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Work Life Balance By Women Employees Social Work Essay

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Introduction

To understand the need of work life balance, one first needs to understand about work life imbalance. With the understanding of the origin, causes and effects of this imbalance, the balancing act becomes easier. Today's corporate world is exceedingly demanding and the work culture varies from one organization to another organization. Today the deadlines are getting tighter and an individual's job is not only to match that deadline but also to give quality output, due to this work pressure it becomes difficult for women to balance work and family life. In every individual's life there are four stakeholders-own personality, job, family and society. It is very important to give equal importance to all the stakeholders. A person who is a workaholic and does not enjoy one's family life cannot be termed a successful person. When a life encounters such imbalance then the peace and harmony of life vanishes and there is an adverse effect on the work life too.

To avoid such situation one should always try to avoid this imbalance in life. The transition from work life imbalance to work life balance has obvious benefits to an organization and its employees. Balanced nature of work enables increase in productivity and efficiency of employees. Better teamwork and communication offer a conductive environment, which leads more work commitment and develop organizations' strong value system.

Review of Literature

According to Chiang Hui-Yu, Noriaki Mamiko Takeuchi (2008) In this paper, we explore the relationship between work-life balance policies and three outcomes of interest to employers and employees: the job tenure of women employees, turnover rate of women employees and retention rate of new women graduates. In the cross sectional analysis, we find that firms with work-life balance policies such as the full amount of maternity pay practice and flextime system are positively associated with the job tenure of women employees. We also find that the full amount of maternity pay practice has an effect on retention rate of new women graduates. However, we canft find the relationship between maternity pay practice and job tenure of women employees in fixed effects. Even though our hypothesis just receives partial support, our results still suggest that work-life balance policies such as the full amount of maternity pay and flextime system can produce positive outcomes for both employers and employees.

This thesis describes the impact of women entering the workforce after 1970 on work/life balance issues. I have argued that women entering the workforce after 1970 held a different perspective from their predecessors: they believed they could develop a career as robust as their male counterparts while sustaining active engagement in personal life. This perspective created a paradigm shift in organizations, which had previously precluded the family as a stakeholder. I have discussed the business environment from the 1960's to 2006 by reviewing several well established business theories. Empirical data has been presented supporting my thesis, interspersed with collateral material in the form of anecdotes, which demonstrate the efforts of this new generation of working women to build a successful work/life balance model. Often, these women were motivated solely by their anger at a dysfunctional system and resistant stakeholders, which compromised their success by seeing the world through a linear lens rather than as a dynamic reality. This thesis was written for women who participated in an experiment in change and, hopefully offers a cathartic evaluation of the inextricable link of work and family. (Denise Horner Mitnick 2007).

Work-Life Balance is increasing interest in academic literature, legislation and public sector. It is meaningful daily achievement and enjoyment in life. Organizations have started introducing various schemes to attract, retain employees and productivity. Majority employers support the work -life balance concept. Women have prepared themselves for careers. Since 2005 the MSRTC started appointment of women bus conductor. Women have performs their duties as bus conductor and domestic work. To know the general opinion of the women bus conductor towards their personal and work life is the main objective of this study. Sample size is 20 percent of total women bus conductors. Structured questionnaire is used for survey of women bus conductors. 89 percent of the women bus conductors' spouses are employed. 57 percent of women bus conductors accept that, they are able to balance personal and work life. Achieve the balance between paid employment and personal life is important to women bus conductor. Work-Life Balance is a joint responsibility of employers and employees'. Women bus conductor should plans, prioritize and schedule as efficiently as possible. Employers' can facilitate work life balance with many schemes that can attract employees and satisfy their needs. (PROF. B. S. KADAM 2012).

Research Methodology

Objectives of the study:

Identifying how women can balance both the work life and personal life.

Identifying the reasons behind the women employees' opt-out phenomenon?

Data collection

The primary data is gathered by administering a questionnaire to the employees of IT and ITES companies in the Bangalore city of Karnataka. The questionnaire contains 50 questions in all, encompassing vital dimensions related to the study area.

The secondary data is gathered from different Journals, books, articles, websites, internet.

