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The Impact Of Work-life Balance On Wellbeing Of Employees

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Introduction

Problem Statement

The task of satisfying key employees is intense. High level of satisfaction and minimum level of conflicts at workplace and home has been shown to be momentous to the development of an organization in terms of gaining competitive advantage as well as wellness of society. Now a day, Level of frustration among people due to socio-economic issues is rising in Pakistan; Organizations are in continuous competition which is putting pressure on employees. Moreover, In traditional family setting of Pakistan, responsibilities level seem quite high as more members demand more care, increase of female workforce or single-parent families (Barnett & Hyde, 2001) over weigh responsibilities. These are the alarming conditions that should be addressed in terms of identification of causes so that proper measures could be taken to ensure wellness of employees, organization and society as a whole.

Work-life balance is an important topic in both professional business practice and academic research. Success of any organization is particularly dependent on the availability of satisfied workforce. Generally imbalance results as depression, and organizations experiencing higher staff turnover, lower productivity and poorer work quality (Seligman, 2011; Hill, 2005). Similarly, an individual can enjoy healthy family life if he/she has a supportive family. High level of dissatisfaction due to family burden leads to lower quality relationships with family members (Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 2002).

In recent years, it is found that level of frustration among people is rising which is resulting in the form of low patience level, depression and increase in number of blood pressure patients due to multiple reasons. To keep away nation from depression is one of the main challenges faced by many countries. A report commissioned by the British Council in 2009 reveals widespread dissatisfaction and frustration in Pakistan. That report emphasized on the socio-economic issues which vast majority face due to unemployment, inequality, intense work pressure and increase in social burden &criticism.

Businesses are in continuous competition that is pressurizing personnel to boom their productiveness and increasing workload for the employees (O’Connell, Russell, Watson & Byrne, 2010). Many people feel under stress to work longer hours to hold their jobs (Wayman, 2010), and to fulfill their family expenses (Edwards & Rothbard, 2000). Studies indicate that the main reasons of poor WLB amongst employees are excessive operating hours and a lack of work schedule flexibility.

In traditional family setting of Pakistan, responsibilities level seem quite high as more members demand more care especially elder care responsibilities influence time division factor. Moreover, the number of women continues their professional life even after marriage is raising day by day as literature highlighted increase of female workforce Grady et al. (2008) or single-parent families (Barnett & Hyde, 2001) which seems to result in more role interference and responsibilities overload.

Most of the researchers relate Work-Life Balance with organization policies, organization culture and HR management. Research on WLB and wellbeing also performed but in USA and UK, little research assesses this influence in Pakistan’s context where we observe two systems of family which includes Joint-family system and Neutral-family system. Most of the wellbeing studies either focus merely on female workforce but this study also incorporate male workforce. There seems to be insufficient research conducted on Family- work conflicts and their effects on wellbeing. This study aims to bridge the distance in literature and observe factors associated with family-work Conflicts from a wellbeing perspective. As Frone et al. (1992) argue that the relation between dissatisfaction and family-work conflict is stronger over time than the relation between dissatisfaction and work-family conflict. So, it seems like an important area to study.

It is irrefutable fact that the future of organizations depends upon the satisfaction level of their competent workforce and keeping them satisfied is a big challenge for the management. Eventually an organization suffers by Losing workforce or having workforce with high stress level in this competitive era. Likewise, society’s wellness depends on having happy family system with least conflicts. This study is going to consider the impact of Work life balance factors on the Wellbeing of Employees. Work life balance refers to balance, an individual can enjoy due to minimum conflicts in life, which a person’s family and workplace ensure by taking actions. Also compare which factor of balance is more crucial for bringing contentment in two separate domains.

Literature Review

Work-life balance is vital for individuals’ wellbeing, organization’s overall performance and a functioning society (Grady et al., 2008). There are many strategies to keep the employees content with the present job but work-life balance boost the satisfaction level on regular basis. Family and work are the most crucial elements of everyone’s life. Any competing demands of work and family life cause conflict and negatively affect the wellness of workers (Clark, 2000; Frone, 2000). Work and family life generally affected by three sorts of conflicts which are time-based conflict, strain-based conflict, and behavior-based conflict according to Greenhaus and Beutell (1985).

