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Worklife balance is a broad concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) on one hand and

"life" (Health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development) on the other. Related, though broader, terms include "lifestyle balance" and "life balance". Contents [hide]
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1 History 2 United States history 3 Work statistics 4 Stress and work-life balance 4.1 Gender differences regarding work-life balance 4.2 Work-life balance concerns of men and women alike 4.3 Young generation views on work-life balance 4.4 Identity through work 4.4.1 Women 4.4.2 Men 4.5 Facts 4.6 Work-life balance issues and their influence on children 5 Responsibility of the employer 6 Global comparisons 7 See also 8 References 9 Notes 10 External links

[edit]History The expression was first used in the late 1970s to describe the balance between an individual's work and personal life.[1] In the United States, this phrase was first used in 1986. Over the past twenty-five years, there has been a substantial increase in work which is felt to be due, in part, by information technology and by an intense, competitive work environment. Longterm loyalty and a "sense of corporate community" have been eroded by a performance culture that expects more and more from their employees yet offers little security in return.

Many experts predicted that technology would eliminate most household chores and provide people with much more time to enjoy leisure activities; but many ignore this option, encouraged by prevailing consumerist culture and a political agenda that has "elevated the work ethic to unprecedented heights and thereby reinforced the low value and worth attached to parenting".
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Many Americans are experiencing burnout due to overwork and increased stress. This condition is seen in nearly all occupations from blue collar workers to upper management. Over the past decade, a rise in workplace violence, an increase in levels of absenteeism as well as rising workers compensation claims are all evidence of an unhealthy work life balance.[citation needed] Employee assistance professionals say there are many causes for this situation ranging from personal ambition and the pressure of family obligations to the accelerating pace of technology. [1]. According to a recent study for the Center for Work-Life Policy, 1.7 million people consider their jobs and their work hours excessive because of globalization. These difficult and exhausting conditions are having adverse effects. According to the study, fifty percent of top corporate executives are leaving their current positions. Although sixty-four percent of workers feel that their work pressures are "self-inflicted", they state that it is taking a toll on them. The study shows that seventy percent of US respondents and eighty-one percent of global respondents say their jobs are affecting their health. Between forty-six and fifty-nine percent of workers feel that stress is affecting their interpersonal and sexual relationships. Additionally, men feel that there is a certain stigma associated with saying "I can't do this". [edit]United States history Main article: Work-life balance (United States) [edit]Work statistics According to a survey conducted by the National Life Insurance Company, four out of ten employees state that their jobs are "very" or "extremely" stressful.[2] Those in high-stress jobs are three times more likely than others to suffer from stress-related medical conditions and are twice as likely to quit. The study states that women, in particular, report stress related to the conflict between work and family. [edit]Stress and work-life balance The number of stress-related disability claims by American employees has doubled[when?] according to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association in Arlington,

Virginia. Seventy-five to ninety percent of physician visits are related to stress and, according to the American Institute of Stress, the cost to industry has been estimated at $200 billion-$300 billion a year.[3] Steven L. Sauter, chief of the Applied Psychology and Ergonomics Branch of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, states that recent studies show that "the workplace has become the single greatest source of stress".[4] Michael Feuerstein, professor of clinical psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Bethesda Naval Hospital states, "We're seeing a greater increase in work-related neuroskeletal disorders from a combination of stress and ergonomic stressors".[5] It is clear that problems caused by stress have become a major concern to both employers and employees. Symptoms of stress are manifested both physiologically and psychologically. Persistent stress can result in cardiovascular disease, sexual health problems, a weaker immune system and frequent headaches, stiff muscles, or backache. It can also result in poorcoping skills, irritability, jumpiness, insecurity, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating. Stress may also perpetuate or lead to binge eating, smoking, and alcohol consumption. According to James Campbell Quick, a professor of organizational behavior at the University of Texas-Arlington, "The average tenure of presidents at land-grant universities in the past ten years has dropped from approximately seven to three-and-a-half years".[6] The feeling that simply working hard is not enough anymore is acknowledged by many other American workers. To get ahead, a seventy-hour work week is the new standard. What little time is left is often divvied up among relationships, kids, and sleep. [7] This increase in work hours over the past two decades means that less time will be spent with family, friends, and community as well as pursuing activities that one enjoys and taking the time to grow personally and spiritually.[citation needed] Texas Quick, an expert witness at trials of companies who were accused of overworking their employees, states that when people get worked beyond their capacity, companies pay the price. [8] Although some employers believe that workers should reduce their own stress by simplifying their lives and making a better effort to care for their health, most experts feel that the chief responsibility for reducing stress should be management. According to Esther M. Orioli, president of Essi Systems, a stress management consulting firm, Traditional stress-management programs placed the responsibility of reducing stress on the individual rather than on the organization-where it belongs. No matter how healthy individual employees are when they start out, if they work in a dysfunctional system, theyll burn out. [9]

[edit]Gender differences regarding work-life balance According to Sylvia Hewlett, president of the Center for Work-Life Policy, if a woman takes time off to care for children or an older parent, employers tend to see these people as less than fully committed. Its as though their identity is transformed. [10] Brett Graff, Nightly Business Report correspondent states that (because a woman may have trouble re-entering the market or, if she does find a position, it will likely be a lower position with less pay). If you thought choosing a baby name was hard, you have yet to wrestle with the idea of leaving your career to be a full-time mom or take care of an older parentMost will want to reenter, but will do so accepting lesser positions or lower wages. [11] This circumstance only increases the work-life balance stress experienced by many women employees. Research conducted by the Kenexa Research Institute (KRI), a division of Kenexa, evaluated how male and female workers perceive work-life balance and found that women are more positive than men in how they perceive their companys efforts to help them balance work and life responsibilities. The report is based on the analysis of data drawn from a representative sample of 10,000 U.S. workers who were surveyed through WorkTrends, KRIs annual survey of worker opinions. The results indicated a shift in womens perceptions about work-life balance. In the past, women often found it more difficult to maintain balance due to the competing pressures at work and demands at home. [12] [edit]Work-life balance concerns of men and women alike Similar discrimination is experienced by men who take time off or reduce working hours for taking care of the family. For many employees todayboth male and femaletheir lives are becoming more consumed with a host of family and other personal responsibilities and interests. Therefore, in an effort to retain employees, it is increasingly important for organizations to recognize this balance. [13] [edit]Young generation views on work-life balance According to Kathleen Gerson, Sociologist, young people are searching for new ways to define care that do not force them to choose between spending time with their children and earning an income" and are looking for definition of personal identity that do not pit their own development against creating committed ties to others".[2][3] Young adults believe that parents should get involved and support the children both economically and emotionally, as well as share labor equally. Young people do not believe work-life balance is possible and think it is

dangerous to build a life dependent on another when relationships are unpredictable. They are looking for partners to share the house work and family work together.[3][4] Both men and women believe that women should have jobs before considering marriage; for better life and to be happy in marriage. Young people do not think their mothers generations were unhappy and no power because they were not economically dependent. [edit]Identity through work [edit]Women Today there are many young women who do not want to just stay at home and do house work, but want to have their careers. In fact, women may lose their self-esteem and identities when they stay at home; young women hope that their lives will include strong ties to the workplace.[3]

