A balance between work and nonwork life is essential for job engagement. A flexible working schedule allows for more time with children. Job flexibility involves career breaks (e.g., maternity or paternity leaves). Moreover, part-time employees need flexibility in scheduling, length of work, and location.
Studies show that more women request flexible work than men. Although men consider flexible working to develop their organizational commitment, women consider it a way to improve and achieve work-life balance. Currently, it seems to be a better fit for women than men. However, as gender norms change, more men will probably use it.
Correlation between work-life balance and performance
There is a correlation between work-life balance and work performance, no matter type of relationship, size of family, or number of children. Findings of studies show that there is a direct positive correlation between flexible working and improved mental health, stress reduction, greater work performance, and increased general life satisfaction. Work-life balance helps to alleviate some stress, as it offers more control over time. Research suggests that those who have work-life difficulties have higher stress than those who are not given the opportunity to balance life and work obligations.
If work-life balance gives you more control over your time, what would you do with your time?
Organizational policies need to be in place to manage work-life balance and prevent job burnout. Burnout is a work-related syndrome characterized by a having no energy, being mentally distant from those at work, being cynical, less professional efficacy, and brings about negative outcomes for those you support. Burnout is caused by not feeling supported, excessive workload, long hours, work pressure, and workplace culture. Burnout is related to poor work-life balance when hours are increased, being midcareer, and decreased time to being awake at home. On an organizational level, policies and practices need to focus on establishing criteria for hiring and placement. Leadership and supervisor training can focus on strategies for effective communication and job discussion among all levels of the workforce on health education and career counseling.
Do you think that you are experiencing burnout?
What supervisors can do
Organizations can incorporate strategies to reduce psychological morbidity and enhance resilience by implementing wellness strategies.
- Supervisors can consider upgrading work-life balance initiatives and offer organizational support and development to all staff. Supportive policies can be developed and written into employee handbooks. Topics can focus on self-care and wellbeing (e.g., hobbies, healthy diet, vacation time, fair compensation). Topics will enhance employee friendly high performance work practices.
- Supervisors can demonstrate ways to show their employees that they are valued.
- Supervisors need effective communication skills to create a better working environment and ensure high levels of work engagement, lower levels of work-related stress, and improve wellbeing.