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Gender Differences Towards Work Life Balance Social Work Essay

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Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

4.0 Introduction:

The findings and analysis presents all the information that was gathered based on the methodology employed in the earlier chapter. The role of this chapter identifies findings which had revealed and explained employees understanding and perception towards work-life balance incorporated within MEGA through analyzing data.

Gender Differences towards work-life balance:

Balancing work and non-work commitments requires time management which could be a bit of a challenge. The diagram below illustrates such comparison between both genders. Findings on the average level of employees able to balance work and family life responsibilities on a weekly basis revealed that majority of the respondent indicated that they are seldom able to balance both. The results were given from both genders where the 35 percent of respondent that chose that they seldom are able to balance both were women as opposed to the remainder answered yes they are always able were men.

The researcher findings had revealed that apparently women tend to be the ones that basically are seldom capable of achieving work-life balance on a weekly basis. Also the diagram shows that men are better able to have a better work-life balance whether it is often or always as compared to women.

Furthermore in addition from the questionnaire another finding was analyzed where it was revealed that from both genders the mean is higher in women who have children compared to men. Figure illustrate that the women within MEGA has the higher number of children as against men who has twice as least.

Also analyzing the data in figure () there are three times more women than men working in MEGA. The researcher analysis is drawn upon that the expectancy rate of women is higher to experience conflict trying to balance both work and family responsibilities as opposed to men within this particular organization is because there are more women working in MEGA as against to the number of men employ.

Causes of Work-Life Balance Conflict

The causes of work-life conflict were analyzed by the researcher to find out the reason behind it. The researcher findings weren’t a bit surprise by the results from employees. From the figure, the researcher found out that the major causes of conflict between balancing work and personal responsibilities was relating to these four factors within MEGA. The job-relating factor that influences work-life conflict the most was insufficient flexibility in the workplace. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of employees responded that they had difficulties balancing work and personal life responsibilities as a result of not having enough flexibility as compared to sixty-seven (67%) was other contributing factor. Timing of meetings/training was the least whereas working long hours was minimal.

Participants were asked to indicate which of the following hinder you in balancing your work commitments in the workplace. Figure ( ) depicts the findings on the relevant categories that hinder employees work achievement.

An examination of the chart point out that caring for children at been scored highest where 63 percent of respondent imply that this issue hinders them to achieve work commitments. Followed by a close responds to other and leisure time activities where 23 percent indicated other and 18 percent imply leisure time. The remainder answered further education.

The participated managers and supervisors were then asked to describe the importance of work-life balance within the organization. Based on the answers given by managers and supervisors to describe the importance of work life balance, all participants agreed 100 percent that there is positive outcome for having balancing in the organization. They all relate work-life balance as means of assisting employees to reduce stress level which in turn would deliver substantial high productivity, job satisfaction and some level of commitment to the organization.

The researcher analysis of the causes of work-life balance conflict is related mainly to insufficient flexibility in the workplace. The result suggests that employees don’t have a problem working long hours or overtime. However perhaps if employees are/were given sufficient flexibility to manage both responsibilities tend them would be more likely to minimize work-life conflict. As Robertson (2007) stated in the literature review, organizations that offer flexibility in the workplace give employees the advantage to have good balance between both responsibilities whereas evolving to healthy employees and in return healthy employees are good for business succession.

Conversely taking care of children has been pointed out to be the most significant hindrance factor for employees to achieve work commitments in MIC. As Hudson (2005) stated earlier that employees are more likely to be less productive, less committed and highly decisive of leaving the organisation once they are experiencing increased stress due to work/life conflicting issues and are perceived of having no control over balancing work and non-work demands. To be of the same opinion the author analysis is drawn upon where managers and supervisors all understand the importance of incorporating work-life balance in the workplace. All respondents had coincided with Hudson (2005) statement of employees level of positive outcome to organization.

Policies

On the questionnaire, employees were asked if they currently use any of the work-life policies provided by the organization. The author received 100 percent of all respondent answering that they all use work-life policies that are provided by the organization, however it is a question of how do they utilize such policies. Another question was implied asking if employees were given approval of such work-life policies provided by the organization.

Question

Yes

No

Are you given approval of work-life policies

83%

17%

Out of one hundred 83 percent stated that they are given approval whereas the remaining 17% had imply that they are not given any approval.

Managers and supervisors were asked what is the organization typical way or tools used for assisting or promoting work-life balance. From the interview, the author found that there are work-life policies implemented within MEGA, however there are only a few. Employees are given six (6) days which is applicable as casual leave to assist with personal errands only at manager’s discretion of granting approval. In addition flexible workings hours are administered where employees can start work from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. where they are allow ½ hour and finish work between 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the interim employees must work 7½ hours per day. However employees are required to work back their hours by the end of the week in the event that they request time-off or does not work the required amount of hours per day.

From the questionnaire, employees were further asked to what extend do the work-life policies make a difference with balancing work and personal issues. From the findings, it revealed from the figure ( ) that 22 percent reply stating that it made slight difference whereas 53 percent of respondents indicated that the work-life policies implemented within the organization makes no difference towards their daily responsibilities.

