When work and family responsibilities collide, and when the young professionals give importance to their personal life along with work, the question which comes into the surface is “Work Life Balance”. Deciding when, where, and how to be accessible for work is an ongoing challenge, particularly for executives with families. But is this at best an elusive ideal and at worst a complete myth? This article will try to understand this concept better by unearthing the concepts and practices around this.
Many of the corporate houses are now acknowledging the importance of having a work culture which supports their employees to have a balance between their work and personal life. Along with this today’s young leaders have realized that prospering in the ranks is a matter of combining work and family so as not to lose themselves and their loved ones. That’s how the 21st-century business leaders balance their professional and personal lives.
In understanding this concept more, we have to look into the various arena’s where this particular concept comes into limelight, which comprises things like constructing support mechanisms at work and home, handling technology, defining what success means to one, and collaborating with one’s family.
Constructing support mechanisms at work and home:
This is a very important aspect since if in a family in which both the parents are working would require a care taker for their children, elderly parents, and for things like cooking, washing clothes so that they can be there for the most important things once they reaches back home from office.
Mechanism for emotional support is also very important especially in today’s stressful working environment when they are handling something crazy or tuff. Many times executives also turn to their personal networks for a new perspective on a difficult problem. This in some sense can be attributed to Maslow’s social needs. This gives the working executives a sense of security and makes them comfortable while at work and at home.
In today’s world, e-mails, text messages, voice mails, and other modes of communication plays a vital role in facilitating “Work Life Balance”, as well as infringing on the same. Considering when, where, and how to be available for job is a challenge, especially for executives with families. Many times, accessing communications technology leads to be in two places at a given point of time. For example, many executives might have to answer a mail, telephonic call, a text message from their boss when they are at home, due to which they may not be able to give undivided attention or care to their kids/family. This can happen in the reverse as well. Due to the advance of technology, employees tend to use mobile phones, social media sites, text messages when they are at office, leading to lack of attention to their work. This raises a very important question, “Undivided Attention”, let it be at home or at work. So choosing when and where to use the modern technology is an important question or rather a decision which most of the executives have to take?
Defining what success means to one:
This is a very important question which working professionals have to ask themselves. In other words, this is a choice which they have to make. This is something which will vary from person to person. For some people, success only means having passion for their own work, receiving respect from their boss and peers, making a difference at work, personal advancement of their career at any cost, financial success etc. For such kind of people, having a personal family life might not be the first priority since for them; the above mentioned things might be the first priority. So they tend to achieve these goals from their job, at the cost of their personal and family life. In other words, this is the deliberate choice which they have taken and so for such people success means fulfilling these objectives.
But for some other set, they give a very important position for rewarding relationships, along with their career. This might include friends and community along with one’s family. Such type of people gives importance to their social relationships along with their professional career. Those groups of people will not be satisfied only with career growth and financial success, but tends to define success as a life which is balanced, which includes career growth along with a healthy family and social life. Most of the budding professionals come under this category, and so the concept of “Work Life Balance” comes into picture. Many of the corporate houses are slowly realizing this fact and so are reframing or restructuring their HR policies, especially the organizational culture in these lines. They understand the fact that in today’s world, Gen Y employees have plenty of career options and so to retain the best talents in their organization, it is very important to take these things into consideration. By doing so, organizations succeed in retaining the talented employees, leading to create a “Talent Pool” for the organization, giving them a competitive advantage, especially in this era having “War for Talent”.
Collaborating with one’s family:
This essentially means that the common goals hold the working couples together in spite of their busy schedules at office. Their relationships gives both of them opportunities for advancing in career, along with taking care of their children and family, or anything else, which they might not otherwise have had.
There are a wide variety of practices currently being employed by organizations to help employees achieve work-life balance. An increasing number of corporate have implemented wellness programs and pay for their employees’ gym membership as part of a benefits package. In addition to this some companies invite fitness trainers or yoga instructors into their office’s to conduct lunchtime sessions, and so on and so forth.
All these are very important since today’s employee’s have many responsibilities such as work, children, housework, spouse and elderly parent care. Work life conflict is a serious issue that impacts workers, employers and the communities in which they live.
By: Ciyon John