Contrary to modern belief, monetary compensation is not the highest satisfaction factor for an individual playing two roles simultaneously. Some researchers (e.g. Edwards & Rothbard, 2000; Lambert, 1990) referred to compensation theory according to which workers try to find more contentment in one domain to reimburse for the lack of satisfaction in the other domain. This study targeted on compensation but not in economic terms.

A Few studies elaborated flexibility as conflict resolving aspect. Clark (2000) in her border theory shows that WLB is overblown by physical borders (e.g. workplace walls), temporal borders (e.g. working hours) and psychological borders (e.g. conduct and thinking patterns) between work and family settings. Clark (2000) determined that higher flexibility and lower permeability can result in lower conflicts. Contrary to this, Research conducted by Hill, Hawkins and Miller (1996) shows that excessive integration of work and family setting can lead to negative results, as excessive flexibility can blur the bounds between those two settings.

Generally due to economic downturn, expanded competition and evolving technology, organizations reduce expenditure, lower group of workers ranges and pressurize remaining employees to boom their productiveness (O’Connell et al., 2010). The wellbeing of workers who hold their employment may be negatively influenced by job insecurity (Scherer, 2009). Many individuals feel underneath pressure to work longer hours to hold their jobs (Wayman, 2010).

Grady et al. (2008) and Burke (2000) argues that corporations and executives need to recognize the importance of WLB, its influence on employees’, and on organizations productivity and performance. Providing certain non-monetary benefits at slight stage such as flexible working hours, temporal agreements, childcare facilities, and supports such as counseling via an organization strengthen chances of retention of a competent workforce, and its effect on organizational dedication and profitability (Ryan & Kossek, 2008; Hill, 2005; Grady et al., 2008).

A few researchers believes that these factors of work-life balance have bi-directional effects on work and family domains, participation in the work role can also disturb or enhance the performance in the family role, and family position participation may also disturb or enhance performance within the work role (Frone, 2003; Grzywacz & Marks, 2000).

From global demographic changes point of view, multiplied participation of women in the workforce, single-parent households and eldercare have ended in expanded challenges confronted by workers who tried to stabilize demands of work and family life (Tennant &Sperry, 2003; Young, 1999). Change in trends also impact setting of priorities, which sometimes result in the form of conflicts.

Multiple researches have put their emphasis on workplace pressure as a reason for less level of employee’s fulfillment. It is found that less literature focusing exclusively on family aspect as a reason which could affect an individual work-life, intentions and health. Frone et al. (1992) argue that the relation between despair and family-work conflict is getting more energy over time than the relation between despair and work-family conflict.

Individual with larger family size and more dependent care duties face more issues in their lives than individuals without such care obligations (Frone et al., 1992; Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Grzywacz and Marks (2000). Grzywacz and Marks (2000) found that family support or burden affects stages of satisfaction. Lower levels of criticism by family and burden indicated less number of conflicts, and lower levels of family support indicated higher negative spillover, decrease degree of WLB (Kalliath & Monroe, 2009), higher job stress and turnover intentions (Netemeyer, Maxham & Pullig, 2005), anxiety and substance disorders (Frone, 2000) and increased stress (Hill, 2005).

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Hence, Wellbeing of an individual may be assured by taking certain actions in order to make an individual feel good about life roles, his/her presence and surrounding as stated by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics and by Ryan and Deci (2001) while operating on pleasure-pain theory. A glad employee is a more productive employee, and happiness is affected by both work contentment and family life contentment (Spector et al., 2004; Moorman, 1993). Based on the above studies, this research evolves hypotheses linking Conflicts and wellbeing of employees by emphasizing on a few above mentioned aspects not considered much previously, in order to identify at which end more effort is required to ensure wellbeing of an employee.

Work-Family Conflict

This is a type of conflict which takes place when performing workplace role start disturbing home or work activities (Breaugh & Frye, 2007; Hill, 2005) such as decrease in supportiveness i.e absence of compressed workweek and flexi time. This factor is significant to consider as negative experiences at either place can disturb a person.