An investigation into MEGA employees’ attendance records was examined from 2009 to 2010 to make a comparison for how many casual leave was taken and to indicate if there was any trend. Figure ( ) illustrate such findings for both years.

The standard deviation of days taken by employees was 23.00 in 2009 and 23.87 in 2010. The figure also shows that majority of employees utilized the full amount of casual days which is six (6) for both 2009 and 2010 followed by the utilization of five (5) casual days.

With correspondent to casual leave, from the interview managers were asked how the work-life policies and procedures implemented for employees are. Again from the interview the author findings had revealed mixed respondents from both managers and supervisors. Apparently employees are granted casual leave and flexible time based on each department and managers discretion.

In addition to the findings during the interview participants were asked if there are any kinds of penalty or negativity towards employees who avail such policies. Again this question was answered in accordance to each department manager. Majority of the managers explain that employees are not hinder from career progression or promotional achievement however employees must work back the time that are required to work, to complete deadlines and shortage of employees. If employees are not subjective to such rules there would be a reduction in their salary. Supervisors viewed the same responds indicating agreement to the managers. However supervisors stated further that employees are kept back from promotional development in MEGA based on their attendance records not by such individual contributions and commitments to performance.

Based on the findings relevant to the work-life balance policies incorporated with MEGA, the author analysis is interpreted as there are work-life policies implemented within the organization, however the methods used to assist employees is not substantially sufficient to fulfill with such balance of work and personal life responsibilities. Yes employees are given flexible working time however 1 hour difference is not considered as a lengthy time to promote it as a method for work-life balance. Also the flexible working hours does not make much difference to majority of the employees. Employees who have such powerful policies to assist them with solving work-life conflict are more likely to deal with balancing both issues easier. Galinsky and Stein (1990) found that employees who have the power to solve work problems were likely to suffer lower stress and felt their job caused less interference with their life.

Furthermore even though employees are given approval of such work-life policies, the permission of approval of policies are practice differently in each department. In addition to deal with such work-life challenges majority of the employees result to the utilization of all or most of their casual leave. To a further extent, the findings draw that management resent employees of utilizing such policies. As already explained in the literature review utilization of work-life policies can be perceive a factor correlated to less job security and negative career progression (Rodbourne 1996).

Managing Balance:

Managers and supervisors were asked to describe the importance of work-life balance. The average respondent by managers and supervisors provided relatively the same answer where they understood that work-life balance is a way of being able to balance both the demands for work commitments and personal life responsibilities as a means of everyday position.

Do you think if employees have good work-life balance the organization will be more effective and successful?

Employees were asked that if employees have good work-life balance if the organization would be more effective and successful. Figure indicate the respondent from employees pertain to the question.

Based on the respondent the majority of employees answered yes to that question. In fact findings revealed that 90% of employees strongly believed the organization would be more effective and successful if the employees have good work-life balance. Furthermore based on the question asked, employees were also asked to specify on the same question how the organization would be successful based on their answer whether the answer was yes or no. The majority of the respondent who answered yes had basically the same response. Majority of the respondent answered by implying that if employees have good work life balance employees tend to work more efficiently whereby the level of productivity would definitely increase because employees are less overwhelmed and would be able to concentrate better.

The qualitative findings of employees getting good work-life balance in the workplace were questioned. What could the organization do to help employees balance both work and family life commitments? There were mixed views expressed towards organization assistance with work-life balance. Average respondents had expressed that the organization could be more considerate by acknowledging that as employees they experience challenges juggling both commitments by trying to accommodate important family appointments and demands for work deadlines.

The stances by employees had pointed out also that the organization should offer more flexibility in terms of achievable flexible working hours. One respondent stated that “organizations should be a bit flexible for the competing responsibilities of getting the kids ready for school, travelling to work, long hours of congested traffic, picking up the kids from school and getting home late at evenings Monday to Friday”. While other respondent stated that management need to be more lenient towards employees utilizing such work-life policies that are implemented within the organization.

Based on the available answers that was collected through the use of this questions employed, it inherently seems that the organization would benefit by become successful and more effectively from employing good work-life balance. Both managers and supervisors already have an understanding of what is work-life and the importance of incorporating. In fact from the literature review Tourn (2007) had imply that the organization can benefit from work-life balance where the returns would be gains of productivity, lower turnover rate and loyalty from employees. Also Thompson et al., (1999), had implied the same concept. If organizations cannot foster good work-life integration then employees experiencing both private and work stress will likely to suffer from low concentration and in the end lower productivity (Thompson et al., 1999). The greatest benefit for a good work-life balance to be effective and successful is in fact suggested that the organization promote such execution. So it is safe to imply that the evidence speaks for itself.

