Work life balance for working women

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

No body in this world is perfect in the field of study on researches every body needs to be guides and supervised by some experienced and intelligent people. It is my proud privilege to express my profound gratitude to my respectable guides and teachers.

I am also very thankful Ms.Manbeer Kaur Gill Lecturer in L.I.M. her able supervision in Valuable guidance and sympathetic attitude enabled me to undertake the work of this term paper.

Introduction:

An integral part of our lives is our profession. Just as there is responsibility and opportunity in life, our careers are also guided by opportunities and responsibilities. We must ensure that these two factors don't work at cross purposes. Quality of life is something we all covet. Having said this, every profession affects life in general and every profession has a duty towards life.

The point I am trying to make is that balance should guide all our activities, including our professions. A satisfied and motivated work force will act more responsibly, not only towards its professional requirements, but also towards nature in general. One of the many ways to instill this sense of motivation is to put in place the concept ofWork Life Balancein the workplace.

Work Life Balance (WLB) is not a new concept. The change in the pattern of work and the concept of the workplace after the industrial revolution in the second half of the 18th century, gave a new dimension to the concept of WLB. As time progressed, nuclear families increased. A later change was the fading away of the “ideal home” in which the earning member's spouse took care of the home. With improved education and employment opportunities today, most homes are ones in which both parents work, because of necessity and the desire to augment incomes.

The need to create congenial conditions in which employees can balance work with their personal needs and desires became a factor that companies had to take note of both to retain them as well as to improve productivity. It was a compulsion that they couldn't afford to ignore. Having realized that, companies started introducing schemes to attract and retain employees and improve their productivity. However it is not easy to find many references to Work-Life Balance policies and issues in India. This is not to discount their existence in the country, but it does indicate its relative unimportance as a strategic business issue in the country. It is indeed hurting to see a majority of Indian companies still wedded to the old style presenters philosophy instead of offering managers opportunities to strike a healthy Work-Life Balance.

Why Work life Balance is important to women

Today's career women are continually challenged by the demands of full-time work and when the day is done at the office, they carry more of the responsibilities and commitments at home. When I conducted a recent, I discovered that the majority of women are working 40-45 hours per week and 53% of the respondents report that they are struggling to achieve work/life balance.

Women report that their lives are a juggling act that includes multiple responsibilities at work, heavy meeting schedules, business trips, on top of managing the daily routine responsibilities of life and home. “Successfully achieving work/life balance will ultimately create a more satisfied workforce that contributes to productivity and success in the workplace.”

History

The expression was first used in the late 1970s to describe the balance between an individual's work and personal life. In theUnited States, this phrase was first used in 1986.

Over the past twenty-five years, there has been a substantial increase in work which is felt to be due, in part, by information technology and by an intense, competitive work environment. Long-term loyalty and a “sense of corporate community” have been eroded by a performance culture that expects more and more from their employees yet offers little security in return.

Many experts predicted that technology would eliminate most household chores and provide people with much more time to enjoy leisure activities; but many ignore this option, encouraged by prevailing consumeristculture and a political agenda that has “elevated the work ethic to unprecedented heights and thereby reinforced the low value and worth attached to parenting”.

Work-life balance

Can women be both sharers and careers often, working women drop out of the work force when they are doing well, simply because they wanted to stay at home with their children, or care for an ageing parent. Or for both reasons. And then there are women who have children later in life because they want to work for reasons of personal satisfaction or for the money. So, can a woman have it all? The working woman should refuse to take on too much. She should adopt a sense of priorities.

If she has children, she should teach them to share responsibilities. But what about the husband? Has he changed at all anywhere in the world?

Surprisingly, a survey in the UK revealed that a majority of men want a 50/50 partnership with their wives both at work and home. They no longer see themselves as macho men. They want to spend more time with their children. Has the Indian man kept pace with the times? Can women achieve a work-life balance? The changing Equations of New Era The Changing Equations The Machine Age The Industrial Age The Networked Age Stress High Higher Highest Work- Life balance You went to work-life started only when you go home Not only are people working at work, but also at home 24-hour workdays split into compartments dedicated for ‘life' Women and Work The men worked and women tended the house Both men and women worked, and women still tended the house Both men and women work and tend to the house.

Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT,HKEX:4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of softwareproducts for computing devices.Headquartered inRedmond,Washington, USA, its most profitable products are theMicrosoft Windowsoperating systemand theMicrosoft Officesuite of productivity software.

