Definition:QUALITY OF WORK LIFE BALANCEHaving a measure of control when,where and how individuals work,leading totheir being able to enjoy an optimal quality of life.Work /life balance is achievedwhen an individual‘s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work isaccepted and respected as norm,to a mutual benefit,of individual,business andsocietyINTRODUCTION:QWL is a prescriptive concept it attempts to design work environment so as tomaximize concern for human welfare it is a goal as well as process Quality of worklife improvements are defined as any activity which takes place at a every of anorganization, which seeks great organization effectiveness through theenhancement of human dignity and growth a process which the stake holders in theorganization management unions and employees learn how to work together betterto determine for themselves what actions changes and improvements are desirableand workable in order to achieve the twin and simultaneous goal of an improvedquality of work life INTRODUCTIONNEED OF THE STUDY :Today‘s work forces are balance between carriers and personal lives. Successfulorganization supports and provide facilities to their people to help them to balancethe scales. In this process or empting with new and innovative ideas to improvequality of work life of every individual in the organization . Various programmerslike flex time, alternative work schedules, compressed work weeks telecommutingetc. technical advantages further helps organization to implement theseprogrammers success. So there, is a need to concentrate one‘s QWL is viewed asan alternative to the control approach of managing realizing the importance ofrelationships and are trying to strike a people.
Approach:To create a skill set that enhances the ability to evaluate priorities, focus on the bigpicture and use long range planningUse prioritizing and organizational skills to make sense out of conflicting demandsWork and personal world were once very distinct.It is harder than ever to keep up with both your work and personal activities.Activities and social spaces are becoming ambiguous.Changes in the Work World: Global economy International business Advanced communication technology Flex-time schedules Alternative or flexi-place work location Changes in family structure (dual-career)Some Facts to Consider About the Workforce: 57% of people who say they had to go into work late or leave early did so because of caring for elderly relatives 4% say they‘ve turned down a promotion 10% say they went from full-time to part-time work
Survey Results From More Than 50,000 Employees from a Variety ofManufacturing and Service Organizations Found: 2 out of every 5 employees are dissatisfied with the balance between their work and personal lives The lack of balance is due to: Long work hours Changing demographics More time in the car Deterioration of boundaries between work and homeSo … How Do You Restore Balance to your Life? First, remember that the work/life balance can mean different things to different people. It can also change and mean different things to you at various points in your career. You also have to be realistic. If you set a priority (EX: advance in your career), you have to be realistic about what that will require.
7 Tips For Work-Life Balance: 1. Don‘t overbook 2. Prioritize ruthlessly 3. Learn how to say no 4. Organize 5. Use technology 6. …but don‘t overdo it 7. Know it won‘t always be perfect1.Don’t Overbook: Don‘t plan too many things Assume that only 50% of things you plan for the day will actually get done2.Prioritize Ruthlessly: The secret to booking your time effectively boils down to knowing what is important and what can wait Use the sharpest knife to trim the essential from the secondary3.Learn to Say No: One of the biggest land mines to effective time management is recognizing you don‘t have to agree with everything and with everyone. “Saying no to one thing opens the door to saying yes to something else”
4.Organize: Bringing time into line isn‘t just a matter of scheduling. ―Eliminating clutter and the chaos it causes will give you a gift of 240 to 288 hours every year‖5.Use Technology: Go beyond personal habits and practices for time management. Use technology as another weapon to make the most effective use of your workday ―Sticky notes are one of the worst things in the world. ..‖“..You should live by your database. That way nothing is ever forgotten.”6.(Use technology) … But Don’t Overdue It: Part of effective time management is knowing when to shut things down Turning off a cell phone or other wireless means of communication establishes boundariesHelps you balance your personal and professional time7.Know It Won’t Always Be Perfect: Be grateful for what goes right and learn from your mistakes.‖ Do what you can and enjoy whatever time you spend more pleasantly and productively. Time management is not an exact science. Don‘t stress out and waste time in the process obsessing over every second of time.
Final Thought on the Work/Life Balance…. In the end, the key word is balance. Find the right balance that works for you Celebrate your successes and don‘t dwell on your failures. Life is a process .. and so is striving for balance in your life.
