Você está na página 1de 20



T he term paper on Balancing Work and life is an earnest attempt to unravel

the complexities of issues pertaining to Life and Working in an
Organization. While it is easy to point fingers at the workplace for
lacklustre attitude towards their employees and their needs to balance work-life,
there are a lot that goes unnoticed. The paper tries to get into the crux of the
issues and present the details as lucidly as possible.

We would like to extend our fullest gratitude to Dr. S. Buddhapriya for her
unending support and motivation. Her valuable suggestions are priceless.

We’d also like to thank our fellow students at FORE School of Management for all
they had done for us. They are an integral part of our work.

All feedback, criticisms and comments are welcome. It is via these that we seek to
learn more and improve.

Thanking all,

Gourab Kundu
Mudita Maheshwari

FORE School of Management
31 July, 2009

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

1. Work and Life : an Analogy 4
1.1. Various Work and Life Balances 7

2. Research and Literature 8

2.1. Work-Life Imbalance 8
2.2. Why is He Absent Today? 8
2.3. Unbalanced life and productivity 8

2.4. Considerations at the Workplace 9

2.5. First Tennessee National Corp.: a considerate workplace 10

2.6. Tackling Absenteeism 10
2.7. An Employee Survey 10

2.8. Managing Prowess 11

3. The Right Balance 12

Role strain 12
Spill over 12
Clarifying values 12
Setting realistic goals and expectations 12
Setting priorities and managing time 13
Letting go and understanding control 13

3.1. The Perfect Balance: 14

4. What the Company can do? 15

5. Inferences and Conclusions 16

6. Appendix – Research Findings 17

7. References 19

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

The Balance Dilemma

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

Work and Life: an Analogy

o remain competitive in today's encompass voluntary work, where payback
cutthroat economic environment, lies in psychosocial or generative rewards.
companies are doing more with fewer
people. The tight job market can make even The work life evokes a range of meanings,
those employees whose work loads haven't from simple existence to
increased feel they have to expend more a life sentence. In the “The work
effort—or even create an illusion of having to context of work life
expend more effort—simply to keep their balance, however, it is life evokes a
jobs. No longer is it just the workaholics who typically taken to be the range of
are working harder and putting in longer antithesis of work – i.e. meanings,
hours. not work or non-work.
But the above has its from simple
Now more than ever before, it's important to horizons at very narrow existence to a
work smarter—to strengthen job strata. life
performance and productivity without letting What could be a more
efforts compromise personal life and health. definitive and broader sentence.”
Adopting a few positive behaviours can help definition of life is in
one work smarter and even enhance other reality it involves an accumulation of
areas of one’s life. experiences, the opportunity of experience
First of all, one has to let and learning, being able to establish and grow
“We’d like to go of the perception that
he can do all things, be all
meaningfully, fulfilling relationships and
paradoxically to engage in meaningful,
define life as things to all people, and fulfilling activities (i.e. to enjoy one’s work).
the still maintain healthy One would like to define life as the opportunity
opportunity relationships,
health, and
to achieve in a diverse range of contexts.

to achieve in Similarly, companies Balance generally

a diverse need to realize the implies some sense of “Workaholics
benefits of helping equity and are
range of employees achieve a reasonableness.
contexts.” work-life balance. The Workaholics are
presumed to
distinction between work presumed to be be
and non-work is often blurred by the extent to unbalanced because they unbalanced
which we enjoy the task we are doing. Work do not conform to
may be synonymous with ‘chore’; equally, it expected norms about
because they
may be synonymous with effort, as in having a where and how they do not
good work-out. invest their time and conform to
energy. However
In terms of the work-life balance debate, reasonableness is very
however, there seems to be a reasonable much in the eyes of the norms.”
consensus that work relates to the time and beholder – a workaholic
energy people contract to expend to the third may be more fulfilled than a more laid-back
party in return for a defined reward. This may counterpart who has no passionate interests.
And equity, it can be argued is not an essential

