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Matt Grawitch, Ph.D.
  Lacie Barber, M.S.
Saint Louis University
Discuss common misconceptions regarding the

    topic of work-life balance

    Learn how to assess the different benefi...
Part I: Definition of Work-Life Balance




    Part II: Who Needs Balance?




    Part III: Work-Life Balance in Organ...
The Work-Life
 Balance Quiz
Myth #1: Work-life balance means spending

    50% of your time at work and 50% of your time
    at home
    Myth #2: Wor...
Myth #1: Work-life balance means spending

    50% of your time at work and 50% of your time
    at home
Extent to which one’s perceived allocation of
physical, mental, and emotional resources between
the work and non-work doma...
Personal Resource Supply
Intervention
                          • Time
   Points                 • Energy
                ...
Conflict: When role                           Facilitation: When one
                                                    ...
Myth #2: Work-life balance is synonymous

    with work-family balance or family support
Equating work-life balance and family support

    as synonymous assumes only those with
    families desire balance

   ...
We all have a limited amount of energy,

    money, and time (resources) to devote to life
    pursuits

    Hence, every...
Myth #3: Having work-life balance means

    getting to do everything you want to do in a
    given day, week, or month
Number of hours in a day: 24


    Number of hours in a work day: 24


    Number of hours in a weekend day: 24


    N...
Work
                             Exercise
 Demands



                Time
 Family
             Day: 24 hours        Slee...
Myth #4: Women desire more work-life

    balance than men
    Myth #5: All employees will benefit from

    work-life b...
Myth #4: Women desire more work-life

    balance than men
Annual Career Builder surveys finds that at

    least 1/3 of men would quit their jobs to stay at
    home if they could...
Myth #5: All employees will benefit from

    work-life balance programs
Employees with the training required to utilize

    work-life balance programs effectively

    Employees with the tools...
Myth #6: Effective work-life balance programs

    prevent your work-life from “spilling over”
    into your non-work lif...
Spillover can be positive or negative




    Spillover can occur from work to home AND

    from home to work

    The ...
Myth #1: Work-life balance means spending

    50% of your time at work and 50% of your time
    at home
    Myth #2: Wor...
Myth #4: Women desire more work-life balance

    than men
    Myth #5: All employees will benefit from work-

    life ...
Myth #7: The ultimate goal of work-life balance

    programs should be to give employees “a break”
    from their hectic...
Myth #7: The ultimate goal of work-life

    balance programs should be to give employees
    “a break” from their hectic...
Work-life balance practices perform one of two

    functions
        Promote flexibility in performing work (work flexib...
Flexible scheduling/flextime: Allows employees to

    schedule around non-work demands

    Telecommuting: Allows employ...
Vacation time, sick time, or personal time off: Allows

    employees to temporarily cease working to manage non-
    wor...
Personal Resource Supply
Intervention
                           •Non-Work Support (i.e., life
   Points                  ...
Myth #8: When work-life balance programs

    fail, it is because the organization failed to
    properly “sell” their be...
Most programs that fail do so because they

    were poorly designed
        Too much driven by top management
    
    ...
Specific work flexibility and non-work support

    benefits come with upsides and downsides
    Not all practices or ben...
Myth #9: Work-life balance programs with

    more components are more effective than
    work-life balance programs with...
Having more options does not guarantee better

    results
    Having a few high-quality practices is more

    effectiv...
Myth #10: The best way to adopt potential

    work-life balance programs in your
    organization is to borrow from prog...
What works in one organization is not likely to

    work exactly the same way in your
    organization

    Trying to co...
Myth #7: The ultimate goal of work-life balance

    programs should be to give employees “a break” from
    their hectic...
Work-Life Balance Checklist

        Allows you to think through the types of practices
    
        Allows you to think...
Final Questions or Comments
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Work-Life Balance Presentation

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This is a presentation I gave to the APA Psychologically Healthy Workplace Conference in Washington DC. It challenges a lot of myths about WLB

