In this assignment I will build a case as to why men should be included in any future research on work-life balance and I will Identify a relevant qualitative methodology for researching the work-life balance of men. What is work life balance? Work life balance is Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.
Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.
There are no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives. However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity. (Jim Bird, work life balance, 2015)
Essential keys as to why Men’s Work life balance needs to be researched by academics
This literature shows Men’s Work life balance needs to be researched by academics because Men’s work is generally confined to their paid jobs while women use the time freed up by their typically shorter paid work hours to carry out work in the home (Parent-Thirion et al., 2007).
For example, Craig et al.’s (2010) study of the total (paid and unpaid) work carried out by women and men in Australia from 1992 to 2006, revealed that the total workload of both mothers and fathers increased over the period, although for mothers the increase was greater. At the end of the period fathers (men) were spending more hours on paid work and childcare and decided that priorities especially of work are more important than trying to balance. (Craig et al.’s 2010)
The business case
Evidence indicates that increased opportunities to balance work and life might lead to greater employee satisfaction, which is likely to yield significant benefits for employers. For example, I would say while working long hours can have a range of negative effects (including health and safety), research finds that the greatest negative effect is on work–life balance. (Boushey et al., 2008).
This unequal division of household and family work means that women are typically ‘time poor’ and obviously have less time to do other non-work activities including leisure or community, for example for men, work–life balance is very much about work–family balance and the family and partner tends to accentuate the gender division of labour, but the picture is more complex than formerly when the male breadwinner and female homemaker model was more prevalent. (Parent-Thirion et al., 2007).
I believe the Craig et al.’s 2010 theory and methods are relevant for explaining why men’s work-life balance needs to be researched by academics because it underlines the key topics of men’s everyday life balancing work with families.
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I argue Craig et al.’s 2010 case why setting priorities in work life balance should be in play rather than just trying to balance everything because for future research in men’s work life balance should change slightly in this case as men should priorities more in this case also mentioned by (Pocock, 2005) rather than balance because, women and children can afford to balance things more than men. I say this because men have most of the heavy responsibilities on their shoulder, and as mentioned balancing family and work should not be played with because if attempting to balance these two crucial factors in men’s work life balance could cause a man to lose his job by attempting to keep family in balance as well. But some could argue family is more important than money, but I argue and say money is more important only in this instance because if men don’t focus on their work they could lose their job and would not be able to supportive their family, if that said only if their partner/s agree to this.
So, I argue this case to say that men should be considered more in any future research project to find approach work life balance differently are there are many ways instead of just the basics and some things are easier said than done. (Pocock, B. (2005) ‘Work-life “balance”)
Also coming back to the point that men’s work life balance tends to have more on their shoulders, they are affected hugely by time. Time has a huge impact on men’s work life balance because working eight hours is considered to be as the standard time for men in many areas of the world. But men often work for more than eight hours a day because employer requires it. Regardless of the reason for doing so; it has been proven that long hours can have a negative impact on an employee and their family.
Some health issues are associated with working long hours. Stress is more likely to occur when you are working long hours more than the standard. It has been known a sleep deprivation that is cause by stress. Individuals who suffer from a lack of sleep and a large amount of stress are likely to have a weak immune system. In order to prevent from these employees, need to get a proper amount of rest and relaxation.
Qualitative methodology for researching the work-life balance of men
Qualitative research methodology is a type of social science research that collects and works with non-numerical data and that seeks to interpret meaning from these data that help understand social life through the study of targeted populations or places. People often frame it in opposition to quantitative research, which uses numerical data to identify large-scale trends and employs statistical operations to determine causal and correlative relationships between variables. Within sociology, qualitative research is typically focused on the micro-level of social interaction that composes everyday life, whereas quantitative research typically focuses on macro-level trends and phenomena.(A.Crossman 2011)
The sample as researched will be men between the ages of 25-45. I believe this will be the best age factor because by looking into the age gap statistics of men starting their career and being experts in their field of work was ages 25-45. This is important to know because comparing an individual who is a at the basic level of their work field and an individual who is an expert in their work field has a big impact on their balance of work and life. Hence if a 25-year-old man just finishing university starting a job in an office in central London somewhere he will have a lot to learn and a lot of stress at work and this will be difficult for them to maintain a happy social life with friends and families.
Whereas the man who is ages 45 for example and works in the same industry as the 25-year-old graduate that just starting working, he will have most likely has less hours of work and an easy job. This will lead the 45-year-old individual to having less stressful days at work and less time at work, which in return by looking at statistics they will have more time to spend on their families and themselves.
The specific qualitative research techniques that would deem useful and effective to conduct on the matter of work life balance would be on men aged between 25-45 years of age would be, Interviews, focus groups, qualitative questionnaires, structured observations. I believe this would be most effective qualitative research techniques for work life balance, for example to get access to this research the mentioned method qualitative questionnaires would be conducted by targeting London Office workers at the time of around 12-1pm because this is when they will have a break and they tend to go outside for some fresh air and would be good chance to conduct that research method as they have less likely of chance to make excuses to not engage in the qualitative questionnaire. Then once all the qualitative research and methods are conducted I can them make observations on the research achieved, then research carefully the questions, conduct a hypothesis, experiment with current outcomes then analyse correctly then proceed to make a final conclusion that positivism, deduction, mono method qualitative, survey and cross-sectional all conclude into the achievement of the crucial success of research methodology of work life balance for men.
In this assignment I have built a case as to why men should be included in any future research on work-life balance and I have identified the relevant qualitative methodology for researching the work-life balance of men.