[edit]Men Men know that work alone may not provide their lives with meaning. Young men can lose their meaning of life; they want a balance between paid work and personal attachments without being victimized at work.[3] [4] [edit]Facts Regarding home life, men and women have similarities with work and home life. Today, home is not a heavenly place which men and women could rest and feel comfort as before, but home is an additional place of work.[3] [5] [edit]Work-life balance issues and their influence on children An increasing number of young children are being raised by a childcare provider or another person other than a parent; older children are more likely today to come home to an empty house and spend time with video games, television and the internet with less guidance to offset or control the messages coming from these sources. No one knows how many kids are home after school without an adult, but they know the number is in the millions. Also, according to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the more time that children spent in child care, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report behavor problems. [14] The findings are the results of the largest study of child care and development conducted in the United States; the analysis tracked 1,364 children from birth. [edit]Responsibility of the employer Companies have begun to realize how important the work-life balance is to the productivity and creativity of their employees. Research by Kenexa Research Institute in 2007 shows that those

employees who were more favorable toward their organizations efforts to support work-life balance also indicated a much lower intent to leave the organization, greater pride in their organization, a willingness to recommend it as a place to work and higher overall job satisfaction. Employers can offer a range of different programs and initiatives, such as flexible working arrangements in the form of part time, casual and telecommuting work. More proactive employers can provide compulsory leave, strict maximum hours and foster an environment that encourages employees not to continue working after hours. It is generally only highly skilled workers that can enjoy such benefits as written in their contracts, although many professional fields would not go so far as to discourage workaholic behaviour. Unskilled workers will almost always have to rely on bare minimum legal requirements. The legal requirements are low in many countries, in particular, the United States. In contrast, the European Union has gone quite far in assuring a legal work-life balance framework, for example pertaining to parental leave and the non-discrimination of part-time workers. According to Stewart Friedman -- professor of Management and founding director of the Wharton Schools Leadership Program and of its Work/Life Integration Projecta "one size fits all mentality in human resources management often perpetuates frustration among employees. [Its not an] uncommon problem in many HR areas where, for the sake of equality, there's a standard policy that is implemented in a way that's universally applicable -- [even though] everyone's life is different and everyone needs different things in terms of how to integrate the different pieces. It's got to be customized. [6] Friedmans research indicates that the solution lies in approaching the components of work, home, community, and self as a comprehensive system. Instead of taking a zero-sum approach, Friedmans Total Leadership program teaches professionals how to successfully pursue fourway wins -- improved performance across all parts of life. [edit]Global comparisons According to a new study by Harvard and McGill University researchers, the United States lags far behind nearly all wealthy countries when it comes to family-oriented workplace policies such as maternity leave, paid sick days and support for breast feeding. Jody Heyman, founder of the Harvard-based Project on Global Working Families and director of McGills Institute for Health and Social Policy, states that, More countries are providing the workplace protections that millions of Americans can only dream of. The U.S. has been a proud leader in adopting laws that

provide for equal opportunity in the workplace, but our work/family protections are among the worst. [7] This observation is being shared by many Americans today and is considered by many experts to be indicative of the current climate. However, the U.S. Labor Department is examining regulations that give workers unpaid leave to deal with family or medical emergencies (a review that supporters of the FMLA worry might be a prelude to scaling back these protections, as requested by some business groups). At the same time, Senator Chris Dodd from Connecticut is proposing new legislation that would enable workers to take six weeks of paid leave. Congress is also expected to reconsider the Healthy Families Act which is a bill that would require employers with at least fifteen employees to provide seven paid sick days per year.[7] At the state level, California has paid family leave benefits for its workers. New Jersey lawmakers are pushing legislation that would make their state the second state to add this worker benefit. Under one New Jersey proposal, workers who take leave would be paid through the states temporary disability insurance fund, augmented by a 0.1 percent charge on workers weekly wages.[8] Traditionally, many conservatives have opposed paid family leave, but there is a sign that this mindset is beginning to change. Reverend Paul Schenck, a prominent member of the National Pro-Life Action Center recently stated that he would support paid maternity leave on the assumption that it might encourage women to follow through with their pregnancies instead of having abortions. According to Heyman, Across the political spectrum, people are realizing these policies have an enormous impact on working families. If you look at the most competitive economies in the world, all the others except the U.S. have these policies in place. [8] The United States is not as workplace family-oriented as many other wealthy countries. According to a study released by Harvard and McGill University researchers in February 2007, workplace policies for families in the U.S. are weaker than those of all high-income countries and even many middle-and low-income countries. For example, the study notes that the United States is one of only five countries out of 173 that does not guarantee some form of paid maternity leave. (The other countries are Lesotho,Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea).[8] Other differences include the fact that fathers are granted paid paternity leave or paid parental leave in sixty-five countries; thirty one of these countries offer at least fourteen weeks of paid leave. The U.S. does not guarantee this to fathers. At least 107 countries protect working womens right to breast-feed and, in at least seventy-three of them, women are paid. The U.S. does not have any federal legislation guaranteeing mothers

the right to breast-feed their infants at work. When it comes to sick days, 145 countries provide sick days to their employees; 127 provide a week or more per year. There is not a federal law requiring paid sick days in the United States. At least 134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the work week; the U.S. does not have a maximum work week length and does not place any limits on the amount of overtime that an employee is required to work each week. (survey) Sweden, Denmark and Norway have the highest level of maternity benefitsSweden provides 68 weeks paid maternity leave, Norway provides 56 weeks paid maternity leave and Denmark provides 52.[9] American workers average approximately ten paid holidays per year while British workers average twenty-five holidays and German employees thirty. Americans work twelve weeks more a year in total hours than Europeans.[citation needed] In Europe, the Working Time Regulation has implemented a maximum of forty-eight hours of work per week.[10] Many countries have opted for fewer hours. France attempted to introduce a thirty-five hour workweek, and Finland experimented with a thirty-hour week in 1996.[citation needed] In a 2007, the European Quality of Life Survey found that countries in south-eastern Europe had the most common problems with work-life balance. In Croatia and Greece, a little over 70% of working citizens say that they are too tired to do household jobs at least several times a month because of work.[11] In Britain, legislation has been passed allowing parents of children under six to request a more flexible work schedule. Companies must approve this request as long as it does not damage the business. A 2003 Survey of graduates in the UK revealed that graduates value flexibility even more than wages.[12] In all twenty-five European Union countries, voters punish politicians who try to shrink vacations. Even the twenty-two days Estonians, Lithuanians, Poles and Slovenians count as their own is much more generous than the leave allotted to U.S. workers. [13] According to a report by the Families and Work Institute, the average vacation time that Americans took each year averaged 14.6 days. Even when vacation time is offered in some U.S. companies, some choose not to take advantage of it. A 2003 survey by Management Recruiter International stated that fifty percent of executives surveyed didnt have plans to take a vacation. They decided to stay at work and use their vacation time to get caught up on their increased workloads.[13]

Work-Life Balance Defined - What it really means! Despite the worldwide quest for Work-Life Balance, very few have found an acceptable definition of the concept. Here's a proven definition that will positively impact your everyday value and balance starting today.(Average reading time 120 seconds). Let's first define what work-life balance is not. Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance.Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that. Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement. There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives. However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity. Engraining a fuller meaning of these two concepts takes us most of the way to defining a positive Work-Life Balance. Achievement and Enjoyment answer the big question "Why?" Why do you want a better incomea new housethe kids through collegeto do a good job todayto come to work at all? Most of us already have a good grasp on the meaning of Achievement. But let's explore the concept of Enjoyment a little more. As part of a relevant Work-Life Balance definition, enjoyment does not just mean "Ha-Ha" happiness. It means Pride, Satisfaction, Happiness, Celebration, Love, A Sense of Well Being all the Joys of Living. Achievement and Enjoyment are the front and back of the coin of value in life. You can't have one without the other, no more than you can have a coin with only one side. Trying to live a one sided life is why so many "Successful" people are not happy, or not nearly as happy as they should be. You cannot get the full value from life without BOTH Achievement and Enjoyment. Focusing on Achievementand Enjoyment every day in life helps you avoid the "As Soon As Trap", the life dulling habit of planning on getting around to the joys of life and accomplishment "as soon as." My caffeine source is diet cola. But I'm a somewhat fussy diet cola drinker. I don't like cans or bottles, I like fountain. And there is a big difference in fountain drinks. So I know all the best