Published in: Health & Medicine, Career

Work-Life Balance Presentation

  1. 1. Matt Grawitch, Ph.D. Lacie Barber, M.S. Saint Louis University
  2. 2. Discuss common misconceptions regarding the  topic of work-life balance Learn how to assess the different benefits  associated with key work-life programs and practices Re-conceptualize work-life balance programs  as employee resource-allocation programs
  3. 3. Part I: Definition of Work-Life Balance  Part II: Who Needs Balance?  Part III: Work-Life Balance in Organizations  Part IV: Work-Life Balance in Your Organization 
  4. 4. The Work-Life Balance Quiz
  5. 5. Myth #1: Work-life balance means spending  50% of your time at work and 50% of your time at home Myth #2: Work-life balance is synonymous  with work-family balance or family support Myth #3: Having work-life balance means  getting to do everything you want to do in a given day, week, or month
  6. 6. Myth #1: Work-life balance means spending  50% of your time at work and 50% of your time at home
  7. 7. Extent to which one’s perceived allocation of physical, mental, and emotional resources between the work and non-work domains matches one’s expectations. Essentially, then, work-life balance occurs when individuals with a finite amount of mental, physical, and emotional resources allocate those resources in a way that corresponds to their personal and/or professional goals. Carver & Scheier, 1982; Grawitch, Barber, & Bagsby, 2009; Hobfoll, 1989
  8. 8. Personal Resource Supply Intervention • Time Points • Energy • Money Resource Allocation Demands on our Resources • Choice of Allocation to Work • Choice of Allocation to Non- • Work Demands Work • Non-Work Demands
  9. 9. Conflict: When role Facilitation: When one   demands a greater role has a positive level of resource contribution to allocation than another role, resulting desired, resulting in in a state of balance or a state of imbalance enrichment Grandey & Cropanzano, 1999; Jansen, Kant, Kristensen, & Nijhuis, 2003; Grawitch, Barber, & Bagsby, 2009
  10. 10. Myth #2: Work-life balance is synonymous  with work-family balance or family support
  11. 11. Equating work-life balance and family support  as synonymous assumes only those with families desire balance Can lead to a backlash against single  employees or employees without children Research on singles-friendly culture is a  response to this backlash Casper, Weltman, & Kwesiga, 2007; Parker & Hall, 1992; Voydanoff, 1988; Watkins & Subich, 1995
  12. 12. We all have a limited amount of energy,  money, and time (resources) to devote to life pursuits Hence, every employee can benefit from more  effective resource allocation Not all employees will benefit from every WLB  practice
  13. 13. Myth #3: Having work-life balance means  getting to do everything you want to do in a given day, week, or month
  14. 14. Number of hours in a day: 24  Number of hours in a work day: 24  Number of hours in a weekend day: 24  Number of hours on bowling day: 24  Number of hours on the day of your child’s  parent-teacher conference: 24 No matter what, the number of hours we have  to spend doing something stays the same
  15. 15. Work Exercise Demands Time Family Day: 24 hours Sleep Demands Week: 7 days Personal Social Pursuits Events
  16. 16. Myth #4: Women desire more work-life  balance than men Myth #5: All employees will benefit from  work-life balance programs Myth #6: Effective work-life balance programs  prevent your work-life from “spilling over” into your non-work life by reducing your work demands
  17. 17. Myth #4: Women desire more work-life  balance than men
  18. 18. Annual Career Builder surveys finds that at  least 1/3 of men would quit their jobs to stay at home if they could afford it Many studies have found no sex differences in  the experience of work-life conflict Men and women are both affected by non-  work and work demands Findings in relation to sex differences in work  and non-work domains are often weak or inconsistent Eagle, Miles, & Icenogle, 1997; Frone, Russell, & Cooper, 1992; Grzywacz & Marks, 2000
  19. 19. Myth #5: All employees will benefit from  work-life balance programs
  20. 20. Employees with the training required to utilize  work-life balance programs effectively Employees with the tools (e.g., technology)  required to use work-life balance programs effectively Employees with a fair amount of self-control  Employees with supportive friends, family,  supervisors, and co-workers Hartman, Stoner, Arora, 1991; Marler, Liang, Dulebohn, 2006; Rodgers, 1992
  21. 21. Myth #6: Effective work-life balance programs  prevent your work-life from “spilling over” into your non-work life by reducing your work demands
  22. 22. Spillover can be positive or negative  Spillover can occur from work to home AND  from home to work The goal of work-life balance programs  Not to decrease employee workload  Permit employees to manage when, where, and how  they complete their work, so as to optimize the interplay between work and non-work demands Barnett, 1996; Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Grzywacz & Marks, 2000; Small & Riley, 1990
  23. 23. Myth #1: Work-life balance means spending  50% of your time at work and 50% of your time at home Myth #2: Work-life balance is synonymous  with work-family balance or family support Myth #3: Having work-life balance means  getting to do everything you want to do in a given day, week, or month
  24. 24. Myth #4: Women desire more work-life balance  than men Myth #5: All employees will benefit from work-  life balance programs Myth #6: Effective work-life balance programs  prevent your work-life from “spilling over” into your non-work life by reducing your work demands What are the implications if these myths  are propagated in an organization?
