When an individual maintains a balance between his personal and professional life, the phenomenon is called Work-Life Balance. This expression holds worth a lot because it is very important to have a balance between personal and professional life. Work life balance is at the forefront of the world of work. Kaizen, the Japanese philosophy for continuous improvement, along with the role of information technology (IT) helps and guides the management people, to get the maximum output with the help of available resources.
The balance between personal and professional life vary from person to person and the organization where he or she is working. When an individual does not maintain a balance and works too much in the organizational setting, this may cause him some medical, psychological and behavioral consequences, as a result his or her productivity will also be low. Studies have shown that work life stress is harmful to the employees. Late sitting and working too much can cause imbalance in an individual’s personal and professional life; however there are some techniques to manage the work life stress e.g. time management, task management, relaxation, flexible working hours, working from home and exercise etc. Work life balance improves individual’s health, job satisfaction, commitment, involvement and reduces absenteeism and presenteeism (state of physical presence but not productive). Despite of the progress in the betterment of maintaining work life balance, there is still more to be done.
One important factor is the degree to which work life balance are generally applicable across the whole hierarchy of the organization. Those lower down the organizational hierarchy are some times not entitled for some benefits or uninformed about relevant company policies. Work life balance can assist employers and employee to be healthy and productive in their personal and professional life.
“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” – Betsy Jacobson.
For some people spending more time in the organization is more important than the time they spend at home. However, there are people who give priority to the personal and family life. In this technological era, some organizations also offer flexible working hours. One can carry laptop, PDA, black berry and is connected with suppliers, venders through internet 24 hours a day. The moment he gets any query, he responds to it. There are some work-alcoholics who take their laptops and PDAs to the vacation and face the annoyance of their wives while checking the emails.
People are more interested in looking for a job that gives them flexibility at work. Necessary arrangements for work life balance are required by all workers at different times in their lives because balance is instrumental in quality initiatives by preparing an individual to deal with the change. An individual can give his best only in a conducive environment e.g. students want to study and work at the same time; parents want to have time with their children and the older worker approaching retirement to have the opportunity to stay in the workforce on reduced hours. Mostly the employers and the employees agree that organizational objectives are more important, so it is the obligation of the employer to help people in work life balance.