fountains within a five-mile radius of my house and office. My favorite is a little convenience store near my home called Fitzgerald's. Let's say I'm wandering into Fitzgerald's at 6 in the morning, in my pre-caffeinated state and the implausible happens. Some philosophical guy bumps into me, and says. "Heh mister what's your purpose in life?" Well even in that half-awake condition, I'd have an answer for him. I'd say, "You know, I just want toachieve something today and I want to enjoy something today. And if I do both of those things today, I'm going to have a pretty good day. And if I do both of those things every day, for the rest of my life I'm going to have a pretty good life." And I think that's true for all of us. Life will deliver the value and balance we desire when we are achieving and enjoying something every single dayin all the important areas that make up our lives. As a result, a good working definition of Work-Life Balance is: Meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment in each of my four life quadrants: Work, Family, Friends and Self. Ask yourself now, when was the last time you Achieved AND Enjoyed something at work? What about Achieved AND Enjoyed with your family; your friends? And how recently have you Achieved AND Enjoyed something just for you? Why not take 20 minutes on the way home from work and do something just for yourself? And when you get home, before you walk in the door, think about whether you want to focus on achieving or enjoying at home tonight. Then act accordingly when you do walk in the door. At work you can create your own best Work-Life Balance by making sure you not only Achieve, but also reflect the joy of the job, and the joy of life, every day. If nobody pats you on the back today, pat yourself on the back. And help others to do the same. When you do, when you are a person that not only gets things done, but also enjoys the doing, it attracts people to you. They want you on their team and they want to be on your team. Simple concepts. And once you focus on them as key components of your day, they are not that hard to implement. So, make it happen, for yourself, your family and all the important individuals you care aboutevery day for the rest of your life Achieve and Enjoy. Work life and personal life are the two sides of the same coin. According to various work /life balance surveys, more than 60% of the respondent professionals surveyed said that are not able to find a balance between their personal and professional lives. They have to make tough choices even when their work and personal life is nowhere close to equilibrium. Traditionally creating and managing a balance between the work-life was considered to be a woman's issue. But increasing work pressures, globalization and technological advancement have made it an issue with both the sexes, all professionals working across all levels and all industries throughout the world. Achieving "work-life balance" is not as simple as it sounds.

Work life and personal life are inter-connected and interdependent. Spending more time in office, dealing with clients and the pressures of job can interfere and affect the personal life, sometimes making it impossible to even complete the household chores. On the other hand, personal life can also be demanding if you have a kid or aging parents, financial problems or even problems in the life of a dear relative. It can lead to absenteeism from work, creating stress and lack of concentration at work. Work-personal life conflict occurs when the burden, obligations and responsibilities of work and family roles become incompatible. Obligation of one can force an individual to neglect the other. Changing & increasing work pressures A decade back, employees used to have fixed working hours or rather a 9 to 5 job from Monday to Friday. The boundary between the work and home has disappeared with time. But with globalization and people working across countries, the concept of fixed working hours is fading away. Instead of just 7 or 8 a day, people are spending as much as 12-16 hours every day in office. The technological blessings like e-mail, text messaging and cell phones which were thought of as tools to connect them to their work being away from their workplace, have actually integrated their personal and professional lives. Now professionals find themselves working even when they are on vacations. The ever-increasing working hours leave the individuals with less time for themselves and to pursue his hobbies or leisure activities. This hinders the growth of the person as an individual in terms of his personal and spiritual growth. Professionals working in the BPO industry, doctors and nurses and especially IT professionals are the few examples who are facing the brunt of the hazard constantly. Reasons of imbalance: There are various reasons for this imbalance and conflicts in the life of an employee. From individual career ambitions to pressure to cope up with family or work, the reasons can be situation and individual specific. The speed of advancement of information technology, the increasing competition in the talent supply market has led to a "performance-driven" culture creating pressures and expectations to performance more and better every time. Also, many a times, many people find it difficult to say "NO" to others especially their superiors. They usually end up over burdening themselves with work. The increasing responsibilities on the personal front with age can also create stress on personal and professional fronts. Effects Constant struggle and effort to maintain a balance between the work and personal life can have serious implications on the life of an individual. According to a survey, 81 per cent of the respondents have admitted that their jobs are affecting and creating stress in their personal lives.

The pressures of the work or personal life can lead to stress. According to studies, it has been found to that such situation can take a toll on the person's health both physiologically and psychologically. Heart ailments, cardiovascular problems, sleep disorders, depression, irritability, jumpiness, insecurity, poor concentration and even nervous breakdowns are becoming common among the victims of such imbalance. Pressure, stress or tension in work life can lead to bad social life and vice versa. Solutions: Many experts have given different solutions to this problem. TIME MANAGEMENT is one of the best solutions which can help to reduce the imbalance between the personal and the work life of the employees. Prioritizing the tasks and planning the activities can help to take out some free time which can be utilized for other purposes. Taking some time out for hobbies and leisure activities, spending time with loved ones can help to beat the stress. Learn to say "no" if required. Sharing the responsibilities will help and don't commit for something which is practically impossible. Utilizing the flexible working hours option of the organisations to get some free time.

Conclusion: Juggling between the obligations towards the families and expectations of the organisation and constant struggle to maintain a balance can work can have serious implications on the life of an individual. Therefore, it is important for employees to maintain a healthy balance between work and their private lives. This will help them achieve their personal and professional goals as well the organisation they are working for. Need work-life balance? 7 tips

By Jeff Wuorio Lisa McGonagle has a husband, three kids and a public relations business in Boston. Her hectic life speaks volumes about what time management means to her. As she puts it: "I'm running all the time."

The same may apply to you. And that makes time management central to the health and growth of your life, profession, and business. Truth be known: Not everyone has a genuine handle on the effective use of time. So you're not alone. If you can relate, here are seven suggestions that may, to paraphrase rocker Mick Jagger, help you get time on your side: 1. Don't overbook. This may seem unusual to people who try to crowbar as much as possible into every workday. The problem is: Things rarely go according to a prearranged agenda. That means a lot of time falling through the cracks chasing down appointments, unreturned phone calls and other items that simply aren't going to happen. "Don't try to plan on doing too many things," says McGonagle. "Assume that only 50% of the things you plan on doing today will actually get done. If you don't, you'll just waste valuable time trying to find out why things didn't happen." 2. Prioritize ruthlessly. The secret to booking your time effectively boils down to knowing what's important and what can wait. But it's critical to use the sharpest knife possible in trimming the essential from the secondary. "Learn to ask questions that help you determine the level of urgency," says Krista Kurth, co-author of Running on Plenty at Work Continue

Jeff Wuorio is a veteran freelance writer and author based in southern Maine. He writes about small-business management, marketing and technology issues. Send Jeff an e-mail.

. "Negotiate longer lead times whenever you can and don't give into the "instant-and-immediate answer" syndrome. Treating everything as top priority is draining and depleting." 3. Learn how to say no. One of the biggest land mines to effective time management is recognizing you don't have to agree to everything and with everyone. Use your priority criteria to

identify requests that simply aren't worth your time. "I've learned that saying no to one thing opens the door to saying yes to something else," says Kurth. "That can mean anything from cleaning my desk to getting a good night's sleep." 4. Organize. Bringing your time into line isn't just a matter of scheduling. The mechanics of how you operate can be every bit as important. That means organizing most every element to allow as smooth a workflow as possible. "Everything in your business should be set up using logical systems so anyone needing anything can find it when they need it," says Peggy Duncan, an Atlanta-based personal productivity authority. "Eliminating clutter and the chaos it causes will give you a gift of 240 to 288 hours every year." 5. Use technology. Although personal habits and practices can do wonders for time management, don't overlook technology as yet another weapon to make the most effective use of your workday. For instance, Microsoft Outlook with Business Contact Manager lets you organize a wide array of customer and product particulars, allowing quick and easy access. "Sticky notes are one of the worst things in the world," says McGonagle. "You should live by your database. That way, nothing is ever forgotten." 6. . . . but don't overdo it.- Many businesspeople are gun shy about using technology out of fear that they'll remain too much in touchthat their time will be consumed by intrusive e-mails and cell phone calls. Fair enough. Part of effective time management is knowing when to shut things down. Turning off a cell phone or other wireless means of communication establishes boundaries. In short, it helps you balance your personal and professional time. 7. Know it won't always be perfect. Try as we all may, time management isn't an exact science. Don't stress outand waste time in the processby obsessing over every second of time. Do what you can and enjoy whatever time you spend more pleasantly or productively. "Be grateful for what goes right and learn from your mistakes," says Kurth. "Act as if they were scenes in a movie that you get to retake."

