Thursday, July 1, 2010

Importance of work/life balance & Pakistani organizations

Work-life balance is a broad concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) on one hand and "life" (pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development) on the other. Anyone can say it a "lifestyle balancing approach". Many employees believe that it is due to the advance technology & globalization and a critical harm to social life plus an increase in physique related neuroskeletal disorders from a combination of stress and ergonomic stressors. It is clear that problems caused by stress have become a major concern to both employers and employees.
The importance of work/life balance can count through a series of afterward problems if someone missing it and have symptoms of stress. These are manifested both physiologically and psychologically. Persistent stress can result in cardiovascular disease, sexual health problems, a weaker immune system and frequent headaches, stiff muscles, or backache. It can also result in poor coping skills, irritability, jumpiness, insecurity, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating. Stress may also perpetuate or lead to binge eating, smoking, or dependency on antidepressants.
When work takes priority over family it is Work to Family Interference (WIF). This type of conflict is mostly seen in male employees as they are more committed toward their work responsibilities in relation to the family responsibilities. However, women are not fully exempted with this type of conflict. When family responsibilities become a hindrance to perform the work effectively it becomes Family to Work Interference (FIW). Many factors contribute to intensify family to work interference which mainly includes family responsibilities such as child and elderly care. The conflict between work and family is now become a crisis for the organizations. With the increase in dual family parents, more job demand and long working hours made it almost impossible to create a balance between work and family.
Pakistan is one of the fast growing economies in the world. Economical and social changes in the last three decades has changed the family and work settings. The increasing rate of inflation changed the working setups in the country. The monthly expenditures are also escalating because of higher rate of inflation. This resulted in the emergence of dual family earners. The monthly expenditure in the year 1996 – 2000 was Rs 6757 in the urban areas of Pakistan which increase to Rs 8997 in the year 2001 - 2004, Rs 9121 in 2005-06, Rs 10583 in 2006-08 and escalated to Rs 15000 2009 - 2010. To maintain the standard of living now both husband and wives has to work and the concept of single earner family is unfortunately diminishing.
As the wave of globalization captured the Pakistani markets the job became more demanding and the working hours also increases. The fast pace economical development in the country has demanded more efforts from its employees. Now organizations in Pakistan are paying off good salary packages, compensation and benefits but the nature of the work is more demanding. The work related stress, work pressure, long working hours leads to job dissatisfaction which is one of the main hinder in the factors related to work/family interferences.

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