Work Life Balance - The Role of Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Work Life Balance - the Role of HRM

Human resources management come with massive demands chiefly in light of the fact that it involves dealing with people, a task that is complex in itself. To enhance organizational growth, pleasure on the part of workforce is very crucial. This is a necessity that human resources sectors in organizations have to grapple with on a day-to-day basis through the initiation and implementation of means of achieving workers satisfaction and overall performance (Frame & Hartog, 2003). Creating room for work life balance constitutes come of the mechanisms that employers use in achieving this goal (Clutterbuck, 2003). Work life balance is a concept whose relevance in the organization and more so in the world of advancing technology holds a lot of water. It brings to both parties in the business environment numerous benefits (Ehnert, 2009). The concept has a wide range of practice ranging from the aspects of home office, 5-day work, leave and flexible hours among others. Additionally organizations across the globe have implemented the process with respect to specific standards as required at the global level. Work life balance involves a number of plays all of whom are affected directly or indirectly when phenomenon is practically implemented, majorly by the Human Resources management sector whose role in the factor is widespread (Weese & Tucholka, 2007).

Concept of Work Life Balance

According to David Clutterbuck (2003), work life balance is a notion, which relates to the support human resource put with the view of splitting their energies and time at work and in indulging in other imperative life activities. This is a phenomenon, which takes place in a day-to-day basis in the lives of employees, which also materializes with the support of the employers. This phenomenon can be best defined as the aspect of prioritizing between lifestyle and career and encompasses maintain some balance between the two features of life.

To the employers and the employees, work life balance comes with lots of benefits (Clutterbuck, 2003). As Ehnert (2009) notes, facilitating work life balance, for employees, is an undertaking that organizations have never had to regret about.

Besides employees having healthy family lives in addition to improving on the production of the company, work life balance has a way of enhancing the physical and emotional well being of workers. One of the main causes of illnesses and emotional instability in the society associates with fatigue, caused by too much office work, among other factors. Creating a balance between office work and other activities in the life of an individual helps handle the potential instabilities and thus enhance the well-being of the employees. Because of this, some organizations have, introduced exercises that promote healthy living among their workers in addition to providing modes of reducing work time for their employees. Gill Maxwell (2009) in the article, "Employees and labour instruction manual: case study series on work life balance in large organizations" demonstrates that a number of companies in the contemporary world have incorporated health check programs or their workers as part of their work life balance plans.

Practices of Work Life Balance

Different individuals in the workplace have different needs and this is also applicable when it comes to the issues that revolve around the creation of some balance between work life and general everyday lives of individuals (Frame & Hartog, 2003). At the same time organizations within which these employees work also have different needs and structures, all which ought to be put into considerations in decision-making, the implementation of work life balance structure included (Weese & Tucholka, 2007). There is no doubt a major need for employers and their human resources to strike some balance between the needs and capabilities of either parties with the view of creation the most appropriate plan for work life balance among the workforce (Maxwell, 2009). In this sense, different organizations and individuals have put in place a variety of ways for practicing work life balance these include the likes of flexitime, time-off, family leave, unpaid leave, part-time work, parental leave, study leave and home office or tele-working just to mention but a few (Cieri, Holmes, Abbott & Pettit 2005).

Family Leave

This refers to instances where employees allow their workers to go on leave based on a family emergency say incapacitation and severe family illness, which needs the employee's attention. Here, workers are required to provide the appropriate documentation suggesting t heir need for taking the family leave for example a medical certificate (Maxwell, 2009). In most cases, this option is provided in cases where the employee himself faces an emergency or an immediate family or where immediate family members seriously require the attention of the employee. Of those defined as family members in this scenario may include children, partners or spouses. Very Few companies would consider relatives from employees' extended family in this plan. According to most organizations and especially those with serious work life balance systems for employees, it is considered that all employees working form them are entitled to family leave, provided the reason is justified. This, as indicated by most organizations policies stipulate that such leaves are to be offers immediately a crisis occurs and no employee is to be denied of this right. Different organizations have different policies and therefore the mode of practicing family leave programs, for example the durations of the leaves and the eligibility of the members; vary from one organization to another (Cieri, Holmes, Abbott & Pettit 2005).

Part Time Work

Organizations institute this facility in pace in consideration of the fact that there are individual employers who may have other priorities that are not related to work and which assume more significance to them (Maxwell, 2009). Allowing them makes a living and become productive in the organization is also put into consideration and thus the employer strives to strike the balance between the two. For most organizations, the decision to work on part time basis is left in the hands of the workers with whom the firm negotiate on the pay in promotion to the hours of work the workers attend to.

One example of organizations whose input in part time practices is IKEA's Glasgow. This firm has over the years; dynamically combined organizational and national culture in promoting the work life balance of their worker more so in regards to enhancing their health through the provision of part time and other group and individual benefits. By the year 2009, the firm had approximately five hundred workers. Over 66% of this was female workers with the same proportion working on part time basis. However, the female workers were not, in any manner, concentrated inexplicably in the part-time program. Job application at the firm constitutes, among other requirements, the flexibility of choosing between full time and part-time work type. All individuals applying for work here are their fore allowed, depending on their preferences and needs, to work on either of the two bases (Maxwell, 2009).

It is also significant to note that there exists a multitude of reasons behind which employees who work on part time basis reduce on the hours of work them attend to their occupational duties within specific periods. Some of these could take account of taking care of other kinds of work in the community or at the family level, finding time to attend to individual hobbies and taking care of needs within the family say attending to the elderly or children (Avgar, Givan, & Liu, 2011). Others may encompass engagement in voluntary activities and engaging in additional studies just to mention but a few. Depending on the culture followed within the different work environments, employees get to request for their part time work program, which is also approved in consideration of the demands and procedures of the organization.

Tele working

This term is synonymous with telecommuting or remote work and associate with the achievement of practical work without having to commute to the physical station of work and basically working at home (Watad & Gregory, 2004). Tele commuting however takes many forms with most of the workers choosing to accomplish their employment goals at home. Other may decide on the use of mobile and other technologies in working and these are majorly called the 'nomad workers'. Working at home constitutes one of the most important means through which individuals accomplish work life balance and has become widespread in this information society (Cieri, Holmes, Abbott & Pettit, 2005). With respect to a research conducted by the Rueters Poll, more and more individuals are getting into telecommuting with approximately 20% of all workers globally using the system. Most of those involved in the program include worker in Latin America, some parts of Asia and the Middle East with most of them achieving all their career goals in their home environments (Watad & Gregory, 2004).

The application of information technology capabilities in the form of computers, telecommunication gadgets and the likes has no doubt become widespread in the contemporary society and evading them has become…

Sources Used in Documents:


Avgar, Ariel C., Givan, Rebecca Kolins and Liu, Mingwei, A Balancing Act: Work -- Life Balance and Multiple Stakeholder Outcomes in Hospitals (December 2011). British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 49, Issue 4, Pp. 717-741, 2011

Business: The Ultimate Resource. (2003). Beijing: Citic Publishing House

Cascio, W.F. (2010). Investing In People, Electronic Resource, FT Press

Cieri HD, Holmes B, Abbott J & Pettit T (2005), Achievements And Challenges For Work/Life Balance Strategies In Australian Organizations, The International Journal Of Human Resource Management16 (1)

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