Work Life Balance

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Is Work Life Balance the Responsibility of the Employer? by Vernice Seebaran Roytec, Trinidad March 2013

Vernice Seebaran – March 2013

Is work-life balance the responsibility of the employer? “Work-life balance is about effectively managing the juggling act between paid work and other activities that are important to us, including: spending time with family, taking part in sport and recreation, volunteering or undertaking further study.” (Human Resource Institute of New Zealand, 2011). Employers are not responsible but would be wise to take note that “People are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions.” (Amabile & Kramer, 2011) Family life and personal time is important to the development of the human being and “There is little doubt that all cultures rely on the social unit of the family for the generation and perpetuation of economic, political, artistic, and educational vitality and well-being.” (Centre for Cross-Cultural Research - Western Washington University). According to Abraham Maslow, in his Theory of Human Motivation, people are motivated by particular needs to attain specific goals, so “For most people, work is only a means to an end – money, power, recognition, status” (Sinetar, 1986). So a balancing act ensues between satisfying the need for perpetuation and the more basic needs that Marslow proffered which is the “work-live balance” challenge. The concept of work-life balance is not new. As early as the 1800s the US government took measures aimed at balancing employees’ working and private time with legislation limiting the work hours as well as recognizing women’s role in the workplace - the Fair Labour Standards Act of 1938 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. Then in the 1980’s companies introduced life enhancing policies such as maternity leave and employee assistance programs. (Parakati, 2010) Companies, both large and small, have recognized employee wellness and

Vernice Seebaran – March 2013...
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