Family-Work Conflict

This is a type of conflict which takes place when performing family role start disturbing work or home activities (Breaugh & Frye, 2007; Hill, 2005) such as increase in demand of time or workload by family. This factor is significant to consider as negative experiences usually have a negative impact on person’s life.

Dependent Variable

Wellbeing of Employees is the dependent variable. My current study will consider two different dimensions associated with Wellbeing of Employees. These dimensions are:

Work Satisfaction

Work satisfaction refers to an employee overall feeling about supervision and an employee critical assessment of the work conditions e.g. working hours, workload and job security.

“There are two sets of factors figuring out work satisfaction: (a) intrinsic factors consisting of schooling, task meaningfulness, job expectations and family demands; and (b) work-related aspects such as job security, talent range, role overload and conflict, and supervisor guide” (Paton et al., 2003).

Family Satisfaction

This term built on an idea of achieving personal happiness or satisfaction due to the high understanding level of a supportive family.

Clark and Farmer (1998) state that family life satisfaction means achieving personal happiness due to family support.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this study is to elaborate and clarify the link between work-life balance and wellbeing of employees working in five private organizations of Pakistan, to find out which dimension of work-life balance; work-family conflict or family-work conflict influence work satisfaction and family satisfaction more. Moreover, this study will bridge the distance in literature by analyzing and comparing extent of influence on satisfaction from family’s end in the light of Joint-family system and Neutral-family system.

For the research of Work-life balance in influencing wellbeing of employees, Post positivist worldview will be needed as a way to approach research. As After reviewing the literature related to Work life balance, positivism paradigm seems to be the most appropriate approach for data collection. A Quantitative research will be done by using deductive approach and assessing relationships between variables which will be numerically measured and analyzed then.

Quantitative Design

For Quantitative research, Survey research will be done to examine the influence of work life balance on wellbeing of employees in 5 private organizations of Pakistan only. The nature of the survey would be cross-sectional. In order to test our hypotheses survey would be one of the best tools to collect data and research conducted through surveys provides us with greater confidence to generalize our results to population at large.

Data Collection

Data will be collected by using survey research strategy which involves questionnaires consisting of close ended questions regarding two above mentioned dimensions of Independent variable i.e. Work-life balance and two dimensions of dependent variable i.e. Wellbeing of employees. The questions will be formed in a five point Likert Scale which allows respondents to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement provided. Data will be collected till the time the numbers of participants belong to the neutral family system is equal to the number of participants from the joint-family system.

Sample size and Technique

A sample size of 200 respondents from five private organizations of Pakistan will be used to gather information by using convenience sampling technique for selection of participants.

Data Analysis

Data will be analyzed by using Statistical Package for the Social sciences (SPSS) for drawing appropriate conclusions. Descriptive statistics will be used for demographic variables. Cronbach’s alpha will be used to check the internal validity of the scale. I will conduct Pearson correlation to examine the link between the independent and dependent variable.

Significance

The study is significant for an individual, organization and family also as it will provide better insight regarding connection between WLB and wellbeing. This study is based on comparing disturbance due to work activities versus due to family demands (Joint-family system versus Neutral-family system) in an individual’s life. So it will indicate, at which end (family or workplace) more effort is required to raise an employee overall satisfaction level.

In this competitive era, it is very important for the organizations to understand how they can keep their current workforce satisfied by doing better in terms of Lifestyle and wellness programs implementation (family-friendly policies) to improve overall level of commitment, absenteeism ratio, turnover ratio, productivity and performance of its employees.

Moreover, the study highlights significance of clear responsibilities allocation and providing flexibility to a family member by family (either it’s a joint-family or a neutral-family) in order to support that member. Moreover, it would also contribute to the existing body of literature; Academicians would be able to use this study as a basis for further study on the proposed topic in the area of Human Resource Management.

Limitations

  • The size of the sample population which is 200 respondents from merely 5 private organizations operating in Lahore could affect the statistical strength of this research. Therefore, future research is recommended on a larger sample population, as a pathway to increase worth of the findings.
  • Another limitation is the sampling method. This study is going to use a convenience sampling method, which means that individuals who are easily approachable by me will be the part of this research. Being a student, it is quite difficult to access complete list of employees of these organizations in order to use random sampling method.
  • Cross-sectional research is another limitation, as longitudinal research adds knowledge in a sense that we can inference better casual relationship between independent and dependent variables.