WORK LIFE BALANCE IN AINDIA New Delhi: Sure, the stock markets crashing and inflations rising. But the boss needed that report handed in yesterday, and the children still need help with homework. Indians concerns over balancing work and life have surpassed worries about a slowing economy, according to the bi-annual global consumer opinion survey by market research company The Nielsen Co.

About 20% of Indians cite achieving this balance as their main worry; 13% cite the economy as the second biggest. Globally, the state of the economy is the biggest concern, with 20% of the respondents citing it. The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, conducted by Nielsen Customized Research, was conducted in April 2008 among 28,253 Internet users in 511 countries from Europe, AsiaPacific, North America and West Asia. A booming economy has resulted in better jobs and salaries. However, this has brought in long work schedules, leaving individuals with very little time to balance their work and life, says Sarang Panchal, Nielsens managing director, customized research, Asia-Pacific, India, China and Greater China. It is not surprising that most Indians consider work-life balance as their biggest concern since demanding careers are taking a toll on their family lives. Interestingly, booming emerging markets across Eastern Europe, West Asia and Asia seem to feel the same. Globally, respondents rated job security (10%) as their third biggest concern, followed by health (9%), childrens education/welfare (9%) and debt (8%). But concerns differ across regions. While Americans are more worried about finance, respondents from the AsiaPacific region are more bothered about emotional and physical well-being. Europe is anxious about the environment and for people in West Asia/Africa, it is politics and terrorism. Explaining the reason behind differing concerns, Janet Gasper Chowdhury, managing consultant, people and change practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, says, With recession setting in the US and job cuts across companies, Americans obvious concerns are finance and debt, while people in a mature economy are concerned about environmental issues. She adds that a rising rupee and a slowing US economy has forced a number of companies, especially in the information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services sectors, to optimize existing capacities and increase efficiency. All this has meant that employees are working harder at the expense of their personal lives to meet targets, she says. The third biggest concern for Indians (12%) is parents welfare and happiness, the highest for any Asian country. Tags - Find More Articles On:

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Work-life balance can create a time crunch


Finding balance between work (including unpaid work) and the rest of life is not working out for many. When it comes to the "time economy," most of us are worse off than we used to be. Canadians are experiencing a time crunch. The trend has been getting worse over the past 15 years, says a 2010 report from the Canadian Index of Well-being (CIW). "People are struggling to meet the competing demands of a workplace that can reach out to them 24/7, caring for children and aging parents, and their own need to refresh body and mind. As individuals and as a society we are paying a steep price for this time crunch. We're less healthy, both physically and mentally, and we have less time for leisure and relaxation with family," said Roy Romanow, chair of the CIW advisory board and former premier of Saskatchewan. The proportion of Canadians experiencing high levels of time crunch grew from 16 per cent in 1992 to 20 per cent in 2005. About 23 per cent of women felt time-pressured and 17 per cent of men. Time spent on social leisure activities dropped from 15 per cent in 1998 to 12 per cent in 2005. What can we do to help ourselves deal with the stresses of fighting for the work-life balance? "People need to ask themselves, 'What roles do I play' and 'Are these roles working for me?'" says Julie McCarthy, a professor at University of Toronto.

She recently published a study looking at how university students attempt to achieve balance of work, study, and life. The three strategies used are problem-solving, venting to others and ignoring the problem. Surprisingly, the avoidance strategy produced some of the best results in reducing stress. "This technique is traditionally seen as 'running away from your problems,'" says McCarthy. "Maybe by backing off and taking breaks, students are able to replenish their resources." We can give ourselves space by allowing time and space to avoid or ignore troubling issues - for a while. When we have the energy for it, we can do some problem-solving. Campbell River Courier-Islander Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

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The main cause of imbalance in our lives is the disparity between our work and p

There is a sense of inflated competition and everyone wants to beat the other and perceived as better. Lifestyle stress is also brought about by an attitude of risk- tak pay the price.

Lifestyle stress manifests at different levels. At a somatic level the body physiolo pains and fatigue. Stress impacts the mind and brain function, reducing the attenti which are sometimes trivial. The behaviour of someone who is stressed tends to be erratic.

Increased tea or coffee intake, a constant desire to appear busy, which means longer than average hours spent at w

A stressed individual may also manifest the external symptoms of stress such as self isolation, unexplained bouts

The lack of a proper sleepwake schedule is one of the biggest causes of health problems of our times and an effo

The corporate world tends to compromise on this in the pursuit of a higher paycheck. The best time to wake in th

optimum sleep requirement is six hours of undisturbed sleep, give or take an hour.

The second most important priority in a person's life should be his meals. People are either too complacent about Both attitudes are harmful. Moderate exercise should be a part of our lives. Ideally, all of us should follow the 'rule of 4'; four times a week,

Along with proper sleep, diet and exercise, every individual must incorporate ways of relaxing using methods tha social service activities and spending quality time with family. Unconditional involvement in social service is actually a great de- stressor because of the undiluted appreciation

Quality time alone, that offers room for introspection is also something one should keep aside 10 minutes to half should be sought. The writer is a well- known psychologist.

Work/Life Balance Statistics Balancing work and life is one of the hottest issues of our time. And for most working people today, full time now means 40 hoursAT A MINIMUM. We compiled some interesting statistics on just how hot this work/life balance issue is. Heres what we found: Stress in the Workplace

The American Institute of Stress claims that stress is America's No. 1 health problem, and "job stress is the major culprit."

A 2006 StressPulse survey by EAP provider ComPsych found that the main causes of stress in respondents lives broke down as 46% attributable to workload, 28% attributable to personal issues, and 20% attributable to juggling work/personal lives (with the remaining 6% attributable to lack of job security).

How do employees deal with stress? A 2006 employee review survey conducted by the Randstad Group found that 57% of Generation Y employees and 26% of baby boomers take off unplanned days from work to deal with stress.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who must take time off work because of stress, anxiety, or a related disorder will be off the job for about 20 days.

In the 2000 Gallup poll, 80% of people felt stress on the job, and nearly 40% said they needed help managing stress.

Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life stressor--more so than even financial or family problems. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co.

Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Various Work/Life Statistics

According to an International Labor Organization study, Americans put in the equivalent of an extra 40-hour work week in 2000 compared to the ten years previousnearly a month more than the Japan and three months more than Germans.

40% of employees work overtime or bring work home with them at least once a week. Xylo Report, Shifts in Work and Home Life Boundaries 2000.

Nearly 50% of all US workers feel overwhelmed by a growing number of job tasks and longer working hours. Families and Work Institute, 2001

88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life. Aon Consulting, 2000

Since 1969, family time for a working couple has shrunk an average of 22 hours a week. U.S. Government

42% of workers have responsibility for children under 18 years of age. Labor Project for Working Families, January 2000

Workers rate the ability to manage work and family as the most important aspect they look for in a job. Rutgers University and University of Connecticut Survey (2000)

87% of workers are seeking or have sought companies that were flexible, supportive and understanding of personal and family needs. - CareerBuilder Online Survey (2000)

42% of college students and recent graduates said what they value most when making career decisions was work/life balancemore than money (26%), advancement potential (23%) or location (9%). A survey of college students and recent graduates by Jobtrak.com (2000)

A new study released by FWI (Family and Work Institute) in 2005, Overwork in America: When the Way We Work Becomes Too Much reports that one in three American employees are chronically overworked, while 54 percent have felt overwhelmed at some time in the past month by how much work they had to


TIME ANALYSIS Just how many of your twenty-four hours do you spend on lifes necessities? Using the drop down boxes, estimate the amount of time it takes, each day, to complete the tasks listed below. You will be calculating the amount of time you have left each day to do what you want. You may be surprised at what you discover.

How much time do you spend sleeping or trying to sleep?

How much time do you spend preparing for work, including breakfast?

How much time do you spend commuting to and from work each day?

How much time do you spend at work or working? If the hours differ by day, add the total number of hours you work in a five-day period and divide by five. Do not include the time you take for lunch.

How much time do you spend preparing and eating lunch

How much time do you spend each day completing errands, household management tasks, and tasks associated with caring for others?

(Do not include personal tasks, i.e. going to gym, haircuts, etc.)


