Quality of Worklife

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Quality of Work Life

Quality of work life (QWL) is viewed as an alternative to the control approach of managing people. The QWL approach considers people as an 'asset' to the organization rather than as ‘costs'. It believes that people perform better when they are allowed to participate in managing their work and make decisions. This approach motivates people by satisfying not only their economic needs but also their social and psychological ones. To satisfy the new generation workforce, organizations need to concentrate on job designs and organization of work. Further, today's workforce is realizing the importance of relationships and is trying to strike a balance between career and personal lives.

Successful organizations support and provide facilities to their people to help them to balance the scales. In this process, organizations are coming up with new and innovative ideas to improve the quality of work and quality of work life of every individual in the organization. Various programs like flex time, alternative work schedules, compressed work weeks, telecommuting etc., are being adopted by these organizations. Technological advances further help organizations to implement these programs successfully.

Organizations are enjoying the fruits of implementing QWL programs in the form of increased productivity, and an efficient, satisfied, and committed workforce which aims to achieve organizational objectives. The future work world will also have more women entrepreneurs and they will encourage and adopt QWL programs. Quality of Working Life is a term that had been used to describe the broader job-related experience an individual has. Whilst there has, for many years, been much research into job satisfaction and, more recently, an interest has arisen into the broader concepts of stress and subjective well-being, the precise nature of the relationship between these concepts has still been little explored. Stress at work is often considered in isolation, wherein it is assessed on the basis that attention to an individual’s stress management skills or the sources of stress will prove to provide a good enough basis for effective intervention.

Alternatively, job satisfaction may be assessed, so that action can be taken which will enhance an individual’s performance. Somewhere in all this, there is often an awareness of the greater context, whereupon the home-work context is considered, for example, and other factors, such as an individual’s personal characteristics, and the broader economic or cultural climate, might be seen as relevant. In this context, subjective well-being is seen as drawing upon both work and non-work aspects of life. However, more complex models of an individual’s experience in the workplace often appear to be set aside in an endeavor to simplify the process of trying to measuring “stress” or some similarly apparently discrete entity. It may be, however, that the consideration of the bigger, more complex picture is essential, if targeted, effective action is to be taken to address quality of working life or any of its sub-components in such a way as to produce real benefits, be they for the individual or the organization.

Quality of working life has been differentiated from the broader concept of Quality of life. To some degree, this may be overly simplistic, as Elizur and Shye,(1990) concluded that quality of work performance is affected by Quality of Life as well as Quality of working life. However, it will be argued here that the specific attention to work-related aspects of quality of life is valid. Whilst Quality of Life has been more widely studied , Quality of working life, remains relatively unexplored and unexplained. A review of the literature reveals relatively little on quality of working life. Where quality of working life has been explored, writers differ in their views on its’ core constituents. It is argued that the whole is greater than the...
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