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life
component of balance. People who feel that deny at their own risk, now that the two-
they have a balanced life may still spend more income family is a fact of life.
time at work than at play.
Another important “Man is a
The fact that there is a conflict between work aspect of work life
and non-work doesn’t mean that there is a balance is to strike a social animal”.
feeling of imbalance. balance between family He has
“The fact that There must be a real or
perceived negative
and work at large. certain
there is a impact of imbalance to be Work and family are obligations to
conflict an issue. What matters is both central to our way live up to.”
the individual’s ability to of life. Finding a balance
between accommodate and between the two is an issue of importance to
work and resolve such conflicts. men, women and
non-work employers.
A working definition of
doesn’t mean balance in the context of Today, nearly 50 percent of families have two
that there is work-life balance is: a wage earners. Less than one-fifth of families
a feeling of state where an individual are “traditional” breadwinner/ homemaker
manages real or potential families. Research suggests that when adults
imbalance.” conflict between different add children to their family, men and women
demands on his or her tend to become more traditional in how they
time and energy in a way that satisfies his or divide workloads. In other words, tasks
her needs for well-being and self-fulfilment. become delegated by gender rather than by
Some observers would also add reference to interest or ability. However, in order to
the impact on key stakeholders, such as close successfully balance multiple roles, adults may
family members. need to become even less traditional than they
were before becoming parents.
Achieving work life balance can be closely
attributed to the following postulates: Balancing work with societal life of an
individual is also of paramount importance. It
a. Being aware of different demands has rightly been remarked that “Man is a
on your time and energy. social animal”. He has certain obligations to
b. Having the ability to make choices live up to. These obligations can be pertaining
in the allocation of time and to society at large or may even refer to his
energy. individual contribution to society.
c. Knowing what values you wish to
apply to choices. Social work is a very important premise in an
d. Making conscious choices. individual’s life. Giving back to society is not
just one’s moral
The titles ``work/life coordinator'' and obligation but also one’s “Work and
``director of diversity'' have entered the duty. Researches have
bureaucratic lexicon; the ranks of consultants exceedingly showed that
family are
in the field have mushroomed. Family- a balanced work life both central
friendliness today is a rage. It is a increasingly leads to a to our way of
phenomenon, in other words, that executives good societal life of an

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

1.1. Various Work and Life Balances:

 Work and Personal Life

 Work and Family Life
 Work and Societal Life
 Work and Social Service

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

Research and Literature
2.1 Work-Life Imbalance adding up to millions of dollars annually for
large companies. Some of the issues that lead
Speaking at Georgia Tech's 172nd to absenteeism are symptoms of a work-life
commencement address imbalance.
“Imagine life in September 1996, Brian
2.3 Unbalanced life and Productivity
as a game in G. Dyson, then Coca-Cola
Enterprises president and
which you CEO, said, "Imagine life as The balance between work and personal life is
are juggling a game in which you are in the best interest of
juggling some five balls in a nation’s worker “Employees who
some five the air. You name them— productivity;
balls in the work, family, health, reducing the conflict feel overworked
air.” friends, and spirit—and between work and tend to feel less
you're keeping all of family life should be successful in
these in the air. You will soon understand that a nation’s priority.
work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will The workers' jobs their
bounce back. But the other four balls—family, and workplace relationships
health, friends, and spirit— are made of glass. supportiveness are neglect
If you drop one of these, they will be key predictors of job
irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, productivity, job themselves, feel
or even shattered. They will never be the same. satisfaction, less healthy, and
You must understand that and strive for commitment to feel more
balance in your life." employers, and
retention. stress.”
2.2 Why Is He Absent Today?
It is also noted that there exists a clear link
According to an Incorporated Unscheduled between work-family policies and lower
Absence Survey, most employees who fail to absenteeism. The more overworked
show up for work aren't employees feel, the more likely they are to
“Most physically ill. report making mistakes, feel anger and
resentment toward employers and co-
employees workers, and look for a new job.
Only 38 percent of
who fail to unscheduled absences are
show up due to personal illness. Of Employees who feel overworked tend to feel
the remaining 62 percent, 23 less successful in their relationships with their
for work spouses, children, and friends and tend to
percent are absent because
aren't of family issues; 18 percent neglect themselves, feel less healthy, and feel
physically because of personal needs; more stress.
ill.” 11 percent for stress; and 10
percent for entitlement—I It should be the endeavour to support job
work hard and I deserve the flexibility as a way to help employees balance
time off. Last-minute no-shows cost work and life.
organizations an average $610 per employee,

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

How can it be
so? You have
never caught
fire in this
organization! Sir, I am
totally burnt

2.4. Considerations at the


 Linkage between work and life.

