MOOCs AS A DIGITAL LEARNING PLATFORM
March 31, 2020

Sparkling International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Studies

Volume 3           Issue 1           January – March 2020           Pages 1-11

A CONCEPTUAL STUDY ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE AND ITS IMPACT ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

*Meenakshi Kaushik & **Neha Guleria

*Professor & Head of the department, School of Commerce and Management,  Lingayas University, Faridabad, Delhi NCR, India.

**Research Scholar, School of Commerce and Management, Lingayas University, Faridabad, Delhi NCR, India.

Abstract


In organizations as well as in personal life the changes and challenges are arising at all level of employees due to the cut-throat competition in the market, fast-paced life with no objectivity in life as well as current global workplace trends. So work-life balance is the need of the hour to increase and improve motivation and moral of employees by keeping them happy and satisfies and getting maximum best from them, as well as adopting various successful retention strategies to retain valuable employees within the organization as well as maintaining the  quality of work-life at workplace. This article leads to the examination of work-life balance effectiveness and its impact on the employees’ productivity. A balanced life boosts energy and efforts to perform productively.  That strengthens emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual aspects of one’s life and enhance positive attitude with optimistic behaviour. The proper balance among different roles of life brings happiness and reduces stress. Both–employer and employee, play a vital role to maintain work-life balance and effective performances. Business organisations facilitate employees with various set of policies such as flexible working hours, freelancing and compressed work weeks, and training programmes to manage time factor, stress and other life roles. The study is about to clarify the root knowledge of work-life balance influencing by various factors and the impact of these on employee performance.

Keywords: work-life balance, employee performance, attitude, employee productivity, stress free life.


Introduction

The term work-life balance was first introduced in 1986 in the US. By devoting much time to the profession, one may achieve the success very fast and reach the top, but only the monetary gain does not give happiness in life. Work-Life balance indicates a state of equilibrium among personal, professional and family life. Work-Life balance is about the uniformity of different roles played by an individual in his/her life at different phases. It is a balance an individual has to maintain between time factor and other aspects of life. Work-Life balance is a wide concept which is based on prioritizing the ‘work’ and ‘life’. Here, work includes career, ambition, profession and employment; and life includes family, happiness, health, and survival. Work-Life balance is a mutual responsibility of both the employer and employee. To make performances more effective and productivity a little better, the organization should pay attention to the inner and outer life of its employees. Work-Life balance is a routine challenge to manage. If not managed properly, then it can lead to stress the life of individual and so his/her performance. The quality of human resource of an organization defines the strength and weaknesses of that particular organization. Better communication skills, patience, integrity, leadership, quick decisions are some of the human resource qualities. The existence of these qualities is possible where the mind is calm and peaceful, and physical health is up to the standard mark. Work-Life balance upgrades employees’ wellbeing and job satisfaction. It is also beneficial for organizations as it improves productivity to reduce absenteeism and replacement costs.

Need of the Study

There is a workup need to focus on maintaining a better work-life balance. The inability to balance both family and work leads to poor performances. The productivity of performance effects in a great manner. The rate of absenteeism increases and lowers the commitment of employees towards work which leads to poor morale of the individuals. Every single individual can create his/her own work-life balance by tasting the joy of the job. Integration enhancement develops balance in personal and professional life by allowing oneself more towards it. Maintaining a work-life balance helps reduces stress and burnouts in life. Many organizations are actively participating in work-life balance programs to manage high turnover rates in the organization, for proper recruitment and selection of Employees, Retaining excellent people by devising many policies and strategies of the organizations.  These work-life balance programs are also mainly conducted by organizations to destress people at the right time by certain coping strategies by reducing their stress level by rebalancing work life. A large number of organizations are taking active participation implementing Health and wellness programs by inviting Yoga instructors, Fitness trainers Doctors, motivational speakers, and undertaking various initiatives such as counselling sessions, making their employees aware of right eating habits, narrating them the importance of Yoga and various therapies and also by conducting stress management programs to create a constructive environment in their organizations. Many Employers also provide long term vacations as well as flexi timings to their employee especially women performing dual role responsibilities and also providing them options of work from home that really create a positive understanding between employer as well as employees. So there is an urgent need to study this issue deeply so that companies can really go through the various issues related to their employees by implementing work-life balance programs and ensuring the welfare of their people as well as organization. Self-Management also plays a very pivotal role in maintaining work-life balance where Employee is required to control their behaviour and give their best to the company. Some evaluative parameters are also required to ensure whether these programs are really having desired outcomes and effects over the employers, employees and the overall growth of the organization.