References

  1. Barnett, R.C. & Hyde, J.S. (2001) ‘Women, men, work, and family: An expansionist theory’. American Psychologist, 56, 781-796.
  2. Breaugh, J. A. & Frye, N. K. (2007) ‘An examination of the antecedents and consequences of the use of family-friendly benefits’. Journal of Managerial Issues, 19 (1): 35-52.
  3. Burke, R. (2000) ‘Do managerial men benefit from organizational values supporting work-personal life balance?’. Women in Management Review, 15 (2):81-87.
  4. Clark, S. C. (2000) ‘Work/family border theory: A new theory of work/family balance’. Human Relations, 53 (6): 747-770.
  5. Clark, S.C. & Farmer, P.M.K. (1998) ‘living in two different worlds: Measuring cultural and value differences between work and home, and their effect on border-crossing’. Paper presented at the Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, October, 1998.
  6. Diener, E. (2005) ‘Guidelines for national indicators of subjective well-being and ill-being’, Applied Research in Quality of Life. 1: 151-157.
  7. Edwards, J. R. & Rothbard, N. P. (2000) ‘Mechanisms linking work and family: Clarifying the relationship between work and family constructs’. Academy of Management Review, 25 (1): 178-199.
  8. Frone, M. R., Russell, M. & Cooper, M. (1992) ‘Antecedents and outcomes of work-family conflict: Testing a model of work-family interface’.Journal of Applied Psychology, 77 (1): 65-78
  9. Grzywacz, J.G. & Marks, N.F. (2000) ‘Reconceptualising the work-family interface: an ecological perspective on the correlates of positive and negative spillover between work and family’. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5(1):111-126.
  10. Greenhaus, J. H. & Beutell, N. J. (1985) ‘Sources of conflict between work and family roles’. Academy of Management Review, 10 (1): 76-88.
  11. Grady, G., McCarthy, A., Darcy, C. & Kirrane. M. (2008) Work Life Balance Policies and Initiatives in Irish Organisations: A Best Practice Management.Cork: Oak Tree Press.
  12. Hill, E. J., Hawkins, A.J. & Miller, B.C (1996) ‘Work and family in the virtual office: Perceived influence of mobile telework’. Family Relations, 45, 293-301.
  13. O’Connell, P.J., Russell, H., Watson, D. & Byrne, D. (2010) The Changing Workplace: A Survey of Employees’ Views and Experiences. Dublin: National Centre for Partnership and Performance.
  14. Paton, D., Jackson, D. & Johnston, P. (2003) ‘Work attitudes and values’. In: O’Driscoll, M, Taylor, P. & Kalliath T.( eds). Organizational psychology in Australia and New Zealand. Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press, 129-149.
  15. Ryan A.M., & Kossek, E.E. (2008) ‘Work-life policy implementation: Breaking down or creating barriers to inclusiveness?’. Human Resource Management 47: 295–310.
  16. Scherer, S. (2009) ‘The Social Consequences of Insecure Jobs’, Special Issue of Social Indicators Research, 93(3): 527–47
  17. Spector, P.E., Cooper, C.L., Poelmans, S., Allen, T.D., O’Driscoll, M., Sanchez, J.I., Siu, O.L., Dewe, P., Hart, P. & Lu, L. (2004) ‘A cross-national comparative study of work-family stressors, working hours, and well-being: China and Latin America versus the Anglo world’. Personnel Psychology, 57:119-142
  18. Seligman, M. E. P. (2011) A visionary new understanding of happiness and wellbeing: Flourish. Australia: Random House Australia Pty Ltd.
  19. Tennant, G. P. & Sperry, L. (2003) ‘Work-family balance: Counselling strategies to optimise health’. Family Journal-Counselling Therapy for Couples and Families, 11(4): 404-408.

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The Impact Of Work-life Balance On Wellbeing Of Employees. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-impact-of-work-life-balance-on-wellbeing-of-employees/
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