Research Explorer January - June 201373
Vol . II : Issue. 6 ISSN:2250 - 1940
WORK – LIFE BALANCE AMONG WOMEN EMPLOYEES
Dr. E. Mubarak Ali
Associate Professor in Commerce
A. Riaz Ahmed
Full Time Research Scholar
Jamal Mohamed College (Autonomous), Trichirappalli, TN, India.
At a recent workshop session, a senior executive, who had initially thought they had a satisfactory
balance, eventually realized that the only time they were actually free from work and the overrun of work –
related worries and issues was for a few hours on a Sunday morning. We have to take personal responsibility
for our work – life balance and stress levels.
Key words: work – life balance, employee perceptions, extrinsic rewards
The work – life balance plays an important
role in building the focus and it helps to have a cool
and composed mind. The concept of work – life
balance has gained considerable importance due to
the demographic and sociological trends – changing
employee perceptions of work, workforce diversity,
changing role of men and women, and skill shortages.
There has also been a considerable need felt for the
introduction of the work – life practices by the
organizations, due to a shift in the interest of the
employees from the extrinsic rewards. The demand
for these practices is definitely increasing at an
unprecedented rate. Work – life balance is an
employment practice that is concerned with providing
scope for employees to balance their work with the
responsibilities and interests they have outside work.
It enables them to reconcile the competing claims of
work and home by meeting their own needs as well
as those of their employers.
How to Achieve Work – Life Balance
Achieving work – life balance does call for self –
leadership. In simple terms we need to put some work
into our life and make sure there’s life and vitality in
our work! The starting point is about beginning to take
control. Good time management, meeting management
and e-mail management can all help, but on their own
they may not achieve lasting impact. Achieving work
– life balance involves self – understanding first,
followed by an alignment process, which simply put
involves adjusting one’s mindset and behaviors to self
– decided values and priorities.
How to Manage Work - Life Balance
There are various strategies to managing your
standard of living amid the avalanche of working
pressures faced each day. For small business, coach
Wendy Piersall, the four most effective ways to
manage this conflict.
There is nothing like writing a ‘to do’ list to help
things get done each day and not be hanging over
(b) Scheduling daily tasks
Allowing for extra hours and realistic time frames
for completing tasks – will help control the hours
worked each day. This also allows for the timetabling
of important leisure time, such as taking a walk or
sharing a meal with the family.
(c) Time management
This is vital in terms of organizing your tasks to be
completed efficiently, and prioritizing everything to be
done in order to know what must be done today and
what can wait until later.
Available online at www.selptrust.org
ISSN : 2250 - 1940
Vol II : Issue. 6
January - June 2013
Research Explorer January - June 201374
Vol . II : Issue. 6 ISSN:2250 - 1940
(d) Learn to say ‘No’
It is essential to resist taking on extra of this means
sacrificing an important aspect of personal life. And
if is just impossible to say ‘No’, then learn to ask for
Merits of Work – Life Balance
Work – life programmes are a part of a company’s
compensation and culture, their benefits are most
often seen on the human resource side. The potential
business improvements include :
Ø Improved recruiting and retention abilities
Ø More motivated, satisfied and equitable work
Ø Lower rates of absenteeism and
Ø Increased productivity
The first benefit shown to organization is retention
and recruitment. Work – life programmes are effective
marketing methods for attracting employees. They
often influence a potential applicant’s choice of job
offers to the company by offering the best
Role of Women in Employment
According to an ISO study, made in 1970, only 17
percent of the professional and technical workers
were women, of which three – fourths were teachers.
The directorate general of employment and training’s
data for selected professions in public and private
sectors identifies teaching, medical and health, clerical
and related workers and telephone operators as the
four occupations, where there is the largest
concentration of women workers.
The National classification of occupation adopted
by the census of India, 1971 indicate that the number
of women teachers was 6 lakh whereas their numbers
in other medical and health technicians 2500, lawyers
1700 and architects, engineers and surveyors 700,
accountants etc 2700. Apart from person serving as
teachers, other qualified scientist, serving in
professional capacity adds up to a total of 18,000 of
this last group, social scientists from the major section.
It would thus appear that research, particularly in the
field of social research and social work is emerging
as new occupations where women are present in
significant number. In relation for men, their ratios in
these selected occupations are physicians and
surgeons 7.1%, lawyers – 1.2%, Teachers – 30.3%,
Nursing and other medical and health technicians –
72.2%, scientists – 10.9%. Within teaching, primary
school teaching account for about 71 percent of the
women teachers followed by secondary schools with
accounts for 21 percent.
Post Marital Issues of Working Women
The problems are different for different sections
of women such as rural and urban women, the
educated and uneducated ones, single and married
women. Women in joint family, nuclear and extended
family have their own problems. Atmosphere in the
place of work, timings of work, and distance of work
place from the house are also the important factors
of the problems.
i) Unshared responsibilities
The major problems of working women arise out
of the dual responsibility of the working women. i.e.
house work and the office work. Even though the
employment of women is accepted, most of their in-
laws and majority of the husbands have not accepted
the changing life pattern. They are nor prepared to
share the responsibilities of the household and of
looking after children. If she is in the joint family the
mother in law or sister-in-law feels that they work
for the whole day in the house when she is in the
office. Sometimes they remark that she has a change
to go out in the name of work.