Home | Lifestyle Services | Service Request | Work-Life Balance | Service Policies | Newsletter | Suggestions | F.A.Q. Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to Concierge@araconciergexpress.com. Copyright 2008 ARA ConciergeXpress. All rights reserved. Last modified: 05/20/08.

Work Life Balance of Women Employees By Ms. Lakshmipriya Ms. Neena.S MBA IV Semester Department of Management Studies

Acharya Institute of Management & Sciences 1st Cross, 1st Stage, Peenya, Bangalore-560 058

Introduction : Times have changed. From the time the husband earned, and the wife stayed at home. To the time now when the husband earns and the wife earns too. But the wife still cooks and washes and runs the house. So, how does she balance her work with life at home? Although, over the years women in India have struggled to establish an identity & create a mark in the social as well as in the organizational platforms, but with educational institutions training more and more women to enter professional careers, have drastically changed the scenario. Infact, between 1991 and 2001 female employment in India on the whole, have increased by 3.6% per annum. Within the professional world, which reflects India's small but growing middle class more than the country as a whole, the phenomenon of Indian women "breaking through the glass ceiling" is perhaps more muted. Even, despite legal provisions made by acts like those of the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 (which promulgates equal payment for equal work, regardless of gender & prohibits gender discrimination in hiring practices), the so-called "glass ceiling" is perhaps still very prevalent within organizations. This article would highlight the various values, attitudes & beliefs of women regarding job anxiety in their formal work organizations & particularly balancing their work & personal life. Work Life Balance (WLB) is not a new concept.

Let's first define what work-life balance is not. Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that. Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different

for you tomorrow. The right balances for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement. There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work- life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives. However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity. Engraining a fuller meaning of these two concepts takes us most of the way to defining a positive Work-Life Balance. The change in the pattern of work and the concept of the workplace after the industrial revolution in the second half of the 18th century gave a new dimension to the concept of WLB. As time progressed, nuclear families increased. A later change was the fading away of the "ideal home" in which the earning member's spouse took care of the home. With improved education and employment opportunities today, most homes are ones in which both parents work, because of necessity and the desire to augment incomes. The need to create congenial conditions in which employees can balance work with their personal needs and desires became a factor that companies had to take note of both to retain them as well as to improve productivity. It was a compulsion that they couldn't afford to ignore. Having realized that, companies started introducing schemes to attract and retain employees and improve their productivity. Why Work Life Balance is Important to Women? Today's career women are continually challenged by the demands of full-time work and when the day is done at the office, they carry more of the responsibilities and commitments to home. The majority of women are working 40-45 hours per week and 53% are struggling to achieve work/life balance. Women reported that their lives were a juggling act that included multiple responsibilities at work, heavy meeting schedules, business trips, on top of managing the daily routine responsibilities of life and home. "Successfully achieving work/life balance will ultimately create a more satisfied workforce that contributes to productivity and success in the workplace." Employers can facilitate WLB with many schemes that can attract women employees and satisfy their needs. Some of these are * Facilities for child care * Financial planning services for employees who need them * Flexi-timings * Work sharing * Part time employment * Leave plans - both paid and unpaid - to suit employee's needs * Subsidized food plans * Insurance plans * Counseling services for problems like managing work and the home * Rest rooms, food preparation services * Jobs with autonomy and flexibility * Realistic work loads * Review of work processes to see if the burden on employees can be lightened Maintaining dialogue with the employees and considering their suggestions on a continuous basis

Work-life balance Can women be both sharers and careers Often, working women drop out of the work force when they are doing well, simply because they wanted to stay at home with their children, or care for an ageing parent. Or for both reasons. And then there are women who have children later in life because they want to work for reasons of personal satisfaction or for the money. So, can a woman have it all? The working woman should refuse to take on too much. She should adopt a sense of priorities. If she has children, she should teach them to share responsibilities. But what about the husband? Has he changed at all anywhere in the world? Surprisingly, a survey in the UK revealed that a majority of men want a 50/50 partnership with their wives both at work and home. They no longer see themselves as macho men. They want to spend more time with their children. Has the Indian man kept pace with the times? Can women achieve a work-life balance? The changing Equations of New Era The Changing Equations The Machine Age The Industrial Age The Networked Age Stress High Higher Highest Work- Life balance You went to work-life started only when you go home Not only are people working at work, but also at home 24-hour workdays split into compartments dedicated for 'life' Women and Work The men worked and women tended the house Both men and women worked, and women still tended the house Both men and women work and tend to the house. Framework for successful Work-Life Balance in organizations * Identify the key need or reason for introducing Work-Life Balance policies * Build the commitment to Work-Life Balance Policies into the organization ' s vision or value statement * Set up a Work-Life Balance Task Force Examine current practices in the organization * Hold joint discussions with employees to evolve policies, while also identifying possible barriers * Communicate policies through handbooks, newsletters, Intranet and other forms of communication * Hold workshops to help Managers implement and manage policies * Begin with a few "quick win" policies Monitor implementation and put feedback systems into place In India, there is a starting point in that organizations have recognized the need for and value of Work-Life Balance policies. An integral part of our lives is our profession. Just as there is responsibility and opportunity in life, our careers are also guided by opportunities and responsibilities. We must ensure that these two factors don't work at cross purposes. Quality of life is something we all covet, every profession affects life in general and every profession has a duty towards life. Top 5 Strategies to Strike a Balance

* Budget your time both in and out of the office - Schedule your time efficiently at work. Put yourself on your calendar and take some time for you and your family / friends. Leave work on time at least three days per week - There are times when working late just can't be helped, but schedule your time to leave on time three days per week. * Control interruptions and distractions - Stay focused while in the office, and budget your time effectively. Try to schedule a block of time during the day without meetings when you can focus on your tasks with minimal interruptions. * Explore the availability of flex-time - Research flex-time options within your organization. If available, it may be a helpful solution. * Seize the weekend - Plan your time off as you plan your work week. * Schedule activities with family and friends, a weekend trip, or just something fun. Make your time away from work count! Conclusion for working women, getting caught in the work/life balance trap will continue to be an ongoing challenge. Careful planning and personal effort is the advice from those who have found balance in both career and home life. As one respondent summarized, "Plan, prioritize and schedule as efficiently as possible... and don't be afraid of hard work!" Work-life balance is a person's control over the conditions in their workplace. It is accomplished when an individual feels dually satisfied about their personal life and their paid occupation. It mutually benefits the individual, business and society when a person ' s personal life is balanced with his or her own job. The work-life balance strategy offers a variety of means to reduce stress levels and increase job satisfaction in the employee while enhancing business benefits for the employer. In our increasingly hectic world, the work-life strategy seeks to find a balance between work and play. A sentence that brings the idea of work life balance to the point is: "Work to live. Don't live to work." Ms. Lakshmipriya Ms. Neena.S MBA IV Semester Department of Management Studies Acharya Institute of Management & Sciences 1st Cross, 1st Stage, Peenya, Bangalore-560 058

"Work Life Balance: Can Women be Both Sharers & Bearers?" - by Padma Venkatraman * Page - 1

An integral part of our lives is our profession. Just as there is responsibility and opportunity in life, our careers are also guided by opportunities and responsibilities. We must ensure that these two factors don't work at cross purposes. Quality of life is something we all covet. Having said this, every profession affects life in general and every profession has a duty towards life. The point I am trying to make is that balance should guide all our activities, including our professions. A satisfied and motivated work force will act more responsibly, not only towards the professional requirements, but also towards nature in general. One of the many ways to instill this sense of motivation is to put in place the concept of Work Life Balance in the workplace. Work Life Balance (WLB) is not a new concept. The change in the pattern of work and the concept of the workplace after the industrial revolution in the second half of the 18th century gave a new dimension to the concept of WLB. As time progressed, nuclear families increased. A later change was the fading away of the "ideal home" in which the earning member's spouse took care of the home. With improved education and employment opportunities today, most homes are ones in which both parents work, because of necessity and the desire to augment incomes. The need to create congenial conditions in which employees can balance work with their personal needs and desires became a factor that companies had to take note of both to retain them as well as to improve productivity. It was a compulsion that they couldn't afford to ignore. Having realized that, companies started introducing schemes to attract and retain employees and improve their productivity. However, it is not easy to find many references to Work-Life Balance policies and issues in India. This is not to discount their existence in the country, but it does indicate its relative unimportance as a strategic business issue in the country. It is indeed hurting to see a majority of Indian companies still wedded to the old style presenter's philosophy instead of offering managers opportunities to strike a healthy WorkLife Balance. Next

