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19 work – life balance among women employees


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19 work – life balance among women employees

  1. 1. 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. ABSTRACT 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 Introduction 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. (a) Scheduling There is nothing like writing a ‘to do’ list to help things get done each day and not be hanging over you afterwards. (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 Research Explorer ISSN : 2250 - 1940 Vol II : Issue. 6 January - June 2013
  2. 2. 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 help. 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 force 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 programmes. 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. ii) Disappointment 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.
  3. 3. Research Explorer January - June 201375 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. vi) Travel 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 growth. 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 play”.  Drawing an appropriate schedule for the day, week or the month for dividing time between work and family.  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 to home. 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 over time. Conclusion Work life balance is an employment practice that is concerned with providing scope for employees to
  4. 4. 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. References : · 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. · · Special issue on INNOVATION IN EDUCATION SELP Journal of social science invites articles from acadamicians, research scholars and students in the field of social science for special issue on INNOVATION IN EDUCATION for puplication in June 2013. 2 Contributors may follow the guidelines in selp journal of social science and submit a soft copy to tamilselp@ yahoo in. on or before 30.05.2013. 2 Rs 1000/- per article will be charged as publication fee in the form of DD in favour of SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT OF LOCAL PEOPLE TRUST, payable at Tiruchi. (or) publication amount may be paid directly in the A/C. No. 156305000371, RTGS / NEFT / IFSC Code-ICIC0001563, ICICI Bank, K.K.Nagar, Tiruchirappalli - 620 021. Managing Editor