Work Family Balance
Career and family are two crucial roles played by adults. These roles dominate adulthood based on large amount of time they need and the impact they have on the future of the family, the individuals and the society at large. This explains partially where family work balance is considered a widely researched topic. Even so, many studies on the subject mainly focus on women since they are seen as more vulnerable to work and family conflict bearing in mind the historical gender roles stereotyping with females being regarded as homemakers (Fischlmayr & Kollinger, 2010, p. 456).
It is however essential to keep in mind that as women become increasingly engaged in the workforce, there is need to consider family-work relationships to both genders. The work family conflict therefore, shouldn’t be a conflict in the first place. With ideal balance, the two roles can complement each other.
Experiences at work place can enhance the family unit and family life can also enrich work but the hardship of reaching a balance must also be appreciated. According to Crawford et al (2014), family resources including material things, social skills and multitasking capabilities can enhance workplace performances and vice versa. Such a beneficial mutual relationship also demands that each person should be able to realize his or her shared expectations in family roles and at place of work.
Work-family balance as such entails domains and the means of satisfying them can be difficult but not an impossible task. Both work and family domains present difficulties and situations that can cause psychological issues including anxiety, dissatisfaction, stress and depression which, can also impact one or more domains of both genders and roles.
Family issues for instance have been closely related to under-performance at place of work, dissatisfaction and increased absenteeism as well as likelihood of change of jobs (Calvo-Salguero, Martineze-De-Lecea & Carasco-Gonzalez, 2011, p. 436). The modern day family and workplace dynamics have a mixed effect on the work-family balance. For instance, a lot of research on issues related to family and work has focused on the conflict between the two roles therefore, creating an impression that the two are not compatible.
However, according to work-family balance literature as opposed to conflict is currently growing and this can help restore the optimism that the roles are can enhance each other (Fishchlmayr & Kollinger, 2010, p. 456). Additionally, despite the increased participation of women in the workplace, there are measures to ensure work-family balance and must account for the disparity in the roles of both genders in the family.
The effect of an assignment of 3 months on family for instance mainly depends on whether it is carried out by the wife or husband. Lack of proper understanding of work family relationship differences in other words can slow down the process of creating work-family balance. Even so, as the engagement of women in the workplace increases, husbands are increasingly getting involved in nurturing and parenting roles that were traditionally designed for women.
Therefore, gender differences in roles and the effect of the differences on work-family balance may reduce. Work and family additionally may mean differently to organizations and to individuals. There are people who prioritize the family while others prioritize work (Duckworth & Buzzanell, 2009, p. 566). Companies prioritize work over family meaning that different people to work-life balance debate must cooperate and offer some level of compromise to help strike a balance.
Family-work balance can only be realized if relevant stakeholders including families, place of work, regulatory bodies including individuals and families are involved. Organizations can adjust their working schedules and programs to accommodate the needs of the family. For instance companies can run programs that enable employees to manage negative emotional states as well as psychological effects of events at home and in the workplace because an individual’s well-being is highly beneficial to a company in terms of enhanced performance.
Additionally, organizations can have flexible schedules at place of work based on the needs of individual staff members. even though coming up with such a schedule can be quite difficult based on personal interests that may occur, a need based schedule is essential and will be beneficial to the organization and to the employee since the employee will be highly productive if the schedule enables him or her to attend to the needs of his or family as well as goals of the organization.
Individuals can also take part in creation of a work-family balance in flexible jobs, changing routines, settling for low cost transportation and creating time for family among other pragmatic ways (Duckworth & Buzzanell, 2009, p. 566). The government can also enhance the creation of work-family balance via indirect policies including designing gender equality laws as well as campaigns.
According to Saxonberg (2009, p. 667), gender equality offers policies to help enhance freedom of choice for all and thus enhancing fair employee treatment and increasing consensus opportunities at home on the organization of work and family responsibilities in ways that enhance work-family balance.
Work family balance is additionally achievable but complex factors involved in the relationship can make it difficult to achieve. Even so, collaboration between organizations and individuals as well as the government can make it much easier to realize a work-life relationship that is beneficial. Since family and work but be in social aspect clearly understood fraught with stereotypes and misconceptions there is need to intensify social science research to separate facts from myths and develop a knowledge pool as well as optimism need to ensure the work-life relationship is a reality.
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Calvo-Salguero, A., Martinez-de-Lecea, J., & Carrasco-Gonzalez, A. (2011). Work-family and family-work conflict: does intrinsic-extrinsic satisfaction mediate the prediction of general job satisfaction?. Journal Of Psychology, 145(5), 435-461. doi:10.1080/00223980.2011.584082
Duckworth, J. D., & Buzzanell, P. M. (2009). Constructing work-life balance and fatherhood: men’s framing of the meanings of both work and family. Communication Studies, 60(5), 558-573. doi:10.1080/10510970903260392
Fischlmayr, I. C., & Kollinger, I. (2010). Work-life balance – a neglected issue among Austrian female expatriates. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 21(4), 455-487. doi:10.1080/09585191003611978
Kacmar, K., Crawford, W. S., Carlson, D. S., Ferguson, M., & Whitten, D. (2014). A short and valid measure of work-family enrichment. Journal Of Occupational Health Psychology, 19(1), 32-45. doi:10.1037/a0035123
Saxonberg, S. (2009). Freedom of choice through the promotion of gender equality. Social Policy & Administration, 43(6), 666-679. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9515.2009.00687.x