Work-Life Balance: Approaches and Benefits

Abstract

We live in a generation that is faced with the challenges of meeting the ever-increasing needs. This has been further complicated by the rising cost of living that has led to the urge to meet these needs (Brounstein, Donaldson and Peter). In the current society, one of the approaches which have been embraced is the aspect of working more to earn more. In essence, the current generation has been characterized by putting more hours to work and a few hours to meet personal needs. In as much as one might be meeting the needs that one has, there is an urgent need to ensure that the health of the worker is met and in addition to that it is worth noting that balance is of utter importance.

Introduction

Several companies have established approaches for their employees to ensure that their employees are able to maintain a steady work-life balance (Macdonald). In this case, some companies help employees juggle work and family relationships and help increase their health and enjoyment of life in various ways, including (1) allowing employees to work part-time or to share a job (2) allowing employees to put in some of their work hours at home (3) allocating dependent care spending accounts and (4) providing specific child care benefits.

Definitions

There are many approaches that can be used to define the term work-life balance. In this case we are going to be looking at two major approaches that are used to define this term work-life balance. These two approaches are professional description and personal description.

Personal definition: In essence, this is a term that can be used to describe many aspects of a person’s life (Macdonald). In this case we can say that work-life balance is a state of equilibrium whereby a worker seeks to maintain a steady balance between the workplace and personal life. This balance is usually sought because it ensures that the person is able to remain productive and healthy throughout the work. Professional definition: In the professional circles this is a term that often describes policy issues with regard to modern family policy. In essence this is a term that is used to describe or acknowledge the work practices which factor in the needs of the staff (Guerin). The aim of the workplace balance is to ensure that the needs of the staff are supported in achieving the right balance which should exist between the workplace and their home.

What You Need to Achieve Work-Life Balance

There are several issues that are needed in order to achieve the work-life balance. These needs can be categorized into two. The first category is the one that focuses on the needs in the workplace. The second category focuses the general life needs. At work, there are several things that are needed in order to ensure that work-life balance is achieved. As an employee one needs to have feelings of control and fulfillment in the workplace. (Macdonald) This is because they are fundamental in ensuring that the work is achieved in the right measures and proportions. Secondly, at work, there is the need to ensure that one enjoys the kind of work that one is engaged in. this is one of the traits that ensure that quality is achieved with regard to the work activities that one engages in. lastly, there is a need to ensure that there is fulfillment from the work that is taking place.

Many people nowadays need to combine work with family responsibilities, and consequently need to achieve a sensible and satisfactory balance between these two. It is important to take note of the fact that work-life balance is not just about women in the workplace (Guerin). The traditional model of work was based on the principle that men worked while women stayed at home as they looked after the children. In the current age, things have changed. Many families have commitments and lifestyles that mean both adults have to work and share in the responsibilities of working and taking care of the family.

Employers who give the opportunity to the workers or see to ensure that the workers have the work-life balance add value to their employers. In essence, the lives of the employees are improved in the following ways. The employees have more leisure time to spend with their loved ones (Macdonald). This improves the relationships with the family and friends of the employees. In the same breath, the employees have better health and physical fitness. Lastly, the employees are in better shape to make quality choices and rational decisions about life.

Benefits of Achieving the Workplace Balance

Most of us find ourselves embroiled in the rat race such that we are too busy working at the expense of taking care of our very selves. The problem is that work becomes our number one priority in most cases (Macdonald). Essentially, when this takes place, everything else including yourself takes a back seat. The results of these approaches to life have disastrous effects. This oftentimes leads to poor health because of the junk food lunches caught on the run and infrequent exercise.

The employees normally have indications that are associated with increased stress. This is usually caused by the enormous amount of work that is subjected to these employees. In most cases, the employees prefer to deny themselves vacations thus they tear themselves at the workplace. In addition to this, there is a string of strained relationships. When a person who is close to an employee cannot be able to access him or her due to work, then the relationship involving the employee is likely to be strained. Consequently, this leads to poor performance at work.

In essence, the work-life balance is aimed at benefiting both the employee and the employer. Both parties stand to benefit since the employee is able to work optimally while the employer benefits on the benefits of a composed employee. It helps us to ensure that the workplace benefits from a range of people, without excluding those who have responsibilities outside work.

No matter where you are in an organization, what kind of job you do or what goals you have, one has to ensure he or she takes care of oneself. You have to be your number one priority. When a person takes care of him or herself, then this ensures that the person is on top form (Macdonald). This in turn enhances one’s capacity to produce consequently placing you in a very important position for the organization. Furthermore, this ensures that you are in a better position of enjoying your retirement when the time comes. Finding the correct balance between a person’s work and life is important because it ensures that the employees are happier and productive in their line of duty. However, when the employees allow their jobs to take over their lives, the results are often devastating.

There are benefits that are associated with work-life balance promotion. In this case, the employees have a high degree of commitment to what they do. In turn, this ensures that the employer obtains the objectives of having employees in the organization. Increased loyalty and commitment leads to better performance at an individual level and thus increased productivity at an organizational level (Macdonald) Benefits associated with this balance are vast. Some of them include the fact that the employees will be healthier thus reduce the cost absences brought about by illnesses.

Due to the fact that the employer seems to put the needs of the employees into consideration, there is a likelihood of having fewer staff leaving the organization. This is because the staff will own the enterprise which leads to high levels of commitment. In this case, low employee turnover reduces the costs of the hiring process. Eventually, there is a relaxed work environment that encourages productivity at the same time ensuring that the organization achieves its stated mission and objectives. Consequently, the employer will become an employer of choice and will be more able to attract and retain the best people.

Conclusion

It is important to note the fact that the benefits of work-life balance are immense. It is noteworthy for companies that do not have such measures to include them in their policies because of this in one of the ways that ensure a company engenders a culture characterized by quality and progress.

Works Cited

Brounstein, Marty, Michael C. Donaldson and Economy Peter. Thriving in the Workplace All-In-One for Dummies, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Print.

Guerin, Lisa. Employment Law: The Essential HR Desk Reference, New York: Nolo, 2011. Print.

Macdonald, Lynda A. C. Wellness at work: protecting and promoting employee health and wellbeing, London: CIPD Publishing, 2005.Print.