In today’s work environment a better balance between work and life is increasingly desired by workers. Desire for a better work-life balance has become one of the growing concerns in contemporary society (Wood and de Menezes (2010, p.1575). Therefore it is essential for organisations to incorporate work-life balance strategies with job design and employment policies. According to Wood and de Menezes (2010, p.1575), work-life practices have come to the front position of employment policies in a number of countries in the past ten years. Nankervis et al. (2011, p586) suggest that work-life balance (WLB) 'recognises that employees have different personal needs (e.g. childcare, ageing parents) which need to be accommodated in their work patterns'. However, to find a appropriate way to balance between work and family life has become a great challenge for both males and females in today's highly competitive work environment. This paper is going to address the importance of work-life balance, identify the elements that need to be put into consideration when designing an effective work-life balance program and analyse the elements that need to be put into considerations when implementing an effective work-life program.
It is important to identify the benefits of work-life balance before designing and implementing any work-life balance program. Examining the advantages of work-life balance can help organisations to realise the importance of incorporating work-life balance strategies with their employment policies, consequently they can design and implement effective work-life balance programs in their work environment.
In today's work environment work break is viewed as one of the work-life balance strategies. Promoting health is one of the benefits of work breaks. Taylor (2005, p.461) suggests that pressure and physical inactivity are the two main factors that baffle the achievement of promoting health. Taylor (2005, p.461) also states that work breaks are normally used to overcome physical inactivity and work stress. It is important to note that not all the breaks are beneficial to people's health. Breaks like smoking work breaks and coffee work breaks are not advantaged to promote people's health (Taylor, 2005). A new type of break called 'Booster Break' was introduced by Taylor (2005, p.462), promoting health, reducing stress, increasing productivity and job satisfaction are the objectives of 'booster break' .
Reducing stress and improving the quality of life are also the two main benefits of work-life balance. Research by Eby et. al (2005) and Pocock (2003) has proved the importance of work-life balance in terms of family and individual's health and wellbeing. Work-life balance policies and regulations are able to compel employers to give reasonable consideration when employees request for flexible work hours. Therefore, a good work-life balance policy is able to help employed people to reduce the stress as they can find a suitable way to balance between work responsibilities and their personal or family needs e.g. care responsibility of children and ageing parents. According to Allen, Herst, Bruck & Sutton (2000), work-life balance contributes to reduce the stress of people and help people to improve their life satisfaction. A better work-life balance enables employed people to be successful both at home and at work through helping them to achieve a more pleasing and healthier balance of their different roles and responsibilities. Greenhaus, Collins & Shaw (2003) argue that family is linked to higher quality of life whereas work plays an negative role on the quality of life. Thus a better work-life balance can help employed people reduce the work-life conflict and improve the quality of their life.
Work-life balance can help employed people to gain organisational commitment, which will consequently increase productivity. Grawitch, Gottschalk and Munz (2006)...