Work life balance is a training program for high-performance of employees in their field. To achieve corporate and personal goals, one has to maintain a balance between professional and personal life, because it will lead to better performance, accountability and commitment towards professional and personal needs. The need of work life balance has pioneered in late 1970s and 1980s in UK and US respectively, with the change of technological environment. Technological advancement creates an environment of performing all the activities round a clock, a circle of 24 hours. The National health interview survey was conducted in 2016, the results of the survey states that 24% workers, mainly middle aged group in U.S are facing difficulty in balancing the responsibilities of their work. ("Working Group Report on Workforce Development", 2016) Thus, the need of considering this issue is very significant for the benefit of employees and employer both.
Causes of work life imbalance: There are three major causes of imbalance in professional and personal life of employees, which are as follows:
• Gender Differences: with the difference between gender and responsibilities associated, people prioritize their work. Usually men prefer their work more than their family, whereaswomen prioritize their work according to their family needs. Thus, it created a work life imbalance.
• Inflexibility of work: Long working hours, overtime, shift in requirements of work cause inflexibility in professional life of an employee. Thus, they cannot plan their work, which affects their personal duties. It also depends upon the nature of an employee. Some people interprets long working hours in positive manner, whereas other treats it negatively and cause problems for themselves.
• Family characteristics: The work life balance also depends upon family characteristics of an employee. employee with unmarried marital status will focus more on his work, even he will prefer challenging task and willing to take more responsibilities on work place. Thus it will lead to higher performance and growth opportunities. Whereas, person belongs to family with married marital status, have to give preference to security of job to support his family and spouse. Therefore, willingness to do work and type of work depends upon family responsibilities of an employee. The National health interview survey concludes that the problem of imbalance in work and family is mainly faced by employees lying between age of 30-44, it is generally a family starting period. ("Working Group Report on Workforce Development", 2016)
The Consequences of poor work life balance are as follows:
• Fatigue: if employee is not able to maintain balance in work and life, employee will put more efforts in all phases and he will feel over tired. Which will eventually affect the productivity and professional reputation of an employee.
• Health: Long working hours, fatigue and higher stress of managing all aspects will affect health of an employee, causing adverse effects on immune system of an employee. the adverse health issues of an employee will increase the cost of an employer, as productivity will be less and also could create negative environment in work premises.
• No time for family: increased stress, overtime will put more pressure on employee and he will not be able to give time to his family or personal life. it will create more pressure on an employee and create more family quarrels. Therefore, an employee could feel left out, demotivated and damaging relationships will affect performance.
• To maintain high work life balance and manage all perspectives of professional and personal life. an employee has to understand following measures:
• There is no perfect balance: many employees consider work life balance as the equal division of time for work and personal life. but they must understand that there is not perfect balance in work and life. one has to be realistic and not strive to schedule everything. The restriction created for own, will create more pressure on employees. balance cannot be created by scheduling everything; it is crated over the time with experiences.
• Prioritize your health: an employee must have the main concern for his health. If an employee is facing any stress, depression or anxiety. It will affect your performance. If the problem is chronic, he must consult to doctor on priority basis. Bad health will make an employee unable to concentrate on work, thus more pressure will create imbalance in work and life of an employee.
• Satisfy with Job profile: To put skills and efforts in work, employee must have interest in the job profile he is working for. It is not necessary that an employee would feel satisfied with all aspects of his job, but overall liking towards job is necessary. If an employee doesn’t feel so, he must switch to any other job, where he can show his skills more appropriately. It will also benefit an organization where he is working.
• Make time for yourself: An employee must prioritize his work in such a way that he could get some time for himself. Everything is important whether it is work or family but to maintain balance between both, one has to spend some time with himself to reunite the energy and meet the needs of personal and professional life.
It is the responsibility of an employer to provide proper training to an employee to maintain a balance between work and life. It should not be treated as extra cost to an employer as it will actually benefit an organization. An employee will feel motivated and put all the efforts and skills to provide high performance and feel satisfied.