Defining the Balance
Work-life balance is the extent to which an individual's needs are met in work and non-work aspects of life. Each person plays multiple roles in life - child, spouse, parent, friend and employee. Each role has specific responsibilities associated with it; work-life balance is the ability to manage these responsibilities without feeling conflicted or overwhelmed.
Quality over Quantity
Work-life balance is not so much about quantity - it is nearly impossible to balance the number of hours spent at work and hours spent outside work. Instead, balance is the result of the quality of the time spent, both at work and in non-work aspects of life.
Factors Affecting Work-Life Balance
Positive Personal Factors
Studies show that those who have regular schedules, healthy habits, hobbies, as well as high self-confidence and ambition are likely to have better work-life balance.
Negative Personal Factors
People from lower socioeconomic strata typically have poor work-life balance. Those with low self-esteem, poor social skills and depression also have similar imbalance.
Positive Organisational Factors
Individuals in organisations with supportive managers, flexible timings, accommodating policies and meaningful, well-structured work tend to have better work-life balance.
Negative Organisational Factors
Some organisational factors that interfere with work-life balance are stringent rules, excessive workload, hostile work environment, time pressure, and lack of job security.
Positive Social Factors
A strong social network can help people feel more involved in various aspects of life. In fact, even supportive governmental policies and welfare schemes can improve work-life balance.
Negative Social Factors
The contrary is true as well - discriminatory policies at work, unsupportive families, cultural stigma, patriarchal standards, and other social factors can interfere with work-life balance.
Why Work-Life Balance Matters
Implications for Individuals
Employees who feel that they lead balanced lives have higher morale, commitment to work, job satisfaction and better overall health. They are also less likely to fall sick and miss work.
Implications for the Organisation
Countrary to popular belief, work-life balance is good for the organisation as well - better balance is linked to higher organisational performance, increased cost savings, better retention, improved reputation, and increased financial turnover.
InnerHour for Work-Life Balance
InnerHour's Employee Happiness Programme can tailor its offerings to help the employer promote better work-life balance in their organisation.
Through our surveys and ongoing employee evaluations, we guage employee perception of work-life balance and its related factors. The InnerHour Stress test assesses factors causing imbalance and can help the employer identify specific groups that might require intervention.
Targeted Action Plans
In partnership with the employer, InnerHour adopts a mix of different approaches to improve work-life balance. While some approaches target individual employes, others focus on different groups by offering peer support and training.
Our workshops and webinars are designed to focus on work-life balance and to train employees in skills to maintain this balance. Some common topics include time management, prioritisation, improving productivity, and inculcating mindfulness.
Through the InnerHour app, employees can access the stress programme to reduce stress levels that might be causing an imbalance in their lives. They can also access personalised tools to live a happier life with our happiness programme.
Employees can also avail professional support - by booking a session with a qualified InnerHour therapist - either online on the app or in person at any of our clinics.
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Beauregard, T. Alexandra and Henry, Lesley C. (2009) Making the link between work-life balance practices and organizational performance. Human resource management review, 19 . pp. 9-22. ISSN 1053-4822
Ramos, Hazel Melanie & Francis, Felix & Varughese Philipp, Reuben. (2015). Work life balance and quality of life among employees in Malaysia. International Journal of Happiness and Development. 2. 10.1504/IJHD.2015.067598.
Ediriweera, A.n. “Organizational and Individual Factors Affecting Work Life Balance of Managers in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.” doi:10.31357/fmscmst.2009.00323.