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Work Life Balance

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a n df a mi l ya mo n gWo me nE mp l o y e e s B y S h a l i n i K u ma r &S a r mi s t h aNa n d y R e s e a r c hS c h o l a r A b s t r a c t Wo r ka n df a mi l yd o ma i n sa r et womo s t s i g n i f i c a n t c o n s t i t u e n t so fa ni
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  Work–LifeBalance:ConflictandfacilitationbetweenworkandfamilyamongWomenEmployeesByShaliniKumar SarmisthaNandyResearchScholar Abstract Work and family domains are two most significant constituents of an individual’s life.They demand countless deal of time and energy from individuals in fulfilling multipleresponsibilities in each role. The research study aimed to investigate the relationshipbetween work-family conflict (work-to-family and family-to-work conflict) with jobsatisfaction and family satisfaction among women Employees. Family–work conflict(FWC) and work–family conflict (WFC) are more likely to exert negative influences in thefamily domain, resulting in lower life satisfaction and greater internal conflict within thefamily. However, these variables have been conceptualized as antecedents of WFC andFWC; it is also important to consider the consequences these variables have onpsychological distress and wellbeing of the working women. Several other variables thatinfluence the level of WFC and FWC such as the size of family, the age of children, thework hours and the level of social support impact the experience of WFC and FWC. Abalanced life is one where we spread our energy and effort - emotional, intellectual,imaginative, spiritual and physical – between key areas of importance. The neglect ofone or more areas, or anchor points, may threaten the vitality of the whole.  Keywords:Work familyconflict family workconflict jobsatisfaction familysatisfaction socialsupport Introduction Work/Life Balance basically is “a state of equilibrium in which the demands of both aperson’s job and personal life are equal” . Family and work are the two most important areas in one’s life. The numbers of dualearner couples are increasing day by day. For this, many married women are involved innumerous roles in their daily lives. Many of them experience the role conflict betweenwork and family. Work-life balance is about successfully managing the juggling actbetween work life and family life. Where Work demands work hours, work intensity andproportion of working hours spent in work, similarly family demands someresponsibilities from her. Here the conflicts begin.Work life balance is about people having a measure of control over when, where andhow they work to the mutual benefit of the individual organization and society. Theseincludes increased productivity, improved recruitment and retention, lower rates ofabsenteeism, satisfied and equitable work force (Employers for work life balance 2006)Work-family conflict has been defined as a form of inter-role conflict in which the rolepressures from work and family domains are mutually incompatible. This definitionimplies a bidirectional relation. Work-family conflict (WFC) occurs when work relateddemands interfere with home responsibilities and Family-work conflict (FWC) ariseswhen family responsibilities impede work activities. Both types of conflict (WFC andFWC) have been negatively related to employees’ satisfaction (Neteyer et al., 1996). Life-work fit is defined as workers’ perception that the job is balanced with home life they  feel safe doing the work and that they have flexibility to attend to work and home duties."Work-family conflict is produced by simultaneous pressures from work and family rolesthat are mutually incompatible (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, &Rosenthal, 1964). Because of incompatible role pressures arising from the work andfamily domains, effectiveness in one role is hampered by experience in the other role. Inother words, work-family conflict occurs when experiences in a role interfere withmeeting the requirements and achieving effectiveness in the other role (Edwards &Rothbard, 2000); Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). Therefore, the essence of work-familyconflict is inter-role interference, and work-family conflict could just as easily be referredto as work-family interference" (Greenhaus, Allen, & Spector, 2006).(Higgins) & (Greenhaus) classify this role conflict into two typesWork-to-family conflict: that occurs when work demands prevents (or hardens) one tosatisfy their family needs such as long work hours, travel and so.Family-to-work conflict: occurs when family responsibilities cause degradation of workperformance. Children’s care and conflict at home are examples of family situationsthat may affect work.Each dimension has common and distinct determinants and consequences. There hasbeen much less research into facilitation than into conflict between work and familyroles.Numerous contemporary studies of work and home life either ignore gender or take itfor granted (Gerson, 2004). One example is Clark's (2000) work–family border theorythat aims to explain how people ‘manage and negotiate the work and family spheresand the borders between them in order to attain balance’.  LiteratureReview Work-life balance has been defined differently by different scholars. In order to broadenour perspectives, some definitions will be presented.Greenhaus (2002) defined work –life balance as satisfaction and good functioning atwork and at home with a minimum of role conflict.Felstead et al. (2002) defines work-life balance as the relationship between theinstitutional and cultural times and spaces of work and non-work in societies whereincome is predominantly generated and distributed through labor markets.Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) and Greenhaus et al. (1989) examined the antecedents ofconflict between family and work, Goodstein (1994) and Ingram and Simons (1995)presented an institutional perspective on organizations ‘responses to work-familyissues.Aycan et al. (2007) confined the subject only with work and family and put forward theconcept of “life balance” with a more whole perspective.In addition, Campbell and Kennard (1994) have studied the effects of familyresponsibilities on the work commitment and job performance of women.Rebbecca Bundhun quotes in ―The National (2009), an Abu Dhabhi National Paper that―Women and men generally have a different perception of what the "life" part of thebalance involves. For women it tends to be devoting more time to family, while for menit is spending more time pursuing personal interests.Rebbecca Bundhun also quoted the paper of Dr Katty Marmenout, a research fellow atthe INSEAD School in Abu Dhabi with his words that ―work-life balance is not simplyabout equally dividing the time spent on one's work and personal life, but establishing a  harmony that reflects an individual's prioritie. So, this allows for acceptance of thehappy workaholic or the satisfied stay-at-home mum or dad.Scholars defined life balance as fulfilling the demands satisfactorily in the three basicareas of life; namely, work, family and private.Work demands work hours, work intensity and proportion of working hours spent inwork. Additional work hours subtract from home time, while high work intensity or workpressure may result in fatigue, anxiety or other adverse physiological consequencesthat affect the quality of home and family life (White et al., 2003).Family demands include such subjects as the roles family responsibilities (e.g childcare,house chores, etc) looking after the old members, children. Besides this, there are someother demands in work life balance than family and work live, vacation, sports andpersonal development programmes.Work –life balance is not the allocation of time equally among work, family and personaldemands. In literature, it is also emphasized that work-life balance is subjectivephenomenon that changes from person to person. In this regard, work-life balanceshould be regarded as allocating the available resources like time, thought and laborwisely among the elements of life. While some adopt the philosophy of ‘working to live’and sees work as the objective, others consider “living to work” and situated work intothe center of life.The literature on Work-life balance with different prospective are studied and available,in recent years, there has been an increased interest in work family interface in thehuman resource management literature, especially regarding the sources and outcomesof conflict between these two spheres. A number of studies have addressed this issuefrom different perspectives.
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