Work causes stress. Both men and women are working, raising a family, and going to school. Previously, women in the work force take demotions or walk away from their careers’ when having children. Today, families rely on a dual income. With both parents working full time, while raising children, the relationship between work and home responsibilities are unbalanced. Subsequently, this unbalance creates stress for both the employee and the employer. Work-life balance is the need to provide a schedule that will combine work, family relationships, and leisure time into a satisfying life. Flexible work arrangements balance work and responsibility at home; which helps employees cope with stress, encourages smart work instead of hard work, and empowers them to make healthy decisions. Organizations need to assess workplace culture and provide mechanisms to support work-life balance that are mutually beneficial to both the organization and the employee.
Individuals each have unique responsibilities that define the meaning of work-life balance. Employees in the workforce that fulfill family and work commitments have achieved a sense of work-life balance ("The business imperative," 2009). The distinction between work and personal life used to be clear. Today, personal commitments suffer for lack of time and energy. Unfortunately, the demands of work outweigh the demands at home, because without work the home does not exist.
The unbalanced work-life creates negative and disengaged employees. It costs the U.S. economy between $250 and $300 billion every year in lost productivity alone (Clifton & Rath, 2009). Organizations now realize their success directly relates to the morale of their employees. Organizations that demand complete loyalty and extensive overtime find it difficult to recruit and retain quality employees because employees want a life outside of work. Quality employees search for organizations that provide them with purpose, defined goals, trust, autonomy, attention, and flexibility. Employees want a sense of purpose with clearly defined goals that are both measurable and attainable. Additionally, they want autonomy or the freedom to attain goals without management watching every move. Positive affirmation is important to productivity and purpose. Individuals who receive regular recognition and praise increase productivity, increase engagement among their colleagues, and are more likely to stay with their organization (Clifton & Rath, 2009). These organizations do not limit life options outside of work. Instead, they execute policy that allows for the fulfillment of both work and life responsibilities. Such policies include flexible working arrangements, added benefits, and wellbeing initiatives.
Organizations have options when developing flexible work arrangements. Flextime allows the employees to choose their own work hours within a block of hours set by the...