the organizations and employees as well. The employees who devote a crucial period of time of their entire day at work or sometimes work for extended hours, are faced with the challenge of balancing their personal lives with the demands of their profession.

The origin of the term Work-Life Balance took place in early 80’s, because of a sharp rise in the number of working women professionals having children in tender age-groups dependent on them. The demand for maintaining a work-life balance has risen unprecedentedly among the employees and the management has also acknowledged its importance in the current scenario.

In future, work life balance will be one of the hot topics of debate in the boardrooms and is going to be a major area of concern for the management and HR professionals which they will be faced with.

Work-Life balance refers to an effective management or striking a balance between the work which is remunerated and the personal or social responsibilities which an individual is expected to perform. Work life can influence organizational productivity and also the well being of the employees in different ways. Given below are some of the areas in terms of opportunities and concerns on which work life issues can have an impact:

  1. Impact on the Profitability and Growth: Excessive pressure of achieving the profitability and growth targets builds stress, hampers the overall productivity of the employees and disturbs their work-life balance.

    A well planned and implemented work-life balance strategy may greatly ease the work pressure both on the job and perceived work pressures, which in turn will favourably propel employee productivity and contribute towards a positive return on investment.

  2. Work Life Balance

  3. Employee Engagement at work and Quality of customer service: An imbalance in the work and life front will adversely affect the complete engagement of the employees at work and hamper the quality of services delivered to the customers. On the other hand, the quality of service will be reliable and consistent, if the employees perceive that their efforts or their presence is valued by the management and also that the organization is committed to ensuring both personal and professional success of their employees.
  4. Talent Acquisition strategy and the Challenges related to it: Increase in the composition of the baby boomers and relatively a young pool of working professionals, have increased their expectations for a favourable work life culture. They expect that apart from their work responsibilities they need to attend to the personal/social responsibilities of their life.

    In the present scenario, issues with work-life balance is considered to be the prime reasons for a high rate of employee turnover which definitely is an imposed cost on the organization. Research reveals that, Johnson & Johnson was able to achieve a reduction in the rate of absenteeism by almost 50% by introducing flexi-work options and employee welfare policies.

  5. Rising cost of Health Care & Medications: Due to a rise in the level of work pressure and never ending expectations, a major percentage of the employees are faced with lifestyle related diseases and major health problems. This has become a serious issue of concern for the organizations because of the mounting cost of health care and drastic reduction in the ratio of employee productivity. Such concerns have compelled the management to pay importance to work-life balance priorities and creating a healthier workplace by implementing several developmental initiatives.

Work-life initiatives is not a choice but an imperative for the management in the present scenario. It is because, the employees look forward to the support and concern of the management towards their work-life related issues. HR today, holds the extra responsibility of implementing a gamut of initiatives for making their organization an attractive place to work for the employees.

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Workplace Efficiency