Work-life Balance Most of the people in the world today are overtaken by their work schedules and end up dismissing all their other parts of life. For instance, most employees who hold high positions at work rarely get time off work to concentrate on the other areas of life…
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Therefore, complains from different families and housewives have triggered discussions concerning the issue of work-life balance. Scholars have also tried to support the idea of work-life and work-family balance form the point of view that; there is critical importance of play and relaxation in the generation of mental energy (Guest, 2002: 261). Others have also argued from the point of view of the proverb that says ‘All work but no play makes Jack a dull boy’. With the current economic downturn, there are a lot of activities that a person can engage in other than concentrating on work only. Statistics also show that the rate of family break ups in the United States is exceptionally high due to work reasons. Husbands have all their time taken by work without setting aside time for family and other extra-curricular activities. Scholars also assert that the productivity at work is directly related to the social life of a person (Clutterback, 2003: 1). Therefore, work-balance is an issue that has gained attention over the recent past years. Studies conducted have shown that imbalance of employees’ lives and their work creates a lot of problems to both the organization and their families. Some of the problems reported noticed from employees include absenteeism due to stress, failure to retain talent, insufficient initiative and creativity, low levels of customer service, unethical behaviour and low commitment and motivation (Chick, 2004). Other conflicts involved with work-life imbalance include role overload, work-family interference and family-work interference. Role overload occurs when there are a lot of responsibilities both at home and work. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the individual to perform well at any of the roles. On the other hand, work-family interference conflict occurs when an individual is overwhelmed by work duties until he neglects his family responsibilities. With family-work interference, family responsibilities become more demanding making an individual to perform poorly at his or her work duties (CCOHS, 2010: 1). This is a conflict that is mainly experienced by women since they tend to be more involved in house work, neglecting job responsibilities. Thus, clearly both the individual and the company will be negatively affected since the individual may end up being laid off. Border theory is a cognitive theory that states that there is an ultra thin boundary between the way in which individuals change their roles from family to work and back. The theory tries to examine the way in which people assign different meanings to work and home responsibilities and frequency of transitioning between these roles. However, the major objective of the theory is to ensure balance between work, family and life. The theory seeks to ensure satisfaction on the side of the individual and good functioning both at work and home (Desrochers & Sergent, 2004: 40). The border theory gives a number for propositions in its application, which include it affirms that keeping work and family separate makes it easier to manage the work and family border. It can be argued from the point of view that when a person has separated family issues from work issues, he or she will be able to perform well at both of them, producing good results in both roles. This way, there will be no such issues as lack of concentration at work due to
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This paper explored the work-life balance construct through ethnographic research in order to understand how employees make sense of their work in the broader context of their lives. The data were obtained through observation and the interviews from participants; all of the participants were full time employees of STARBUCKS coffee house located in Bradford.
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