Case Study:IKEABackground:IKEA is a Swedish home furnishing retailer that sells well-designed, functionalfurniture at low prices. IKEA is a global business with over 150 stores in morethan 20 countries around the world—plus approximately 20 franchise stores—andstill growing, most recently in Japan. IKEA operates 25 stores in the U.S. and has11 stores in the U.K. Two of those U.K. stores are in Scotland, in Edinburgh and inGlasgow.IKEA‘s dream is ―to create a better everyday life for the many people.‖ In IKEA‘slanguage, the dream‘s realization lies in the combination of the company‘s―business idea‖ and its ―human resource idea‖ which is ―to give down-to-earth,straightforward people the possibility to grow, both as individuals and in theirprofessional roles, so that together we are strongly committed to creating a bettereveryday life for ourselves and our customers.‖IKEA‘s Swedish heritage is important in the company, as demonstrated by itstraining for staff on Swedish culture. The Swedish national values of commitmentto, and time with, family and community, combined with concern for a healthyenvironment, are strongly reflected in IKEA‘s organizational culture andmanagement practices. These values can be seen in its strategic approach thatacknowledges work-life balance, to its recognition of the importance of coffeebreaks in a pleasant environment for all staff for social interaction. Work-lifebalance,explains Jill Burgess, human resource manager of the Glasgow store, is ―apriority in its own right in IKEA‘s U.K. business plan.‖ Inclusion in the currentbusiness plan is not to say work-life balance ―feels as if it‘s a new phase for thecompany, although the term is now often bandied about.‖ Rather, work-lifebalance extends naturally from the company‘s Swedish cultural roots and its―priority of focusing on co-workers to develop the corporate culture,‖ according toAnders Dahlvig, IKEA president. Work-life balance is expressed, for instance, inpaid days off for all staff for first day of school leave, marriage leave and ―movinghouse leave‖. It is also expressed in the following areas of existing work-lifebalance offerings, including flex-time (variationin start and finish times); full-timeand part-time work; special shift arrangements(for example, early shifts only); non-standard work weeks (for example, longer but fewer work days per week);
emergency leave (for a domestic crisis like a flooding);public/community serviceleave (such as working on a public service board); leave for caring for dependents;parental leave; sick children leave; information about childcare; employeeassistance programs; information and advice on work-life balance; and healthpromotion.Health PromotionOne example of combining national and organizational cultures is the healthpromotion program in IKEA‘s Glasgow store. There are 480 co-workers there,two-thirds of them part-time and two-thirds female—although the women are notconcentrated disproportionately in part-time work. When applying to work atIKEA Glasgow, all applicants are asked to state their preference for full-time orpart-time work. Another characteristic of the workforce is that it is mainlycomposed of ―staff who bring enthusiasm, commitment and energy,‖ according toBurgess. In a newly opened store, a health promotion program may not beexpected to be a particular priority.Nevertheless, in addition to subsidized healthy meals from the large and popularpublic cafeteria, all employees can take advantage of free podiatry (medical footcare) and massage sessions during work time.Burgess believes it is important that ―co-workers generally see IKEA as investing alot in them—and the feedback we get suggests they do.‖ Offering podiatry andmassages relates in particular to the physical nature of much of the work, with staffoften working on their feet and wearing protective boots. Doing physical work isnot the exclusive preserve of shop floor staff; departmental and senior managers allhelp when needed.Business Controller David Montgomerie has taken advantage of the chiropodyservice. This was a new experience for him and although his initial motivation wasthe novelty value and curiosity, he now believes promotion of health awarenessand general fitness is very important. One of Montgomerie‘s team is Abigail Jones,an IT specialist. Jones has also used the chiropody service, a first for her. ―It‘s agood perk…IKEA is obviously interested in the well-being of staff and are verypeople– oriented.‖ Stephanie Miller, a young part-time employee who works onthe shop floor, believes that ―health promotion to encourage a healthy lifestyle is agood idea and fun as well.‖ She did not expect such services, but can see that theyare valuable.
The most recent initiative in IKEA‘s health promotion program is an upcoming Fitfor Work week. IKEA will offer a range of fitness and occupational healthactivities during that week. The high rates of staff participation for previous Fit toWork weeks indicate that this program has been well-received by staff.Outcomes On an individual level, work-life balance programs help people balancework with other life factors. Burgess notes that ―in some cases it can offer theopportunity to experience something new and benefit from it.‖ In organizationalterms, work-life balance is a ―win-win situation.‖ According to Burgess, itincreases morale and commitment by improving psychological contracts and gives―something tangible to staff so they perceive IKEA as a caring company that theyenjoy working for.‖ Ruth Huxley, deputy store sales manager, reinforces this view.According to Huxley, ―the way in which IKEA works with work-life balancearrangements has a very positive impact on co-workers…it makes them feel thatthe company cares about them as individuals and, as a result, gives them a greatersense of loyalty.‖ Work-life balance arrangements also have a positive effect onattendance and staff retention, raises the profile of fitness and health, and lets staffsee that there is an investment in them.They are so ingrained in the way IKEA runs its business that quantified data is notproduced to measure the benefits of the arrangements. However, key performanceindicators such a higher-than-industry average in employee retention, lower-thanindustry average in absence rates, and frequent employee referrals to newrecruits strongly point to tangible benefits of work-life balance activities. There is―the risk that people take work-balance programs for granted and see them as agiven, not a perk,‖ notes Burgess. Above all, she says, work-life balance programs―send the right message of the company‘s culture and support it with actions.‖ It isnoted that managers are central to delivering work-life balance initiatives. ―Themessage from managers to co-workers has to be, ‗Don‘t just take time off work forlife factors; let us in, talk to us and we can try to support you,‘ ‖ asserts Burgess.In this way, IKEA is open to new ideas for work-life balance programs.Way Forward Development of work-life balance initiatives is seen in positiveterms with an open-minded attitude. The possibility of working from home withinoperational constraints is being considered. So too is initiating and funding socialevents for all staff and their families.
Learning Points:Work-life balance is tied closely to organizational culture.Work-life balance is not just about flexibility in work for life outside work, it alsoworks the other way around: ―Bringing aspects of wider life—like health initiativesand socializing—into work can be fun‖ (Business Controller).―The best way to engage more people in work-life balance programs is to letco-workers who have experienced it advocate it by word-of-mouth‖ (BusinessController).