Objectives of the Study

  1. To study the present scenario of work-life balance
  2. To examine the factors influencing work-life balance of employees
  3. To interpret the basic concept of employee performance
  4. To analyse the impact of work-life balance on employee performance

Research Methodology

This research paper is basically descriptive and analytical in nature. In this paper, an attempt has been taken to analyse the impact of work-life balance and its impact on Employee’s Performance the Data collection is on secondary sources such as research papers, articles according to the need of the study.

Work-Life Balance

 It is a collaboration of connections among various aspects of life. The ascendancy and drawbacks depend on the balance or imbalance of different complex societal factors (Carruthers, 2005; Spinks, 2004; Parsons, 2002). It is not about the equal spending of time on every aspect of life but demands an individual’s presence whenever required. To maintain a perfect work-life balance, determinate amount of emotional, mental and physical state is required which corresponds to personal and professional life. There is no gender discrimination in experiencing a conflict of work and life. Males and females, both are influenced by work and non-work demands. Work-life balance does not mean work-family support or balance. It also does not mean an equal balance or scheduling an equal number for each work activity of every aspect of life. There will be variation in the standard of the right balance of work-life as per the demand of the situation. Not every day remain the same. Things get on changing as the family size increases or decreases. The same thing happens with organizational work activities which keep on changing periodically. Everyone is having different lives and priorities, so the work-life balance format differs from person to person. Work-life balance is basically creating and maintaining a supportive and healthy environment where employees are enabled to maintain a balance working life and personal life and henceforth increasing employee morale, commitment and loyalty. Work-life balance is based on the concept of achievement and enjoyment on a regular or daily basis. Achieving means accomplishment of working activities or winning something, and enjoyment is a sense of satisfaction, happiness, wellbeing and joy of living. To maintain a balance is difficult because life comprises of little surprises somewhere. In today’s fast-paced lifestyle people have to perform multiple responsibilities such as a spouse, children, elderly parents, friends, families, relatives and while performing responsibilities all over work-life conflict arise and it influences all aspects of life and this problem is continuously arising due to various emerging trends in the present context as well as changing lifestyle of people. Other reasons include insecurities in life due to various reasons on the professional front as well as the personal front, lack of broader outlook towards people and issues, job security and extensive use of communication technology, lack of support and understanding of family members, fellow colleagues, co-workers, work-role ambiguity and conflict.

Reasons for Imbalance

While sustaining a healthy balance between work and life following obstacles hit the focus towards diversion:

  1. There is a lot of competition among the population to perform better and to achieve more in the organizational end which demands more attention and efforts, extended working hours and awareness.
  2. Individual career ambition causes ignorance to the rest of the life aspects.
  3. The global economy has a wider impact of work-life balance which affecting everything from choice of education and job.
  4. The insufficient income of employees.
  5. Less paid individuals to work for extended hours to earn adequate.
  6. Higher paid individuals confine into working more hours with higher responsibilities.
  7. More time in travelling because of traffic jams.
  8. Demographic changes.
  9. Collapsing limits between work and home.
  10. Other reasons include insecurities in life due to various reasons on the professional front as well as the personal front, lack of broader outlook towards people and issues, job security and extensive use of communication technology, lack of support and understanding of family members, fellow colleagues, co-workers, work -role ambiguity and conflict.

The execution of work activities or job duties is termed as employee performance that requires effectiveness, efficiency and better quality. Every employee is responsible for the achievement of organizational goals. Employee contributions open the way towards the success of a business. A positive work environment motivates individuals to perform effectively. Employee performance is a vital factor which marks the growth of both individual and organization and is beneficial for both as well. There is a link of employee performance with the work activities and task of employee execute in an effective manner. It also focuses on the contribution of the employee for the organization as well as among employees of the organization which explores output, work attendance and attitude (Abualoush et al., 2018b). Employee performance is a measurable aspect by adopting different techniques (Faiza & Nazir, 2015).