The company was founded in 1975, to develop and sellBASICinterpretersfor theAltair 8800. Microsoft rose to dominate thehome computeroperating system market withMS-DOSin the mid-1980s, followed by theWindowsline of operating systems. Many of its products have achieved near-ubiquity in thedesktop computermarket. One commentator notes that Microsoft's original mission was “a computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software.”[Microsoft possesses footholds in other markets, with assets such as theMSNBCcable television network, theMSNInternet portal, and theMicrosoft Encartamultimedia encyclopedia. The company also markets bothcomputer hardwareproducts such as theMicrosoft mouseas well ashome entertainmentproducts such as theXbox,Xbox 360,ZuneandMSN TV.The company's initial public stock offering(IPO) was in 1986; the ensuing rise of the company's stock price has made four billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees.. Throughout its history the company has been thetarget of criticism, includingmonopolisticbusiness practices and anti-competitive strategies includingrefusal to dealandtying. TheU.S. Justice Departmentand theEuropean Commission, among others, have ruled against Microsoft for variousantitrustviolations accordingly in today's political-cultural climate ofmixed economiesand “public interest of society”.

Literature Review

The most recent data suggest that employment growth in the first half of this decade has been rapid among urban women. In this edition of Macroscan, C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh investigate the changing patterns of women's paid work in urban India.

In the era of globalisation, it has become commonplace to argue that trade openness in particular generates processes that encourage the increased employment of women, particularly in export-oriented activities. In addition, development in general and higher per capita incomes are supposed to lead to more employment in services and shifts from unpaid household work to paid work, which also involve more paid jobs for women workers.

Data from the recent large sample employment survey of the NSSO would appear to provide confirmation of this perception. Work participation rates of women workers have increased in 2004-05, not only in comparison with 1999-2000 when they had fallen sharply, but also in comparison to a decade earlier. However, this process needs to be considered in more detail to see whether it is indeed the positive process outlined above. Since this is meant to be much more marked in the urban areas, this article is concerned with changes in employment patterns of urban women workers in India.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Primary data

Sampling

I visited the Microsoft office and interviewed women employees. I put few questions and I got mixed reactions from different employees. Some women employees were looking quite satisfied. Where as other were feeling quite hectic with their schedule. Working mothers have to manage their time more efficiently then other Women employees. But in this corporate world pressure life have become very common thing and I observed that most of the women employees managed their time more efficiently than men.

Secondary data

Secondary data is the data on which the research already has been done. It is as follow..

Women Executives on Work/Life Balance: Flexibility, Networks, Outside Interests

“It's very hard coming right out of business school to achieve work/life balance,” said Carol A. Schafer, a managing director in Wachovia Securities' Equity Capital Markets group who also spent 17 years at JP Morgan. “You want to be able to work for an organization that sets you up for work/life balance in the future, one that respects personal life, personal time, has a good mentoring organization a good women's organization.” A first-year associate can't tell an employer, “Here I am. I'm great. I'm smart, and I demand work/life balance,” Schafer noted, but “it's pretty achievable over time.”

She added that work performance is critical, especially at a career's start, and will pay off with greater lifestyle

flexibility. “If you really want to be there for the long haul, have good opportunities presented to you, be able to achieve work/life balance over time and move around to get a broad experience, you've got to be a consistently good performer. That's what gives you leverage.... Become indispensable and everybody [will] want you to be a part of their network. It's what opens all the doors.”

Data analysis & interpretation:

According to the data collected I have analyzed that work-life balance is very important for a working women. Because she has to manage her home and work life. So it become more important to manage it more efficiently then her counterpart i.e. male employees.

By the above data I found that Microsoft as an employer doing quite well to keep their women employees motivated and satisfied as far as home and work-life is concerned. Most percent of them were satisfied with their present timings and shifts and few of them were looking dissatisfied but again the percentages of them were low.

Conclusion

Conclusion for working women, getting caught in the work/life balance trap will continue to be an ongoing challenge. Careful planning and personal effort is the advice from those who have found balance in both career and home life. As one respondent summarized, “Plan, prioritize and schedule as efficiently as possible... and don't be afraid of hard work!” Work-life balance is a person's control over the conditions in their workplace. It is accomplished when an individual feels dually satisfied about their personal life and their paid occupation. It mutually benefits the individual, business and society when a person's personal life is balanced with his or her own job. The work-life balance strategy offers a variety of means to reduce stress levels and increase job satisfaction in the employee while enhancing business benefits for the employer. In our increasingly hectic world, the work-life strategy seeks to find a balance between work and play. A sentence that brings the idea of work life balance to the point is: “Work to live. Don't live to work.”

Suggestions

In my opinion there should be -

  • There should be feasible timings for the women employees, night shifts should be discouraged.
  • Job location for them should be according to their preference so that, they can manage their home life as well.
  • There should stringent norms for the women employees who face discrimination at work place.
  • There should be more transparency for women employees as far as appraisals and promotions are concerned.

References

http://balancing-career-mothering.suite101.com/article.cfm/strategies_for_work_life_balanc

http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/fast-company-staff/fast-company-blog/how-working-mothers-find-worklife-balance

http://balancing-career-mothering.suite101.com/article.cfm/strategies_for_work_life_balanc

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