"Work Life Balance: Can Women be Both Sharers & Bearers?" - by Padma Venkatraman * Previous Page - 2 Why Work Life Balance is Important to Women? Today's career women are continually challenged by the demands of full-time work and when the day is done at the office, they carry more of the responsibilities and commitments to home. When I conducted a research, I discovered that the majority of women were working 40-45 hours per week and 53% of the respondents reported that they were struggling to achieve work/life balance. Women reported that their lives were a juggling act that included multiple responsibilities at work, heavy meeting schedules, business trips, on top of managing the daily routine responsibilities of life and home. "Successfully achieving work/life balance will ultimately create a more satisfied workforce that contributes to productivity and success in the workplace." When viewers were asked about their job requirements: 14% responded that their job was perfect 20% stated that their job was too demanding 43% said that they thrived when they had a lot to do 24% responded they were working too hard Employer's Role in Work Life Balance In surveys conducted, it was found that an overwhelming majority of employers support the concept of WLB. In fact it has become a legal necessity where the concept of "Equal Opportunity Employer" is almost mandatory. On the other hand, as brought out in the preceding parts of this paper, it is seen as a business compulsion for them in terms of retention of talent and productivity in all sectors of the

industry. In a time when attrition is a major concern in all sectors, they feel it wise to adopt worker friendly practices. Employers can facilitate WLB with many schemes that can attract employees and satisfy their needs. Some of these are: Facilities for child care Financial planning services for employees who need them Flexi-timings Work sharing Next "Work Life Balance: Can Women be Both Sharers & Bearers?" - by Padma Venkatraman * Previous Page - 3 Part time employment Leave plans - both paid and unpaid - to suit employee's needs Subsidized food plans Insurance plans Resources to Help Balance Work, Life and Family: Employee Assistance Is balancing work, life, and family a priority for you? These resources will assist the HR professional to balance work, life, and family issues, needs, and concerns. They will help you help others in your organization and serve as referral resources. Life and Family Challenges With Flexible Work Schedules? Employers agree on the life and family advantages of flexible work schedules for employees. The flexibility allows employees latitude when children are sick, for doctors appointments, teacher conferences, and the myriad of life and family responsibilities with which work competes. Working out the details is moe challenging.

Negotiate a Flexible Schedule The advantages of a flexible work schedule for employees are clear and well-documented. So, plan your negotiation for a flexible work schedule with your employer in mind. The negotiation is not about you. Its not about what works best for you and your family. The negotiation is about the advantages to the employer for allowing you to work a flex schedule. With thoughtfulness and a little creativity, you can turn every advantage to you and your family into an advantage for your employer. Sponsored Links Work Life BalanceWork Life Balance Lowest Price. Pay Cash on Delivery.flipkart.com/Work Life Balance HR Project ReportsHR Research Papers, Projects HR Thesis, Dissertation and moreprojectsparadise.com What is work life balanceRelax. Take a deep breath. We have the answers you seek.www.righthealth.com/Stress Lactation Accommodation Policy To assist the transition of women from maternity leave back to work following the birth of a child, lactation accommodation is provided. Lactation accommodation allows a nursing mother to express milk periodically during the work day. The American Academy of Pediatrics, long time advocates of breast feeding, updated their research and findings about the beneficial impact of breast feeding on the health of both the mother and the child. Top 6 Work-Life Balance Books: Your Family-Friendly Future Spring is the season for Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Family Support Month. Concurrently, work-life balance is a hot issue in the HR field. Organizations search for ideas and examples of innovative approaches to recruiting and retaining employees who are interested in more flexible, family-friendly employment. These books will help you... How Real Women Get Ahead: The Womans Advantage at Work Forget what youve heard about being one of the boys, having it all, and going for the jugular. Here is how real working women get ahead. Working women favor smarts and skills over sexy, communicate superbly, and earn and learn from line management positions. Learn more about how real working women get ahead: the womans advantage at work. Understanding Stress and Workplace Stress Stress is normal. Everyone feels stress related to work, family, decisions, your future, and more. Stress is both physical and mental. It is caused by major life events such as illness, the death of a loved one, a change in responsibilities or expectations at work, and job promotions, loss, or changes. Read on to understand the impact of stress and stress in the workplace. Promote Your Personal Growth and Motivation Are you feeling blah about your life? Does boredom make you unmotivated and unexcited? Are you having a mid-life crisis? You can promote your personal growth and motivation to overcome

this inertia. Here are ideas and tools that will help you explore personal growth, set new goals, choose motivation and get your life and work back on a course that excites, motivates and fills your life with joy. I Just Lost My Job: How Am I Going To Tell My Kids? One of the responsibilities of a human resources professional is to let employees know that their job has been eliminated. Job loss and the following job search are painful and upsetting for most people. Additionally, parents must tell family members about the job loss and mitigate their fears about the family, the income and the job search. Here are ten tips. The Time of Your Life Take a look at these top ten time management and productivity enhancement tools. From my Palm and its keyboard to my favorite, current, stress-free productivity boosting book, you'll get ideas that will help you best use the time of your life, too. The Alliance of Work/Life Professionals The Alliance of Work/Life Professionals is the professional organization for those working in the field of life balance, whether academics or practitioners. The Alliance also offers a certification program for members, and periodic professional development opportunities. 4therapy.com Network This site offers much useful information about work, life, and family issues and concerns including substance abuse, anxiety, stress, grief,loss, and sadness and depression. It also offers a therapist locator search tool. Very useful resource! Work and Family Connection The Work and Family Connection highlights issues of importance relating to work and families and the professionals who work with these issues. Visit the site for monthly columns and frequently updated news. Create a Very, Merry Holiday Season: Tips You can have a stress-free holiday season if you do four things right. Keep your expectations rational, take care of yourself, take control of your time and limit your commitments, and embrace your family and friends. Want to know more?

SPECIAL REPORT March 27, 2009, 11:09AM ESTtext size: TT The Increasing Call for Work-Life Balance Work-life balance is now the second most important driver of employee attraction and commitment, says CEB research

By The Staff of the Corporate Executive Board SPECIAL REPORT Work-Life Balance

Telecommuting: Once a Perk, Now a Necessity Career Women at Midlife: Sadder and Sicker Twitter's Work-Life Balance Tips The Increasing Call for Work-Life Balance The Baggage We Bring to Work Each Day Video: Jill Smart on Work-Life Balance The Ethics of Work-Life Balance


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The economic downturn has placed tremendous pressure on employees over their long-term job security. Employees are responding by seeking out employers that offer a better work-life balance, and research shows they work harder for those that do. In the current economic environment, work-life balance now ranks as one of the most important workplace attributessecond only to compensation, according to research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board among more than 50,000 global workers. And employees who feel they have a better work-life balance tend to work 21% harder than those that don't. The critical need to ensure an adequate work-life balance for employees in the downturn is largely being neglected by employers as more and more pressure is put onto employees. In 2006, 53% of employees felt they had a good work-life balance; that number fell to 30% in the first quarter of 2009.

