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Human Resource Management - Worklife balance - Essay Example

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There has been growing interest among both academics and practitioners in the issue of work/life balance. This is doubtless a consequence of the fact that many UK employees work long hours - men in full-time jobs, in particular, work longer hours than those in any other European country (DTI, 2002)…
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Human Resource Management - Worklife balance
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Download file to see previous pages This paper contributes to the work/life balance and work/non-work conflict literature by analyzing the literature of various studies, which examine the attitudes and experiences relating to work/life balance among UK, employees in the first 10 years of their careers. Specifically, the analysis explores the extent to which work/life balance matters, the extent to which it is being achieved and the factors that determine perceptions of work/non-work conflict, including the state of the psychological contract between employer and employee, work involvement and organisational support. The potential impact of work/non-work conflict on organisational commitment is examined, and the policy implications for employers considered.
Corporate leaders understand that employees' work and family lives rare inextricably linked. They al ways have been but today, with increased pressures in both domains, the overlap and the challenges created are increasingly obvious and complex to resolve. Solving the paradox seated in an organisation's need to be optimally productive and the individual's need to find quality time to meet domestic responsibilities, to establish, maintain and grow relationships and to relax and re-charge, is the great challenge of the new millennium. Most managers have yet to overcome the conundrum for themselves let alone help employees resolve it in their lives.
The prospects for easing the work/ life imbalance dilemma lie, at least in part, in establishing what is creating it. 'Know thy enemy' and so forth. Enemy number one must surely be the 'time distribution imbalance' trap - consistently committing too much time to work where this is having a detrimental impact on personal life.
However, the concept of 'work-life balance' means different things to different people, and there are always shades of grey. What is an imbalance to one person is perfectly acceptable to another. In addition, commercial realities cannot be ignored. Somehow, the needs of key customers and/or other stakeholders must be met or they will take their patronage elsewhere. These and the myriad of other related issues are why the problem is so vexed and why many leaders effectively suspend their attempts to solve it. It ends up in the 'too hard' basket. However, given the gravity of the problem and the potential upside that comes with finding a remedy, at some point the issue must come back to the fore. So where to start
Most managers agree that a so-called 'quality work environment' reduces the employment stresses that can spill over to staff's personal lives and create distress. The quality work environment bundle might include job characteristics such as work time flexibility, individual responsibility and autonomy, the physical office environment, pay, equity and advancement conditions. Lastly, but certainly not least, the nature of interpersonal relations in the office is very important.
For some time, it has been argued that achieving a 'balance' between home life and work life is increasingly a priority for many people. As long ago ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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