 Considerate workplace (in terms of
work and family) has a higher

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

2. 5. First Tennessee National Corp.: a 2.7. An Employee Survey

considerate workplace Business Week, together with the Center on
Here’s a case about the employees of First Work & Family at Boston University,
Tennessee National Corp. Three years ago, the embarked on a new initiative to rate
company started taking family issues companies on their family-friendly strategies.
seriously, treating them as strategic business It started in 2005. The nearly year-long study's
questions. The bank got rid goals were the following:
“Work and of a lot of work and rules
family, it and let employees figure 1. To identify employers' best practices by
out which schedules asking both companies and employees to
argues are
worked best. Work and describe their work-family balancing acts.
not discrete 2. How do employers keep productivity
family, it argues are not
phenomena. discrete phenomena. They growing while addressing family concerns?
They necessarily touch one 3. Can employees have a life and get ahead?
necessarily another, often profoundly.
touch one THE FINDINGS
another, often The solution, then, is to
build consideration of  The results add up to a compelling agenda
profoundly.” for corporate managers. Yet they also reflect
family issues into job
design, work processes, a divide between family-friendliness in
and organizational structure.--``because they theory and in practice.
know what needs to be done'' both on and off  While 48% of the 8,000 employees in the
the job. In short order, clear gains in survey said they could ``have a good family
productivity and customer service emerged. As life and still get ahead'' in their company,
employees got control over their workplace,  60% reported that
``managers had to change the way they did management didn't, or “More than
business,'' says CEO Ralph Horn. only ``somewhat'' did, two-fifths said
take people into that work had
Ultimately, though, supervisors rated by their account when making
a negative
subordinates as supportive of work-family
balance retained employees twice as long as  More telling, more than impact on
the bank average and kept 7% more retail two-fifths said that their home
customers. Higher retention rates, First work had a negative and lives!”
Tennessee says, contributed to a 55% profit impact on their home
gain over two years, to $106 million. lives. ``I may have flexibility to
accommodate family needs...but I'm home
2.6. Tackling Absenteeism working until midnight to get my job done,''
Another aspect of sound work-life balance is wrote one employee.
the manifestation of reductions in absenteeism  The studies collate to: Some of the leaders
and turnover. ``The impact we're having on were hardly surprises: DuPont, Hewlett-
morale and our ability to attract and retain the Packard, and Motorola, among others, have
people we want is clearly going to give us an led innovation in the work-family arena for
economic payback,'' says Eli Lilly CEO Randall a decade or longer.
L. Tobias.  The company that won the highest overall
Personal experience is moving other leaders to grades: First Tennessee, a midsize regional
act. Hewlett-Packard Co.'s embrace of family- bank that only recently has won attention
friendliness firmed after Lewis E. Platt became for its progressive work-family response.
CEO in 1992.

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

Everybody is
getting in for
more work
after work,
are you in?

2.8. Managing Prowess:

 Striking the right balance.

 Having realistic goals and
 Strong values.
 Perception.

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

The Right Balance

anaging more numerous and complex  Letting go and understanding control
work and family/societal roles is a
source of stress for many of us. Stress Clarifying Values
comes from two primary sources: Values guide our actions and are usually the
result of our life experiences. Clarifying our
 Role strain values is one key to managing work and family
 Spillover demands. A value is defined as “a principle,
standard, or quality considered worthwhile or
Role strain occurs when the responsibilities of desired.” The values we hold but are not aware
one role interfere with performing other roles. of can often contribute to our feelings of stress;
For example, a job that requires long hours or we can understand and ease this stress by
excessive travel may have a negative impact on becoming more aware of our values.
a partnership or parenting role.
Some of our values may be in conflict with each
Spillover is
when the conditions and other. For example, one may believe it’s
relationships in one area important to be at work
of our lives affect us in early, and believe it’s
Inflexible equally important not to
The values
another area. For
work hours, example, inflexible work leave the house until the we hold but
hours, an overbearing kitchen is clean. are not
supervisor, or a less-than- Unexpected delays, or
overbearing positive mornings where
aware of can
supervisor, environment can have a everything just takes a bit often
negative impact on your longer, could prove very contribute to
or a less- stressful until we examine
family life. Family our feelings
than-positive concerns, such as an these values and think
work unsupportive partner, about how they interact. of stress.
environment inequities in the division
of housework and child Modifying or prioritizing our values can be one
can have a care, significant health way of easing role strain. Areas where we
negative problems in family might have strong values may include
members, or changing housework, meal preparation and meal times,
impact on child care, car and house maintenance, the
child care arrangements
your family can have a negative nature and amount of couple and family time,
life. impact on your work. money, religion, education, entertainment, or
There are four processes we can work through,
which can help us evaluate ourselves and our Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations
lives and make changes: Goals are important in our lives and help us
define how we use our time. Goals are shown
 Clarifying values in statements like, “I want to be store manager
 Setting realistic goals and by the time I am 35,” or, “I want to finish my
expectations college degree before I have children.” Our
 Setting priorities and managing time values underlie our goals and give us the

