Work Life Integration

Topics: Employment, Productivity, Working time Pages: 13 (4564 words) Published: July 30, 2006

In today's fast pace competitive society, there is a significant underlying issue in every industry across all staffing levels which surround the issues of work life integration. It is more than a buzzword or HR policy; it is a key component in understanding work retention, job satisfaction and career development for women. It is no longer about balance because balance implies that work and life are opposites of each other instead employees and employers need to view work-life as a well-integrated whole. The growing concern of work life integration is that it crosses over in other issues of the business, attract and retain quality staff, staff retention/turnover, health and wellness of employee and productivity. The strongest factors associated with an employee's ability to integrate work and family is a supportive supervisor and workplace culture. What is Work/Life?

Today many companies prefer the terms "work/life" or "lifecycle" to work/family balance. Employees are diverse, and they face a complex range of personal issues and responsibilities that is not adequately described by the term "family." The change in terms reflects a more meaningful understanding of the broad range of personal issues that affect the workplace and the ways that work influences an employee's personal life. Work/Life strategies are initiatives by employers to attract the talented workforce needed to compete, to retain them, and to make them productive in the face of growing family and personal issues. Initiatives include programs, policies, practices, training and cultural changes that enable employees to stabilize responsibilities at work with obligations and opportunities in their personal lives. Work-Life (Family) Interactions

There are four distinct hypotheses that try to explain the complex interactions between work and life issues. The main reason why it is valuable to understand work-life relationships is in order for organizations to respond and support the commitment between the two spheres of life. According to the, Organizational Behavior, (Kinicki and Kreitner), there are four hypotheses that have been proposed by OB researchers include the compensation effect, the segmentation hypothesis, spillover model, and the work-family conflict. There has been some research conducted on each of the theories however, each assumption does not truly reflect what is taking place in our daily lives. The compensation effect is the suggestion that job and life satisfaction is negatively related. For example, if there is poor of low life satisfaction individuals seek satisfying activities in other areas. Research that was conducted on this assumption actually suggested just the opposite that there was a positive connection between work and life fulfillment. The second theory is the segmentation hypothesis proposes that work and life contentment are independent and that work does not influence life and vice versa, however, research could not confirm or deny this premise. The spillover model suggests that one's personal life happiness and/or frustration spills into one's work and vice versa and there is a reciprocal relationship between the two on a continual basis. The spillover model theory leads into the theory that has the strongest foundation, the work-family conflict, is based on the thought the roles and responsibilities we have in our life and work area are commonly mismatched. Therefore, life demands make it extremely difficult to meet the demands in work, on the other hand, work expectations makes creates stress and makes it difficult for life situations. The clash between life and work influences one's happiness and well-being. Research validates the principle the work-family (life) conflict. With the various assumptions of work-life relationships, research has stated that companies should view work-life as a conflict and adjust their...

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