The alarming issue is that how an individual can manage a satisfactory personal life and productive performances at the workplace the question arises on the fact that both the factors whether complementing or conflicting each other (Koubova & Buchko, 2013). If a person is not capable to maintain exact balance and better control then that will cause lack of energy and overburden workload. The imbalance makes the presence of fatigue and poor performances; that further decreases the quality of life (Johari et al., 2018).

Literature Review

Work-Life balance is a space of growing greatness to both employees and employers. Employees require it to balance work and life roles whereas employers require it to enhance productivity (Abbott & De Cieri, 2008). The operators for work-life balance can be allocated to change in the population analysis, technological development and the 24/7 opening hour’s culture in Morden society (Beauregard & Henry, 2009; Kalliath& Brough, 2008). While there is no compatible resolution of work-life balance, there is presence of some consistent matter such as employees achieving a bearable balance between their professional and personal lives, employers work initiative which would assist improvement in employees’ productivity. Provision of a range of focused work-life creative programmes that intensify organizational performance and not result in a substantial expansion in cost to the employers (De Cieri, Holmes, Abbott & Pettit, 2005). Work–life balance includes genuine arrangement between work and life, whereas work involves career, ambition, and life covers health, family, hobbies, spiritual development. Lifestyle and life balance both are related and broader terms. In the broader sense, work-life balance is defined as an acceptable level of involvement or ‘fit’ between the various roles in the life of a person (Kossek & Ozeki, 1998). Time and stress are two main issues to be marked to achieve work-life balance as observing the day to day lives of employees. The secret of a perfect work-life balance is the effective management of these two aspects. Thus, the formula of work-life balance is work-life balance = Time management + Stress management (Gupta and Sharma, 2013). It is important to understand, from the beginning, that work-life balance does not mean to assign an equal amount of time to the profession and other life roles. Although definitions and explanations may vary, work-life balance is generally linked with stability between the time factor and effort an individual commit to the job and other life responsibilities, in order to keep up an overall sight of consonance in life (Clarke, et al 2004, 121). To perceive work-life balance, it is significant to be alert towards the various demands of responsibilities, personal resources-time factor and energy that we can utilize to assign them. This alertness makes us capable to review and value the options we have in terms of how we assign our precious resources. Such critical decision-making develops a sense of control over our working arrangements so that to better fit in with other factors of our lives while keeping organizational benefits in mind. (Kumar and Mohd, 2014) says that work-life balance is about people having specific control over when, where and how they work. What an organization does for the individual, there is a view, includes only a framework of work-life balance. Implementation of work-life balance initiatives is must by the organizations to assist its employees to make an effective balance with their job and family responsibilities to achieve improvements in personal performances and give benefits to the organisation. Family-friendly policies are based on the larger variation that involves but not only limited to flexible working hours, part-time work, job sharing, parental leave, child care facilities, compressed workweeks, (Hartel et al, 2007). In inclusion, employers may facilitate a span of welfares related to employees’ health and well-being, with the provision of health insurance for their employees and dependents on employees, and ingress to plan of action to persuade fitness, physical and mental health.

Flexible working hours

Flexible working hours permit employees to persuade the beginning and closing times of their working routine provided a particular number of the worked hour. It can allow them for the family to get together or personal urgencies/commitments by deducting their commuting time by beginning and closing of job time before or after the rush hour (Kumar and Mohd, 2014).

Freelancing

Freelancing is becoming more common for individuals to do some of their regular work from home by avoiding visits to the office. That kind of arrangement is termed as ‘freelance’, ‘telework’ or ‘telecommuting’ and it can be beneficial for employees as it assists them to manage their work assignments including with their personal and family requirements; to reduce expenses related to work; to decrease commuting time, and to work in a minimum stressful and troublesome environment. The employees may get benefits to those who are having a particular disability, and unable to go out of the home. The employees, who are adopting freelancing, can take the advantage to capitalize on their personal productivity. In spite of these advantages and the attention that freelancing has allured in the media, very few cumulative agreements include freelance facilities. The shortage of freelance clauses is slight because of the fact that not all professions are compliant to such an arrangement. In addition, there is a concern for starting implementation costs, potential legal liabilities, and it is difficult to process supervising and execute performance appraisal techniques to freelancing.  Trade-Unions may disagree with work-at-home clauses as they comprehend freelancing as leading to considerable isolation of employees, decreased job security and promotion opportunities, and declined health and safety protection (Naktiyok & Iscan, 2003).