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life
“push” to move toward achieving those goals. needs be to done instead of what we want to
The values underlying these two goal do. Even when we are efficient in using our
statements might include a high regard for time, we may not be effective—we “do things
achievement and education. right” but we don’t do the right things. Often,
we don’t plan and schedule activities that move
Goals may be either concrete, like the two us toward our goals, especially those goals that
examples above, or relational, such as raising aren’t concrete.
responsible children,
Perceptions, building supportive Letting Go and Understanding Control
attitudes and friendships,
Many times we feel we have more control if we
do everything ourselves. However, this can
expectations understanding of keep us from reaching our real goals. Think
are also ourselves. To ease role about delegating work to accomplish priority
strain we can choose to needs and wants. As we
important in put some goals on hold, think about change in this Often, we
understanding let go of some, and area, or act differently, we
and modify others. may encounter unknown don’t plan
values or unexpected and schedule
addressing Perceptions, attitudes perceptions or activities that
work-family and expectations are also expectations about how
issues. important in work should be done. move us
understanding and Even though we may want toward our
addressing work-family issues. Expectations, to reallocate, we find goals,
perceptions and attitudes often take the form ourselves resistant.
of assumptions about the way things ought to Understanding the especially
be done or the way we expect people to emotional satisfaction we those goals
behave. These usually come from our values get from performing that aren’t
and may be harder to identify than our goals. certain tasks, and the
Attitudes and expectations that don’t fit with power attached to some concrete.
our needs today can also create conflict and responsibilities, are
stress. Many of us have high expectations about important aspects of effectively delegating or
being everything to everybody, performing all dividing tasks.
of our roles well or being “perfect.” The result
is acute exhaustion, culminating into complete Planning and communication are central to all
system burnout. We can think about our change. Here are some other ideas to help
attitudes and expectations and choose to balance work and family:
change or modify those that no longer support  Hold family meetings.
us.  Keep weekly or monthly schedules that
schedule time for both concrete and
Setting Priorities and Managing Time relational goals.
Setting priorities is central to effective time  Be willing to revise plans when they
management. Managing work and a household, don’t work or changes need to be made.
finding time for family activities and  Understand what we can control and
friendships, and having time just for us is no what we can’t.
easy task. When we account for all we need to  Keep a sense of humor.
do in a day, many adults have one to two hours,  Remember that effective management is
at most, for “leisure” time. But often these not a static event but a continually
leisure hours are spent doing what we think evolving process.

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

3.1 The Perfect Balance:

 Striking the right balance.

 Harmonious transition between work
and life outside life.
 The skill to delink work from home.
 Strong family support.

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

What the Company Can Do?

(used by 55
percent of

Wellness Employee
programs Assistance Plans
(used by 57 (used by 68
percent of percent of
organizations) organizations)

Alternative work Leave for school

arrangements functions
(used by 58 (used by 58
percent of percent of
organizations) organizations)

The work-life programs seen as most effective in reducing absenteeism, on a 5-point scale with 5
being the most effective, are alternative work arrangements (3.4), leave for school functions,
telecommuting, compressed workweek, and on-site child care, each with a 3.2 rating. It would be
wonderful if these work-life programs were available for all employees. They aren't. And even when
they are, many employees don't avail themselves of the opportunities, particularly now when they
feel they have to work harder to help the company and themselves to survive.

Source: Jim Bird, (2007), “Work-Life Balance Doing It Right and Avoiding The Pitfalls”

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

Inferences & Conclusions

he overall conclusion is that long-term exposure of workers to excessive work hours, evening
and rotating shift schedules, and high levels of work-to-family interference elevates their risk
of mental and physical health problems. Additionally, there are productivity and human
resource costs to organizations in which these conditions prevail. Moreover, it is clear from the
research that solutions to these potential problems must address workload and job demands,
employee choice and flexibility in work hours and arrangements, organizational cultures, and the
behaviours of managers at all levels.

The best work-life balance changes for each individual over time. A good work-life balance for
someone starting his or her career is different from that for someone getting ready to retire. A good
work-life balance for someone who is single with no children is different from that for a single
parent with two children. Your own best work-life balance will change, often on a daily basis. As a
result, your company or organization cannot create the best work-life balance for you. As
individuals, we must find and create it for ourselves.

In order to have a better work-life balance, the organization as a whole must be sensitized at all
levels to the work life issues. This will definitely contribute to the larger cause of organizational

The ideal balance is a match between...

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

Appendix: Research Findings

ccording to the latest data available from various countries, there is a relationship between
satisfaction with working conditions and with work-life balance. Some 85% of respondents
reporting a very good work-life balance are also satisfied with their working conditions.
Among the employees reporting a ‘not very good/not at all good fit’, the proportion of satisfied
workers with their working conditions falls to 53%. The adjoining chart shows a composite study of
satisfaction with working conditions and with work-life balance.