Several misconceptions prevent organizations from optimizing their ability to deliver on the work-life balance promise. For example, most organizations mistakenly provide costly services, such as an on-site gym or health-care services when, in fact, fewer than 20% of employees actually value these types of benefits. Instead, the best organizations recognize that the most appreciated service they can provide their employees is the "gift of time." In fact, more than 60% of the employees polled in the CEB study identified flexible schedules as the most important work-life practice their employer could provide. In addition, most organizations focus on the actual consumption of work-life services they offer. Ironically, boosting workforce productivity does not hinge on employees actually participating in the work-life services offered by their employer. Employees just need to be reassured that the service is there and that they have the option to participate if they want to. In other words, the option value of work-life balance practices is more important at improving employee effort than the actual consumption of those same work-life balance practices. The fact that nearly 60% of HR executives polled felt satisfied with the work-life services of their organization, while just 16% of employees felt the same, illustrates a fundamental disconnect when it comes to work-life benefits. The companies who most effectively address and close that gap stand the best chance of achieving the high levels of employee attraction and retention they seek. The Corporate Executive Board (EXBD) drives faster, more effective decision-making among the world's leading executives and business professionals. Powered by a member network that spans over 50 countries and represents more than 80% of the world's Fortune 500 companies, the Corporate Executive Board offers the unique research insights along with an integrated suite of members-only tools and resources that enable the world's most successful organizations to deliver superior business outcomes. READER DISCUSSION

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Marketing - Marketing Research Corporate - Work Life Achieving work-life balance the biggest concern for Indians


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Despite news of Westernisation and other influences that we keep talking about, India is still a close-knit society. DGIR to probe bundling of gas sto with new connectio Our Bureau Captain TMT rope Sourav Chennai, July 7 The rigours of joining the rat race, it would seem, TNT to help Movie are beginning to catch up with Indians. Mart take DVDs countrywide An online consumer survey conducted by Nielsen has found that Achieving work-li maintaining work/life balance is the biggest concern for 20 per cent balance the biggest of Indians. concern for Indians Bella Casa eyes Nielsens bi-annual Global Online Consumer Opinion Survey was renovation market conducted across 51 countries. growth Car buyers will hav World over the state of the economy was the chief concern for pay more on select consumers, but for Indians it was the second biggest concern with models 13 per cent respondents voting for it. TVS Motor expect sales to grow 10-15 An official statement quoted Mr Sarang Panchal, Managing Caf Deliver outlet Director Customised Research, Asia-Pacific, India, China and Bangalore Greater China, The Nielsen Company: In the last few years we have noticed a number of new career opportunities opening up for Indians, especially in the service sectors. However, better opportunities along with a good pay package, growth prospects, brings in a long work schedule leaving individuals with very little time to balance their work and life. Demanding careers have dominated the lives of many young Indians for sometime now and it takes a toll on their family life. It is not a surprise then that most Indians consider work-life balance as their biggest concern. In fact, work-life balance was rated the number one concern among consumers in the booming, emerging markets across Eastern Europe, West Asia, and Asia. Parents welfare and happiness emerged as the third biggest concern for Indians with 12 per cent voting for it; this is the highest for any country in the Asia-Pacific. Despite news of Westernisation and other influences that we keep talking about, India is still a close- knit society.

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Ports Unlike in the West, children do not start their own life the moment they reach adulthood; people grow old living with parents under the same roof. It is in the Indian culture to care about ones parents, said Mr Panchal. Globally, consumers rated job security (10 per cent) as their third biggest concern, followed by health (9 per cent), childrens education/welfare (9 per cent) and debt (8 per cent). Across regions

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Consumer concerns, however, differed significantly across the worlds regions: North America economy, debt, ability to afford retirement, war; Latin America job security, childrens welfare and education, crime; Asia-Pacific work/life balance, health, parents welfare and happiness; and Europe global warming, immigration; West Asia /Africa political stability, terrorism. The voting pattern shows that America has more monetary concerns while the Asia-Pacific is more worried about its emotional and physical wellbeing. Europe is concerned about the environment and West Asia/Africa about grappling with issues concerning politics and terrorism. Lifestyle and culture play an important role in how consumers rank their concerns in life. Considering the thriving economy of India and good job prospects, Indians are more concerned about their overall wellbeing. They are confident that whatever problems they would face in the near future, lack of money wont be a cause of it, said Mr Panchal. Job security was voted among the big concerns by 11 per cent of Indian respondents. Six per cent rated health as a concern. With 9 per cent, global warming was the biggest concern. More Stories on : Marketing Research | Work Life Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stress And Work Life Balance This article should be helpful to all managers and professionals, but is aimed particularly at those whose work-life balance has been changed by the additional workload, and potential stress, of studying management development courses or professional qualifications, by distance learning or in the classroom, in order to develop their careers. Technically stress is the adverse reaction an individual has to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them. In the workplace, the negative, damaging, effects of stress can arise at times when pressures are extreme, such as peak busy periods, but equally can be caused by continuous exposure to stressful conditions, such as being in an unsuitable job or being treated unfairly. Outside work, negative stress can be caused by major change events, such as a death in the family, but equally by continuous pressure of having a life constrained or dominated by the work situation. Stress is personal in that stress affects individuals in different ways. In similar situations or conditions some people cope, even thrive, on the pressure, whilst others find it difficult to cope and suffer negative stress as a result. It is also personal in the sense that the amount of control that the individual has, over their workplace conditions, events, and work-life balance, will influence the amount of negative stress that they suffer from. Those individuals with greater control will tolerate and manage stress levels, or avoid them altogether, more successfully. Work-life balance is, literally, balancing the demands, the amount of time and effort, given to work and the workplace, and that given to the individuals domestic, personal, family, and social life. A vital factor in achieving an appropriate work-life balance is ensuring that the work element does not dominate, and-or that it is not causing damage to the individual through the effects of negative stress. It is most unusual to find people with a work-life balance that is dominated negatively by their life outside the workplace. It is almost always the workplace activity that dominates and often negatively. For professionals undertaking personal and career development activities, the positive activity of personal development must be actively managed in order to ensure that it does not have a negative effect on stress levels and cause damage to the individuals work-life balance. The increased awareness of the importance of managing stress and work-life balance effectively has given rise to approaches such as time management, managing stress, achieving work-life balance, managing personal development, and related approaches such as coaching and mentoring. The tools and techniques within these approaches are valuable in helping individuals to manage stress and work-life balance more successfully. All of these are worth exploring in more depth. However, here we will focus on simple, well established actions that any individual can take themselves.

There are some well established, simple to implement, approaches that will help to reduce the effects of negative stress and help to maintain an appropriate work-life balance. These include: Recognizing the symptoms that will alert you to the fact that you may be under stress. Commonly experienced symptoms are: Poor health - headaches, upset stomach, sleep problems, change in appetite, tense muscles, indigestion, exhaustion, stomach, intestinal and skin problems, and heart attacks (extreme but not uncommon in severe cases); Personal behavior - constantly worrying, irritated, feeling depressed, unable to cope and make decisions, being less creative, excessive smoking, excessive use of alcohol, not sleeping; Unsatisfactory work situation - low job satisfaction, poor relationships with colleagues, focusing on unproductive tasks, deadlines missed, performance level falling, opportunities missed, poor appraisal outcomes, feeling demotivated; Personal life stopping social activities, being irritated and argumentative with family and friends, personal relationships deteriorating. Many of these symptoms can be experienced in normal life, but become symptoms of stress when several are experienced at the same time, or when there is no obvious cause, or when one or more symptom becomes overwhelming. We need to remember, however, that whilst the symptoms often are more visible, and potentially damaging, in the workplace, they are not necessarily caused by workplace pressures. Many are, but not all and not always. Identifying the sources in the workplace: As individuals working in a business world that is continuously changing at an ever-increasing pace, we need to be adaptable and flexible. In order to avoid negative stress we need to be aware of, prepared for, and able to manage, the impact of: time pressures; demanding deadlines; increasing complex relationships with others; peaks and troughs of too much or too little work; multiple, overlapping business or work changes; threats of redundancy or unwanted job change; pressure from senior managers; unfair or discriminatory actions of management; travel pressures; increases in performance expectations; more visible scrutiny through technology and surveillance; requirements to undertake continuous personal professional development activities. Identifying the sources in life outside work: Outside the workplace there are regularly occurring events and pressures that are a normal part of our lives, but which can be either a source of stress, or satisfaction, or both. These include: death of friend or family member; a relationship breakdown leading to separation or divorce; personal or family member injury; moving house; taking on large financial commitments such as for a mortgage; holiday periods where personal relationships are refreshed and renewed, or put under intense pressure; giving up a habit such as smoking; the birth of a child; getting married; and so on. Knowing what your natural response will be: Individuals adapt and adjust to external pressures in different ways, depending on their personality type. The range of types is very wide, but two broad bands of personality type have been identified. Type "A" people are described as