Compressed Work Week

Compressed Work Week is a concept by adopting which employee can make arrangements with long working hours in trading for a reduction in the number of days of working in their work cycle on a weekly basis. That can be significant for employees as they can add more days off work and take long weekends. This will reduce commuting time as well and the employer can extend routine operational hours without any requirement of overtime. Compressed workweek positioning may be specifically beneficial for employees, who wish to deduct the number of working days per week at the workplace. Compressed workweeks are often initiated by both the employee and the employer. The employer initiates the choice of the compressed workweek to improve the operational efficiency, reduces routine cost, maximize the production and to develop longer business hours that can make customer services much better. The arrangement for 40 working hours a week, working 8 hours for 5days, can be compressed to 4days by working 10hour daily. This will give 3days on the weekend (Yeandley et al, 2002).

Part-Time Work

Part-Time Work arrangements can also permit employees with poor health problems, disabilities, limited disposable time (like as students) to participate and enhance their skills and acquire work experience. Individuals who have had career breaks, this way, they can facilitate re-entry into the work environment (specifically mothers or fathers who have dropped to visit the working place and stayed at home to taken care of their children). It seems as a provision for employees who are nearing to retirement for their gradual exist. In case of the employer’s point of view, part-time workers are beneficial (where and whenever feasible) by providing additional coverage during peak working period to maximize the use of human resources and increases operational flexibility. Part-time employment contemplated as unsatisfactory for those who prefer long working hours to ensure higher living standards for their families and also interested in increasing their income. People with less working hour can balance their lives much better. Furthermore, employees who work part-time or less than 35 hours a week reported better physical and mental health. Part-time work is a frequent strategy attain by workers who are interested in to better balance their work and family life. Promotion at a much higher level is required in case of part-time work or jobs (Clarke, et al, 2004).

Job sharing

Job sharing is an organized pattern which allows two (or sometimes more) individuals to mutually fill one fulltime job, with responsibilities and working time shared or divided between them. Business organizations with less or limited part-time job opportunities or other arrangements, job-sharing is appropriate in such cases. Apart from this, there is the advantage of allowing employees much more for other liabilities, including family responsibilities; job sharing also facilitates the enhancement of cooperation, where job sharers develop learning from one another with a provision of mutual support. Employers can get benefits from that as well by improving staff retention, increasing productivity and collaboration of a wider range of skills and experience in a single job. In some of the cases, such kind of arrangement can also facilitate additional coverage during busywork spans, while ensuring continuity of coverage when one partner is on leave/absent or holidays. For business firms, it can be problematic to offer flexible working conditions when there are substantial numbers of administrative, maintenance or customer-facing employees. Where the working hours customer-driven, organizations are facing lacking flexibility for employees, but it is most beneficial in the case of family-friendly programs such as child care. A positive change in this matter is that now various business organizations are providing onsite day-care centres for childcare to benefit employees. Facility Management believes that this helps both staff and the organization, as evidenced by the lowest staff turnover rate of any casino in Australia (Australia Government Website, 2005). Day-care industry is on the rise with a focus on working-class parents, especially those who belong to the nuclear family.

The Demand–Control Model by Karasek (1979) points out that job demands and job control collectively analyse the existence of individual mental strain. Based on relative empirical interpretations, the causal relationship between job characteristics and strain outside the work-environment is moreover important to the structure. Karasek (1979) however unconditionally acknowledged a broader range of demands and resources. Accordingly, the Job Demands–Resources Model (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007; Demerouti et al., 2001) claims that demands and resources determine job-related stress. Although the Job Demands–Resources Model absolutely refers to work-related requirements and resources–given the bi-directional nature of work–family conflict–a conflict occurs if demands from the family and/or the work sphere compete with and exceed individual resources. According to Greenhaus & Parasuraman (1999), a high level of involvement in unpaid work leads to a high level of conflict in paid work. Similarly, previous research revealed that children in the household–inducing higher family demands–are associated with a higher level of conflict (Crompton & Lyonette, 2008; Greenhaus & Parasuraman, 1999), particularly for women (Hennig et al., 2012). Martinengo et al. (2010) reveal that younger children–who demand more time–are predictors of family-to-work conflict. As females yet tend to be more responsible for childcare than males (Sayer, 2010), regardless of paid in working hours employment, females have to work a second shift at home (Asher, 2011; Hochschild, 2003). Thus, personal and family liabilities are family requirements which potentially enlarge the family-to-work conflict. The work-related requirement that is most often discussed is the number of working hours, possibly causing work-to-family conflict.