Table 1: Increasingly it has been noticed that there is a relation between the length of working
hours and the satisfaction with work. Further a correlation has been drawn with the balanced
family/social life and work timings. The following table shows the data for a sample survey
conducted in Czech Republic by MQWL in 2004.

Satisfaction with length of working hours in the Czech Republic (%)

Satisfaction with length of working hours (%)
Job satisfaction Yes Neutral No Don’t know Total
Satisfied 71.6 52.1 42.4 36.8 63.0
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 13.8 26.5 24.0 31.6 18.1
Dissatisfied 7.1 12.9 24.7 10.5 10.9
Don’t know 7.4 8.5 8.8 21.1 8.0
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Source: MQWL 2004, No. surveyed=2,007, c= 0.267 (contingency coefficient), p=0.000 (indication of statistical significance) (Czech

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life
Table 2: Relation between job satisfaction and balanced work-life

A composite analysis, and hence, data from it Those respondents who agreed with the
(in 2004) reveal a statistically significant statement were more often satisfied with their
correlation between job satisfaction and the job (78.3%), whereas respondents who
answers agreeing with the following sentence: disagreed with it were much less satisfied in
‘In my organisation, employees are able to their work (31.2%).
maintain a healthy balance between their
working and family life’

Table 2: ‘In my organisation, employees are able to maintain a healthy balance between their
working and family life’ responses collated in per cent
Job satisfaction Yes Neutral No Don't know Total
Satisfied 78.3 53.8 31.2 46.3 63.0
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 11.0 27.7 20.6 22.5 18.1
Dissatisfied 4.0 11.1 37.6 16.9 10.9
Don't know 6.7 7.4 10.6 14.4 8.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Source: MQWL 2004, No. surveyed=2,007, c= 0.388; a=0.000 (Czech Republic)

Table 3: Relation between job satisfaction, work and private life

How does work Job satisfaction

affect your private
life? High Some Little No No. surveyed
Men 95.37 4.63 0.00 0.00 108
In a very good way
Women 93.46 6.45 0.00 0.00 153
Men 84.31 14.31 0.80 0.58 1,370
In a good way
Women 80.26 18.54 0.81 0.40 1,489
Men 65.36 30.14 2.77 1.73 866
Not at all
Women 64.31 30.35 2.89 2.46 692
Men 52.00 33.18 8.71 6.12 425
In a bad way
Women 45.35 36.06 12.68 5.92 355
Men 40.00 20.00 0.00 40.00 15
In a very bad way
Women 21.74 34.78 13.04 30.43 23
Source: DWECS 2000, cross-tabulation of questions B60 and B108, by sex, (Denmark)

In the case of Denmark, the data from DWECS  Conversely, among those workers
2000 reveals the following: reporting that work affects their private
 The group of respondents stating that life in a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ way, the
work affects their private life ‘in a very bad levels of job dissatisfaction are almost non-
way’ are the most discontent with work. existent.

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

Vicki Bell, (2005) “Balancing work and life, a commonsense approach to working smarter and living

Sanghamitra Buddhapriya (2009), “Work-Family Challenges and their impact on Career decisions: A
study of Indian Women professionals”, Vikalpa - The Journal for Decision Makers, IIM Ahamdabad

Clutterbuck, David, (2004), “Work Life Balance - The HR Guide to Organizational Change”

Kiger, G., & Riley, P. (2000). “Helping Dual-Earner Couples Balance Work & Family Responsibilities”

Robert K. Johnson, J. Walker Smith (2006) “Life is not Work and Work is not Life”

MA: Houghton Mifflin. (1992).”The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd

Boston, Hogarth, J. & Dean, C.,” Time: A precious commodity. Balancing Work and Family
Life, Cornell Cooperative Extension.”

Gene Griessman, PhD, “Time Tactics of Very Successful People”

Keith H. Hammonds in New York, with bureau report Updated June 14, 1997 by webmaster
Copyright 1996, by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

Stephen P. Robbins, Timothy A. Judge, Seema Sanghi (2009) “Organizational Behavior”

Jim Bird, (2007), “Work-Life Balance Doing It Right and Avoiding The Pitfalls”

Robert W. Wager, “Striking a balance: Work, Family, Life”

Harvard Businees Review on Work and Life Balance

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life

The End

Organisational Behaviour Term Paper Trimester 1| Gourab Kundu - Mudita Maheshwari |Balancing Work and Life