Work Life Balance

Topics: Occupational health psychology, Occupational safety and health, Force Pages: 6 (1924 words) Published: May 25, 2013
According to Simonetta Manfredi and Michelle Holliday’s research (2004), the topic about work-life balance is popular among people since the beginning of a major UK campaign in 2000 (Changing Patterns in a Changing World, DFEE, 2000). What does the “work-life balance” mean? According to the explanation of Eurofound Website (2009), work life balance refers to “a state of equilibrium between an individual’s work and personal life”. But the Economic Times website (2013) think that work-life balance does not mean an absolutely equal balance of time, because it is impossible for a person to separate a day equally into both work and personal activities.While the fact in terms of work-life balance is that people are encountering the imbalance between work and life every day, contributing to health problems. Therefore, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is of importance because the imbalance between work and life may lead to stress that finally will result in illness in terms of both physical and psychological aspects. The best way of reaching the balance is to increase the efficiency of daily work. This essay will focus on a healthy work-life balance, introducing the content of work-life balance firstly and will give an example about imbalance .Next, it will explain how the imbalance influence people’s health by stress in physical and mental aspects . The final part is the summary to support these statements and the view throughout the whole research essay. According to Robert Taylor (2001), work-life balance is the existent relationship between the paid work and the lives people own without their jobs.Simonetta Manfredi and Michelle Holliday’s research (2004) suggests that the hardcore of work-life balance depend on the theory that “paid work and personal life should be seen less as competing priorities than as complementary elements of a full life”. The innovation of the concept is in order to encourage people to “adopt flexible working arrangements such as job sharing, flexible time, compressed hours and others, to help their employees to achieve a better balance between the demands of paid employment and those arising from their private life”. For the purpose of reaching this goal, people should adopt an approach that is “conceptualized as a two way process involving a consideration of the needs of employees as well as those of employers”(Lewis, 2000: p.105).And OECD’s calculation about Table “Correlation between different indicators of work-life balance”(2011) indicates that work-life balance can be related to some social status and concerned topics as follows: working time, time in leisure and personal care, satisfaction with jobs, family as well as social contacts and hobbies, among which, personal care about health or wellbeing, among which wellbeing is an essential factor for work-life balance.

What stop the steps of human beings searching for a healthy work-life balance and wellbeing? It is reported by OECD (2011) that “the average person works 1 749 hours a year and devotes 62% of the day”. And according to Guardian website (2011), the mean of working time in the United Kingdom is 42.7 hours a week for full-time workers, and the situation of people in Australia and Greece is much worse in comparison. And according to ONS, 24% growth in part-time working in 1992 has been replaced by 27% increase in 2011 around the Europe from 38.1 hours in 1992 to 36.3 hours in 2011 (the Guardian Website, 2011).These data depict the fact that over-work exist in many countries and it has become a serious problem that every employee is encountering nowadays. For instance, Karoshi, which is from the literal translation from Japanese, means "death from overwork"(Katsuo Nishiyama,1997)and it belongs to the range of social medicine (Okudaira, M. (2004). It has been proved by a recognized professional scholar of the Epidemic of karoshi whose name is called Oshinori Hasegawa that most patients of karoshi were managers who spend too much...
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