Discussion and Analysis

The management of family and work roles leads to better performances with a high productivity rate. That facilitates the space for growth to both the parties-employer and employee. Proper time management and stress management reduces the burden of managing work and family life. A perfect balance between both and effective management is a must. By following various policies and programs facilitate by organizations, an individual can manage his roles in a better way without any stress. Organizations nowadays provide a range of facilities, policies and programs to keep their employees motivated to cope with all the stuff regarding work responsibilities. A person with good emotional well-being can perform better at the organizational end. An employer can improve work-life balance by devising several HR policies and including flexible time scheduling, by providing the number of days as paid leaves for child care, maternity leave paid, work from home etc. According to a study by Messmer in 2006, flexible scheduling is the benefit valued most by employees. Implementing work-life balance programs and ensuring the welfare of their people as well as organization. Self-Management also plays a very pivotal role in maintaining work-life balance where Employee is required to control their behaviour and give their best to the company. Some evaluative parameters are also required to ensure whether these programs are really having desired outcomes and effects over the employers, employees and the overall growth of the organization.

Recommendations

  1. Overburden and extended working hours cause imbalance between work and life. To avoid that an organization should grow its size so that work activities can be divided.
  2. Organizations can arrange workshops and seminars on time, stress, and effective work management; and prioritizing work activities for their employees. It will develop a habit of punctuality by avoiding the pressure of the time factor.
  3. Designing of work-life balance plan for every job position of employees in the organizations will lead to job satisfaction and enhance the productivity of employees.
  4. Technological advancement is highly required to avoid paper or manual work activities. It also reduces communication gap and saves time.
  5. Employees should be committed towards their working hours to avoid delay in work activities and work pressure.
  6. There should be a provision of a healthy work environment in the organization for its employees to reflect positivity. Thriving lifestyles help to tackle the situation better.
  7. A childcare facility near to workplace help employees a lot in handling their kids and that reduces the stress experienced by parents.
  8. Provision of freelancing, compressed workweeks and bendy work time beneficial for employees to adjust their working time to manage more time for demanding situations of different life roles.
  9. There should not be any provision of bringing office work at home .no work on the cell phone during non-working hours, and setting a clear boundary between work and home.
  10. Proper times management for personal life, family life and professional life and by maintaining a to-do list.
  11. Providing proper opportunities for employee development, self-enhancement and finding a quality work-life balance that suits and assists employee long term career goal.
  12. Implementing work-life balance programs and ensuring the welfare of their people as well as organization.
  13. Self-Management also plays a very pivotal role in maintaining work-life balance where Employee is required to control their behaviour and give their best to the company.
  14. Some evaluative parameters are also required to ensure whether these programs are really having desired outcomes and effects over the employers, employees and the overall growth of the organization.

Conclusion

Briefly, it can be said that work-life balance is a significant issue in the present scenario and it has a vital impact on the productivity and growth of both the organization and the employee. This study is providing basic conceptual clarity between work-life balance and employee performance. There is a powerful relationship between both. Work-Life is all about a measure and control on when, where and how the individuals work. There are many factors which act as supporting elements for employees to maintain the balance between work and personal life. Work-Life balance and employee performance are equally proportional to each other. If work-life is balanced in well-mannered then the performance of the employee will be effective. On the other hand, the imbalance between work-life influences stress among individuals and it is difficult to perform productive while wearing stress in mind. Organizations, with the provision of a healthy work environment and culture, proper training programmes and better life plan designs, can help its employees to perform better. Support from employer to employees plays a role of motivational factor to employees.

References


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Mumukshananda, Swami. Vivekananda Sahitya. vol.1. Advaita Ashrama, 2005.

Rolland, Romain. The Life of Vivekananda and the Universal Gospel. Advaita Ashrama, 1931.

Vivekananda, Swami. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. vol.1. Advaita Ashrama, 1962.

 

To cite this article


Meenakshi Kaushik, & Neha Guleria. (2020). A Conceptual Study on Work-Life Balance and its impact on Employee Performance. Sparkling International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Studies, 3(1), 1-11.