The working mothers do not have much time to
concentrate on their children, and their education. Due
to their dual commitment they are very tired both
mentally and physically. When the mother is tired and
gets angry, the children feel that they are missing the
mother’s love and get disappointed.
iii) Control over income
A great majority of them have to hand over their
salary to their husbands or in laws. They are not
supposed to manage their own income. The amount
is spent for expenses of home. In some cases they
are not given even the pocket money or the amount
to buy things for their personal use. Thus employment
still does not mean control over money or economic
independence for the women.
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Vol . II : Issue. 6 ISSN:2250 - 1940
iv) Women and social interaction
The working women are left with little time for
relaxation or entertainment or social life. The married
working women have to spend major part of the day
in work place, and after coming back she is busy with
household work and her family. Because of this
double work she has no time to maintain relationship
with her neighbors, friends and relations. She is not
able to visit them freely and spend time with them.
She is not even able to go to their help when they
need especially at the time of illness, marriages, deaths
or others occasions. This is often mistake for
arrogance due to earning of and the friends and
relatives criticize her on that ground.
v) Health Constraints
The married working women have to face more
stress and strain. Thus this promotes the mental and
physical health problems. Normally the working
women are not having much time. They are in hurry
in the morning thus they do not take sufficient amount
of national intake. Due to this they get severe physical
problems like anemia, ulcer, headache etc.
Normally working women make use of public
transport ; generally women have to suffer the worst
due to misconduct or eve teasing by co-passengers.
Sometimes they have to wait for hours at the bus stop
to board a bus. They are now overcoming this problem
by riding vehicles.
vii) Lack of recreation
Due to the dual responsibility of married women,
they have no time for recreation or entertainment
when they need some relaxation both physically and
mentally. They want to read, write, watch TV, hear
music, visit temples, go to movies etc., but they do
not have much time for all these types of recreation.
viii) Husband’s Outlook
The attitude of husbands and family members
affects the happiness of a working wife. Their
favorable attitude is for emotional support which
enhances her working capacity and consequently her
career, while negative attitude causes tension for
working women. The wife’s higher occupational
position may generate a feeling of jealousy in the mind
of her husband. Thus the husband may favor the
wife’s working but disfavor her aspirations for career
Work – Life Balance from Employee’s Perspective
Employee’s focus on Work – Life Balance
An employee should always keep in view the
following factors in his mind while at work,
particularly the popular words that are in every one
mouth “work while you work and play while you
Drawing an appropriate schedule for the day,
week or the month for dividing time between work
Ensuring that his family participates in all
social occasions sponsored by the organization, where
employees’ families are invited to participate.
Being in touch with family, even while
working, during the day through telephone, email, etc.
Avoiding carrying the loads of office work
Work – Life Balance Strategy Implementation
Implementing work – life balance effectively
across an organization is a strategic change
Management process, and involves culture change.
However, the issue is congruent with many
organizations’ stated values and provides a tangible
outlet for modeling those values internally.
Before embarking on a work-life balance strategy
it is essential to identify the core needs of the
business, for example, some services like a help desk
may require a staff presence between certain hours.
It is important and useful to consult with staff at this
stage in order to get their views. Remember that it is
often the staff doing certain jobs that can come up
with the most innovative ideas for improvement. From
this point it will be necessary to review existing
policies and develop a draft work-life balance
strategy. This should be put out to consultation to
staff and staff groups if appropriate and it may also
be worthwhile running a pilot of the policy. After a
final review the strategy can be formally launched
to all staff. We must remember to include a section
in the strategy for review and evaluation in order
that the uptake and effectiveness can be reviewed
Work life balance is an employment practice that
is concerned with providing scope for employees to
Research Explorer January - June 201376
Vol . II : Issue. 6 ISSN:2250 - 1940
balance their work with the responsibilities and
interests they have outside work. It enables them to
reconcile the competing claims of work and home by
meeting their own needs as well as those of their
employers. Organizations have realized that balancing
work and life needs is required to change the
organization through increased involvement of all
employees. Organizations striving for excellence in
its field is in need to creating an environment where,
team needs of customers, set goals to meet those
needs, provide staff with the time and support needed
to learn or improve skills in pursuit of goals.
· Peter Herg (2003) “Balancing work and family”.
The role of High – Commitment Environments”,
Industrial relations, vol. 42, No. 2, April.
· J. Brannen (2003), “work-life balance initiatives ;
implications for women, employee relations; 2004,
vol. 26 issue 4, pp. 433-452.
· Cloud and Townsend (2002) “Stress and work life
balance” Boundaries ; when to say yes, when to
say no, to take control to your life Grand Rapids,
MI : Zondervean.
· Liz Doherty, (2004) “work-life balance initiatives ;
implications for women, employee relations ; 2004,
vol. 26 issue 4, pp.433 – 452.
· S, Dex and C. Smith (2002), the nature and pattern
of family – friendly employment policies in Britain.
· Lockwood and Nancy. R, (2003) “Work life Balance;
Challenges and Soluations-2003 Research
Quarterly”, HRM Magazine, 2003.
INNOVATION IN EDUCATION
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