Sampling

The sample chosen for this study is the women employees of IT and ITES Companies, located in Bangalore city of Karnataka. The sampling method adopted for this study is Non-Probability sampling method in which Convenience sampling method is used. Totally 65 Questionnaires were distributed to the employees. Out of which only 60 were the completely filled in questionnaires.

The sample questionnaire was electronically mailed, sending a detailed explanation of the purpose of the study. Respondent professionals, on being convinced that the purpose of the survey was purely academic in nature, were given the option of mailing the filled in questionnaires. Windows' tools such as MS word and MS Excel were used for data analysis and interpretation.

Results:

Demographics

Organization Type

IT

65%

ITES

35%

Shift

Day

65%

Night

35%

No.of Children

0

15%

1

25%

2

50%

3

10%

Working days

5

85%

6

15%

This survey includes 65% of IT employees 35% of ITES employees. The same percentage of employees work in day and night shifts. 50% of the employees have two children, whereas 25% has only one child, 15% of the employees have no children yet and only 10% of the employees have three children. When we observe more number of software employees prefer to have only two children. 85% of the employees are working 5 days a week, whereas only few employees said they have to work 6 days a week. In most of the cases it should be only 5 days a week.

Organizational policies:

Agree

Disagree

Flexi timing

Work from home

Time off for family emergencies and events

Reduced work hours

Time off facility during school holidays

Compresses week hours

Have a baby care center

Job sharing

Maternity leave availability

75

65

70

65

10

10

25

60

100

25

35

30

35

90

80

75

40

0

Maximum numbers of employees are accepting that the organizations are offering them the Flexi timing, only few employees said they don't have that facility. Nearly 35% of the employees felt they are not given an option to work from home in their organization. Only 65% of the employees said they have such facility. The study shows that most of the ITES employees do not have this option. Nearly 70% of the employees agree that they have time off for family emergencies and events. Only 30% of the employees expressed their dissatisfaction.

Most of the respondents do not have time off facility during school holidays. Employees have shown their dissatisfaction even for the factors like compressed week hours and having a baby care center in the premises of the organization. Most of the organizations are not providing these facilities. Employees expressed their satisfaction that job sharing facility is provided in the organization and 100% of the employees agreed that they are provided with the maternity leave. They can avail it and have no problems regarding the maternity leave.

Support from the spouse

Agree

Disagree

He understands me

We share household things

We share the responsibility of children

He never leaves all the things on me

70

85

85

75

30

15

15

25

Support of the spouse is crucial for any family. Women can reach greater heights in career if the spouse supports her. The present study shows that 70% of the employees are getting their spouse support, while the remaining 30% of the employees have disagreed. 85% of the employees agreed that they share all the household things. If you observe sharing the responsibility of the children, it is quite ok that both are sharing it and it has been accepted by the maximum number of respondents. Few employees expressed their disagreement regarding their problems with their spouse.

Support from others

Yes

No

My in-laws will help me in taking care of my children

My parents will help me n taking care of my children

I leave my children in a day care center

I take the help of a maid to take care of my children

25

20

30

30

75

80

70

70

To look after their children women employees are depending on their-in-laws and parents. Nearly 25% of the employees said that they take the help of their in-laws to look after their children. 20% of the employees are depending on their parents and the employees who do not have this facility are leaving their children with the day care center and 30% of the employees are leaving their children in the house by appointing a maid. These days most of the employees are depending either on the day care centers or on the maids to look after their children, as most of the families are nuclear families and t is difficult to have elders in the family.

Support from the office staff (Superior and peer group)

Agree

Disagree

My superior is very supportive

I never had any problem with my colleagues

My team members are very supportive

I never come across any negative attitude from my manager

My superior and colleagues supports me in the time of emergencies

My superior never asks me to work overtime

I never had any stress because of work

65

65

70

70

85

65

35

35

35

30

30

15

35

65

In the organization when the superior is not good, employees can never be satisfied. When a little bit of support is extended by the superior and colleagues women employees can happily balance both work and life. For the questions the response rate is almost 65% for the factors like support from superior, colleagues and team members. 70% of the employees are agreeing that they never have come across any negative behavior of the manager. Nearly 85% of the respondents said that they have the support of their superior and colleagues in the time of emergencies. In spite of all these support, few respondents said that their superior will ask them to work overtime sometimes. Most of the respondents said that they had stress because of work.

