1. INTRODUCTION: BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Work life and personal life are the two sides of the same coin. They are inter-connected and interdependent. Very often, working people claim that they have to make tough choices even when their work and personal life is nowhere close to equilibrium. Focusing on the BPO sector of Mauritius, more precisely on Call Centres, it can be seen that Call Centres have increased rapidly in number over the past five years. They are now a significant part of the Mauritian economy as the economy is moving in the direction of becoming a cyber island. Call Centres represents 18 % of the BPO sector. The call centre industry is the highest generator of employment with 3590 people in this sector. However, even if call centres are attracting many employees, the latter record a labour turnover of 6-7 % each year. Human resources are the most important asset of the BPO sector. Managers must adopt proper strategies so as to retain their employees. In this respect, the quests for work life balance strategies are becoming more and more vital for firms engage in the Business Process outsourcing field. The need to retain existing key staff and talent pool coupled with the cut throat competitive labour market had led to the evolution of the work life balance concept. Consequently, the concept of the Work life Balance strategies have evolve to cater for the changing nature of work and also to make work and family life more nexus and stable. The Research proposal aim at analyzing the concept of the work life balance practices as implemented in the business process outsourcing sector.
The work life balance concept can be defined as the stress-free management of work and family roles (Lobel, 1991) and to achieve satisfaction in all life domains (Kirchmeyer2000). The main purpose of the research is to investigate the work life balance practices implemented in the BPO sector and to analyze the benefits generated when adopting these policies. Additional objectives are: 1. To analyze the working environment prevailing in BPO’s of Mauritius. 2. To examine the change in working hours in response to customer and employee demand of the BPO sector of Mauritius. 3. To explore the HR implications of the work life balance concept in relation to the organizational commitment in BPO sector of Mauritius.
4. To assess the changing nature of work in the BPO sector of Mauritius that resulted to the emergence of the work life balance concept.
5. To analyze the constraint of the work life balance policies in the BPO sector of Mauritius.
2. THE LITERATURE REVIEW
Though BPO industries have been a boon in terms of employing a bulk number of unemployed graduates, it is difficult to sustain and retain them. Changing work patterns with response to meeting customer demands combined with the odd working hours and stressful work environment plays a major role. Well-paid and challenging jobs are very demanding. At the same time, employees cease to be social beings and often get isolated from their families and friends. Bittman and Rice (2002) have catalogued the growing time pressures for individuals and families in the face of extended paid and unpaid working hours, especially for women workers. The pressure of time and energy expended at home may impinge on work performance, and pressures at work may impact on home and family life (Glezer and Wolcott, 1998). Moreover, management practices or attitudes within the workplace can make the juggling act more or less practicable (Eaton, 2003). Hence, there is a growing demand to balance work life and personal life. Given the fact that a person´s social surroundings are essential in coping with eventual conflict or imbalance between work and life make even it more difficult. Bennet (1997) find out that social support can be of great importance when individuals want to change behaviour.
General organizational and work environment in BPO’s are largely...