competitive, aggressive or hasty, whilst Type "B" people behave in a passive, non-competitive, slow to react way. Type "A" people tend to pass on stress to others, Type "B" tend to internalise the effects of stress. Whilst these are established, proven categories that most people fall into, other factors, such as age, gender, health, financial situation and access to support will strongly influence the response to causes of stress, regardless of personality traits. Knowing your personality type can be helpful, but can only play a small part in managing stress successfully. Identifying strategies and actions that will help you to cope: As we have seen, individuals react differently to stress, so each of us will need to adopt different coping strategies. The following are well established, proven actions and strategies for managing stress and achieving work-life balance: be aware of your own weakness and strengths; understanding and accepting that certain things cannot be avoided or changed; taking action to reduce or remove the pressure; breaking down problems into smaller parts and setting targets to tackle each part in sequence; implementing personal time management techniques; replacing negative relationships with positive, supportive relationships; adopting a healthy living style; develop outside work interests, such as hobby, educational, social or sporting activity; undertaking positive professional career development activity; seeking advice and support from others, including professionals if appropriate; accepting that managing stress and work-life balance is a permanent continuous activity. Corporate support mechanisms: Some organizations have recognized that stress and work-life balance are issues that need to be supported by corporate action. Individuals in these organizations should, where appropriate, take advantage of support mechanisms such as: Flexible working hours allowing employees to organise working hours to accommodate important aspects of their home lives; Self managed teams where teams work out their own hours, responding to each others needs; Using a buddy system pairing with a colleague to provide cover for each other, enabling each to take time off when necessary, knowing that their buddy will take over their duties and responsibilities; Flexible locations working from different locations, or from home, either regularly or occasionally, to help with family responsibilities and reduce or eliminate commuting time; Special leave availability such as paid or unpaid leave, to give time to cope with personal crises and emergencies, without using formal holiday allowance; Career breaks for study or research sabbaticals, travel, family commitments, or voluntary work; Health programmes - offer counsellings and advice, for a range of issues; Private health insurance; Fitness programmes and gymnasium membership subsidies; Childcare/eldercare facilities or subsidies workplace nursery or subsidized places in local nurseries or nursing homes. All of these are highly valuable support opportunities, which, if available, should be taken when needed. For most managers and specialists, in all sectors of business today it is an essential requirement, that professionals undertake courses in management development, or in specialist disciplines such as quality management, project management, accountancy, human resources, or marketing.

The objective of this activity, from the individuals point of view, is usually to obtain higher financial rewards, higher status, increased job security, and-or to increased opportunities and career choice. From the organisations point of view it is rightly aimed at improving the knowledge, understanding, skills, and ultimately the performance of the individual and the workforce collectively. The impact on the individual, regardless of these contrasting objectives, is that work-life balance is affected, pressure will rise and will need to be managed to avoid this resulting in negative stress. For any individual undertaking professional development activity, especially those studying at home, in part or in full, it is essential that this is recognised as a potential source of negative stress, and that the individual builds the monitoring and control of this pressure into their development plans. In order to manage stress and to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance, it is necessary to avoid the most common pitfalls that professionals encounter. These include: Believing that suffering from stress is a weakness it is not, but positive, corrective action is needed to redress the situation. Allowing yourself to suffer from stress and an out of balance work-life equilibrium, when simple, easy to apply solutions are at hand, is a weakness; Keeping stress to yourself is the best approach it is not. All the evidence shows that seeking advice and support is the key to reducing and eliminating negative stress and restoring an appropriate work-life balance; Assuming that others are to blame for your stress and the imbalance between your work and your outside work life they may be the causes, but you are responsible for allowing the negative situation to continue; Cutting back or eliminating social, sporting, or personal interests activity is the answer to restoring a work-life balance it is not, because these are essential positive elements necessary to achieve a healthy work-life balance and a relatively stress free life; Ignoring the warning signs these are easy to identify, if not by you then others will see them; Not identifying the sources of stress and reasons for imbalance a simple analysis of your situation, perhaps with some help from a professional advisor, colleague, partner, or friend, will identify the main causes of your problems; Not looking after yourself in terms of health and happiness if you are unhealthy, unfit, or in an unhappy relationship, or not in any relationship and are lonely and isolated, you will find it difficult to manage stress and your work-life balance effectively; Believing that there is a single solution to your negative stress and work-life imbalance problems there is not. You need to take a holistic approach to managing your life, at work, at home, and socially. This encompasses your work, your aspirations, your personal development, your fitness, your lifestyle, your health, your relationships, your general attitude to life everything that makes you an individual, a unique person. This has been a first look at the links between workplace stress and work-life balance, and has been specifically aimed at those professionals who are adding to the pressures of workplace and home life by taking on professional development activities. Continuous personal professional development, for managers, professionals, and specialists, in all sectors is essential. Even entrepreneurs and those leaving organisations to be self-employed risk being overwhelmed by workload and pressures from work-related activities. The solution to avoiding the negative

effects of stress, and maintaining an appropriate work-life balance, when taking on additional personal development workload, are the same for those in organisations. You will need to be aware of the dangers, be alert to the symptoms, put in place defensive mechanisms, and then proactively manage your work life and personal life in a way that protects you from the dangers of negative stress and enables you to maintain a healthy and satisfying work-life balance. BSBM Ltd Distance Learning Courses

10 Tips for Getting Your Work/Life in Balance by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. If you haven't done so already, consider taking ourWork/Life Balance Quiz. Here are 10 tips to help you achieve a better balance in your life. Take a moment to read and reflect on these tips -- and then get your life in balance!
1. Negotiate a Change with Your Current Employer. Progressive employers recognize

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the value of good employees, and many are willing to find ways to help current employees deal with short-term or permanent changes caused by family situations. The changes can include flextime, job-sharing, telecommuting, or part-time employment. Your first step is to research your employer's policies and methods of handling previous requests. Then go to your boss armed with information and a plan that shows how you will be an even more valuable and productive employee if you can modify your current work situation. Find a New Career. Some careers are simply more stressful and time-consuming than others. If you need more time for yourself or your family, now may be the time to explore careers that are less stressful and more flexible. Find a New Job. Rather than a career change, perhaps you simply need to take a less stressful job within your chosen career. This change may involve working with your current employer to identify a new position, it may involve a full job-search, or it may involve temping or becoming a consultant or starting a freelancing or other home-based business. Slow Down. Life is simply too short, so don't let things pass you in a blur. Take steps to stop and enjoy the things and people around you. Schedule more time between meetings; don't make plans for every evening or weekend, and find some ways to distance yourself from the things that are causing you the most stress. Learn to Better Manage Your Time. Avoid Procrastination.For many people, most of the stress they feel comes from simply being disorganized -- and procrastinating. Learn to set more realistic goals and deadlines -- and then stick to them. You'll find that not only are you less stressed, but your work will be better. Share the Load. Even though we may sometimes feel we're the only ones capable of doing something, it's usually not the case. Get your partner or other family members to

help you with all your personal/family responsibilities. Taking care of the household, children, or parents should not be the responsibility of just one person. 7. Let Things Go. (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.) It's simpler said than done, but learn to let things go once in a while. So what if the dishes don't washed everyday or that the house doesn't get vacuumed every week. Learn to recognize the things that don't really have much impact in your life and allow yourself to let them go -- and then not beat yourself up for doing so. 8. Explore Your Options. Get Help. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your family responsibilities, please get help if you can afford it. Find a sitter for your children, explore options for aging parents, and seek counseling for yourself. In many cases, you have options, but you need to take the time to find them. 9. Take Charge. Set Priorities. Sometimes it's easier for us to allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed rather than taking charge and developing a prioritized list of things that need to get done. You need to buck the trend. Develop a list. Set priorities. And then enjoy the satisfaction of crossing things off your list. 10. Simplify. It seems human nature for just about everyone to take on too many tasks and responsibilities, to try to do too much, and to own too much. Find a way to simplify your life. Change your lifestyle. Learn to say no to requests for help. Get rid of the clutter and baggage in your house -- and your life. In the end, the key word is balance. You need to find the right balance that works for you. Celebrate your successes and don't dwell on your failures. Life is a process, and so is striving for balance in your life.