Fulfilling Family and Work Responsibility

Agree

Disagree

I never neglected my family because of work

I am able to maintain both work and family happily

I thought of leaving my job to maintain my family responsibilities

I always achieve my targets

I never missed my deadlines in completing my work

I never mind resigning my job when my family demands it

60

60

10

85

70

45

40

40

90

15

30

55

60% of the respondents agreed that they never neglected their family because of work and they can handle both the work and family happily. Surprisingly only 10% of the respondents agreed that they thought of leaving their jobs to maintain their family. 85% of the respondents are able to achieve the targets. Nearly 70% of the respondents said that they never missed their deadlines and the remaining 30% of the employees are missing the deadlines and are facing the difficult in maintain both work and family. For the statement resigning for the job when family demands, the response rate nearly half. 45% of the respondents agreed they thought of resigning their jobs for the sake of family.

Other issues

Agree

Disagree

I had a problem with traveling

I feel career break is necessary to handle children/elders

My children had no complaints about me

55

60

65

45

40

35

Half of the respondents agreed that travelling is the major problem they are facing. And they even agreed that career break is necessary to women to handle children and elders. Nearly 65% of the employees said that their children are happy with them, and have no complaints towards the parents.

Findings

Most of the organizations are providing the flexi timing, work from home and time offs for emergencies and job sharing. The organizations are also providing them with reduced work hours if necessary.

As the time has changed even the role of men in India is also changing. Previously the house hold and children's responsibility is completely in the hands of women. But with the changing trends even it has changed. If we look at the percentages, they show that the men are helping women in household things and also in taking care of their children.

If any employees have got support from the superior and her colleagues, then they are the luckiest. It seems now a day's employees understand each other problems. So they are cooperative with each other, because it is not just the women's problem; even men have the same situations in their families.

Most of the respondents were satisfied with their work-life balance and about 70%felt that Indian organizations have flexible policies for employees that allow them to maintain work- life balance. This is because of the necessity present day situations demand from every employee.

As more women are added to the labor force, their share is about 48% and the men's share is about 52%. Because of this the competition between men and women is increasing and the women are tending to work equally with men. Because of this, many women are mostly full time services and are working 8 hours per day and 5 days in a week minimum and are confronted by increasing workload every day. So, most of them carry work and responsibilities to home.

A majority of the respondents opined that women should resume their careers with short breaks after the maternity leaves, as everyone knows that to have comfortable lifestyle both the spouses must work.

Suggestions

It is clear from this that it is difficult to maintain family and work simultaneously, but the necessity demands. As the strength of women employees s increasing and as they are working on par with the men employees considering even their needs and providing them is the main responsibility of the organizations.

If there is no proper work life balance, it may have negative impact on work and life satisfaction, on the well-being, mental health, and physical health and on individual performance in organizations. It is even proved by many research studies conducted by various researchers that even though many companies are offering work-life programs to their employees, they are not utilized properly by the employees. The low utilization of work-life balance programs will end up with less job security, and hinders the future career prospects of the employees.

But balancing between these two complex situations in the present day fast life requires talent, tact, skill and caution. Almost 50-55% of the women are struggling to achieve work life balance. Women have to cope up with high work targets, office commitments, tight meeting schedules and the duties and responsibilities of life at home.

The best thing women have to do is de-stressing herself. Sure, it's easier said than done. A degree of stress enables creative people scale new heights. But one must manage stress so it can enrich and motivate, not to result in high blood pressure. If women have balanced stress levels she can easily manage both work and life.

Planning the weekends properly will reduce so many tensions. So, plan it with family, friends, or else make fun in house with children. This will reduce the feeling of not taking care of the family, and even children will not have any complaints.

It is known from many research works that even though flexi timing option is available most of the employees never use it. If the flexi timing option is available women should use them appropriately.

Conclusion

For working women, getting caught in the work and 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 hob. 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."


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