Although its origin in its rudimentary form, it dates to the Industrial Revolution; there is now an added, growing importance of work-life balance. During those early days, its focus was different, and was concerned primarily with the impact child labor had on the family’s future. Even though this focal point or reason changed over time to women and then men; work-life balance has been an indispensable factor in labor relations through time.
Why the growing importance of work-life balance?
Work life balance is to be seen as something that is as important and critical as work itself. This is because it is proven consistently, especially in the West that one of the main reasons for family breakups is the long hours of work of either one or both the parents. When parents stay away from families for long hours because of work, they end up getting disconnected from them. The result is the loss of ability to provide the much needed emotional support for children.
Not only has the growing importance of work-life balance been attributed to divorces; there is a clear connection between broken families and violence. Studies have consistently shown that one of the strongest common factors among youths who resort to violence and drugs is their background of having come from broken or disrupted families.
Situational and contemporary factors
While these factors have for long been a staple for the western society; there are some circumstantial factors that have led to the growing importance of work-life balance. One of these is the recent economic slowdown. The importance of work life balance in situations of economic slowdown can be understood from the fact that in a survey of over 50,000 global employees done around the time of the height of the recession in 2009; work life balance accounted as the second most important factor that employees attached importance to, next only to wages.
Work life balance and productivity
The growing importance of work-life balance has an important spinoff: the more the balance between work and life, the more productive employees are likely to be. This is plain and simple, and is self-explanatory. Employees will be under less stress to manage life and work when they are convinced that there is no conflict between the two. Organizations that promote a healthy work life balance are more likely to not only have productive employees, but also to retain them over the longer run. This accounts as yet another factor for the growing importance of work-life balance.
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