  25. 25. Myth #7: The ultimate goal of work-life balance  programs should be to give employees “a break” from their hectic work environment Myth #8: When work-life balance programs fail, it  is because the organization failed to properly “sell” their benefits to the employees Myth #9: Work-life balance programs with more  components are more effective than work-life balance programs with few components Myth #10: The best way to adopt potential work-  life balance programs in your organization is to borrow from programs used in other “successful” organizations
  26. 26. Myth #7: The ultimate goal of work-life  balance programs should be to give employees “a break” from their hectic work environment
  27. 27. Work-life balance practices perform one of two  functions Promote flexibility in performing work (work flexibility)  Provide employees with sufficient non-work-related  resources (e.g., time, money) to assist them in managing non-work demands (non-work support). Work flexibility should not reduce the allocation of  resources toward performance Non-work support either provides additional non-  work resources (e.g., time, money) or permits employees to temporarily suspend their allocation of resources to the work domain (e.g., vacation, leave) Grawitch, Barber, & Bagsby, 2009; Grzywacz, Casey, & Jones, 2007; Kelly et al., 2008
  28. 28. Flexible scheduling/flextime: Allows employees to  schedule around non-work demands Telecommuting: Allows employees to reduce  commuting time and schedule around non-work demands Compressed work weeks: Allows employees to reduce  commuting time, spend fewer total days in the office Part-time options: Allows employees to reduce the  number of hours they regularly put into their work in exchange for less pay and benefits
  29. 29. Vacation time, sick time, or personal time off: Allows  employees to temporarily cease working to manage non- work demands/interests Maternity/paternity/adoption leaves: Allows employees  paid or unpaid time off to manage a specific parental demand Life management services: Provides employees with perks  to assist them in managing non-work demands (e.g., gym memberships, dry cleaning services, concierge services) Childcare/eldercare benefits: Provides employees with  discounts/access to specific childcare /eldercare facilities to reduce the financial burden related to childcare/eldercare issues
  30. 30. Personal Resource Supply Intervention •Non-Work Support (i.e., life Points management services, childcare/eldercare benefits) Resource Allocation Demands on our Resources •Work Flexibility Practices •Non-Work Support (i.e., (flextime, telecommuting, Vacation, PTO, leaves, life compressed work weeks) management services) •Work Flexibility (job sharing)
  31. 31. Myth #8: When work-life balance programs  fail, it is because the organization failed to properly “sell” their benefits to the employees
  32. 32. Most programs that fail do so because they  were poorly designed Too much driven by top management  Too little driven by employee involvement  Hence, context is important  Grawitch, Gottschalk, & Munz, 2006; Parchman & Miller, 2003; Pfeffer, 1994
  33. 33. Specific work flexibility and non-work support  benefits come with upsides and downsides Not all practices or benefits will be a fit with  every organization Need to consider:  Employee needs  Organizational context (e.g., technology, financial  resources, culture) Find a way to optimize the interplay between  the two Brache, 2001; Fitz-enz, 1993; Grawitch, Gottschalk, & Munz, 2006; Pfeffer, 1994
  34. 34. Myth #9: Work-life balance programs with  more components are more effective than work-life balance programs with few components
  35. 35. Having more options does not guarantee better  results Having a few high-quality practices is more  effective than having many low-quality practices Capitalize on the strengths of the organization  and the expressed needs of employees Offering a benefit and then taking it away is  worse for morale than never having offered the benefit in the first place Grawitch, Barber, & Bagsby, 2009; Kelly et al., 2008
  36. 36. Myth #10: The best way to adopt potential  work-life balance programs in your organization is to borrow from programs used in other “successful” organizations (i.e., benchmarking)
  37. 37. What works in one organization is not likely to  work exactly the same way in your organization Trying to copy the programs in another  organization fails to consider your organization’s unique context and employees Law of equifinality plays a key role in success  Delery & Doty, 1996; Grawitch, Gottschalk, & Munz, 2006; Fitz-enz, 1993; Pfeffer, 1994
  38. 38. Myth #7: The ultimate goal of work-life balance  programs should be to give employees “a break” from their hectic work environment Myth #8: When work-life balance programs fail, it is  because the organization failed to properly “sell” their benefits to the employees Myth #9: Work-life balance programs with more  components are more effective than work-life balance programs with few components Myth #10: The best way to adopt potential work-life  balance programs in your organization is to borrow from programs used in other “successful” organizations What are the implications if these myths are  propagated in an organization?
  39. 39. Work-Life Balance Checklist  Allows you to think through the types of practices  Allows you to think through barriers to and  facilitators of those practices Process  Half of the audience will consider Part I of the Work-  Life Balance Checklist Half of the audience will consider Part II of the  Work-Life Balance Checklist Debrief as a large group 
  40. 40. Final Questions or Comments

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