Support for Work-Life Balance

Further to the findings, during the interview participants were asked to describe the present work environment position with regards to employees’ contributions, level of productivity and commitments to the organization. Almost five out of six of the managers explained the present work environment as remotely satisfactory because there is teamwork amongst employees for getting the work done and most of the time deadlines are achieved. One manager explicitly describe the work environment as unbalance because frequently employees are reporting sick whereas work responsibilities have to delegated to a department that is seen as shortage of employees. Supervisors also viewed this question differently by implying that there is reasonable dissatisfaction in the workplace because employees are slightly frustrated and tends to completed only what is necessary on a daily basis. Furthermore supervisor described it as unbalance satisfaction because employees are reporting late or sick frequently causing overlapped of their responsibilities to other employees that are present.

From the answers given the researcher draws analysis that the work environment as intrinsically unbalance. Employees are told to take on addition work responsibilities added to their regular job requirement because some employees are frequently reporting sick.

Furthermore respondents were asked to indicate which of the following in figure ( ) assist them towards balancing work and family commitments. Based from the figure shown below, a frequency percentage of 44.7 percent disclose that the use of work-life leave available within MEGA was the one to help with the balance of both work and family commitments. Also on further assessment 32 percent of the respondents acquire support from family members followed by a close range of 31.2 percent of support from their supervisors. However statistical finding discover that the participated respondents had specified that the least amount of work-life balance support are from managers by a 16.5 percent.

Also to add to work-life conflict, from figure ( ) it has been understood that employees employed within MEGA do not obtain full support from theirs managers. As the researcher recall from the literature review, employees who have family-supportive managers and work in organization that offers family-friendly initiatives tends to stay with the organization (Powell 2010).

Participated managers and supervisors were asked during an interview done separately, how managers and the organization currently emphasize work-life balance in the workplace. Answers from both managers and supervisors were somewhat a mixed viewed from the interview. The managers explained that employees are given support where employees can approach the managers with stress relating to feeling overworked and personal issues for the managers are humans and have family lives also. However supervisors begged to differ from managers acknowledgment. Supervisors stated that managers are remotely negative towards employees especially when it comes to problems that are not actually work-related.

From the findings it seems that managers had implied that they are supportive towards employees when in fact they aren’t. Employees and supervisors have both agreed that managers are inflexible towards their employees in the workplace. As Herlihy & Maiden (2005) suggested that in order for employees to be effective at work, managers themselves need to be able to make unique contributions to the organisation that lies within the contexts of their own personal condition. So it is evident that managers themselves need to have an imbalance in work and personal life issues in order to contribute and be fully support ive of work-life integration.

Overall Discussion

From the whole findings that were questioned and examined by the author, the results underline some very importance relationship and differences between the work-life policies and implementation with respect to both employees and the organization. Management already have a clear understanding of what is work-life balance is and the high importance of promoting work-life in the workplace. Management somehow believe that the organization have work-life policies incorporated within the workplace that would assist employees but based on the research done about work-life balance, those methods used by MEGA are not sufficient and well foster to assist with balancing work and life issues.

MIC entire organization workforce consists of majority of women employ compared to the men and majority of the women has more than 1 child. Friedman & Greenhaus (2000) already noted that women make up half the workforce in organization and is increasing in higher levels. Amongst the gender difference most women in MIC are seldom able to balance both their work and family life on a regular basis. However despite the gap in the gender difference, employees generally are dissatisfied with working arrangement of work-life balance carried out in the organization. Almost the whole of management perceived the present work environment as balance where employees’ level of commitment and productivity are satisfactory, however the supervisors are not 100 percent in agreement with the level of contributions achieved by employees. The findings from the questionnaires answered by employees also incline grounded analysis that MIC present work environment is not as balance as management perception towards it, the author is in agreement with the employees and supervisors responds.

Results suggest that the two main factors associated to work-life conflicts within MIC are insufficient flexibility and working overtime. In relation to this employees not have a problem with working overtime however flexibility needs adjusting to assist them to achieving balance with work and personal life demand. Thomas and Ganster (1995) found that proper scheduling which gave a group of employees more control over their time had in fact reduce conflict between work-life responsibilities. In addition employees major hinder for achieving work within MIC is taken up by the responsibilities of taking care of children, other personal responsibilities and leisure time.

Given the findings of employees utilizing such policies management are negative towards employee for submitting to such action. In this regard, Hein (2005) had explain that employees tend to be hesitant to proceed to use them because of career concerns or the fact that they receive negativity from line managers and tends to discourage them from using it.

The importance of supportive work environment mainly from MIC management is what employees are stipulating on. The result found that employees get a lot of support from family members and supervisors however employees are not fully supported by some of management where they receive negative attitude and resentment from management. The organization foster supportive measurement to accommodate employees yet for majority of employees some departmental culture is embodied in the attitudes and behaviours of their immediate line manager. Such support from managers mitigates the negative effects of work-life conflict occurrence. Employees who have family-supportive managers and work in organization that offers family-friendly initiatives tends to stay with the organization (Powell 2010).

http://www.bia.ca/articles/AReportontheImportanceofWork-LifeBalance.htm

http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/2009/09/IE0909019I.htm

http://www.healthatwork.org.uk/pdf.pl?file=haw/files/Work-lifeBalance.pdf


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