The work environment has witnessed numerous reforms that have been focused on addressing the emerging needs of the employees to avoid exploitation and upturn their motivation. Work-life balance has been one of the vital changes in the workplace geared at establishing a healthy setting for all employees by allowing them to attend to professional and personal commitments. Consequently, work-life balance among female workers enables them to effectively execute their job responsibilities and engage in other non-work-related roles. Various changes in the workplace have highly necessitated the emergence of work-life integration over the past decades. One of the variations entails the increased number of employed women in the workplace arising from augmented educational attainment and gender equality. This has allowed female employees to occupy more positions in the workplace just like their male counterparts (Garg & Dawra, 2017). The other fundamental changes that have led to the emergence of work-life balance revolve around family structures, working hours, and living standards. Work-life balance has helped employed women realize reduced burnout and overcome occupational stress, thus living healthy lives. Additionally, the balance increases job satisfaction, which upsurges retention and avoids needless absenteeism.
Most of the previous research has failed to demonstrate how work-life balance can be maintained while overcoming discrimination and improving quality of life and well-being, particularly among female workers. This gap has made it hard for some organizations to identify how to keep their female workforce motivated and attract talents. Additionally, the previous research has failed to exhaustively reveal the impact of work-life balance on employed women. As a result, this study focuses on establishing the effect of work-life balance on female employees to encourage contemporary organizations to focus on permitting employees to attend to personal and work demands. The study revolves around selecting a sample of female workers to fill a questionnaire to understand the work-life balance situation and its impacts.
Various research studies have been done to help individuals comprehend the issue of work-life balance. The workplace reform has attracted several researchers to determine how organizations can create a healthy workplace to boost their reputation. Female employees require a good balance of their time to accomplish their personal goals, raise their kids and establish strong families. The augmented commitment by female workers to achieve their motherhood demands has generated unending conflict between family and work.
Bianchi (2011) discloses how the families and workplaces in the United States have changed to facilitate work-life balance. The number of women in the workforce has risen, demonstrating how the family has changed over the past years. For example, the employed women with kids below eighteen years raised to 71.6% in 2009 from 47.4% in 1975 (Bianchi, 2011). Previously, a large fraction of women with kids worked full time, where they spend about thirty-five hours a week. Bianchi (2011) reveals that the increased single parenting and family instability due to amplified divorce rates has played a significant role in creating the need to introduce work-life balance within organizations. This is because women have witnessed an upsurge in household roles to take care of their children. The article holds that workplaces have considerably changed where employees concentrate on working nonstandard hours, thus moving away from the typical full-time workweek (Bianchi, 2011). This has amplified the need for part-time work to allow employees to engage in other roles. Other contributing factors to work-life balance include amplified aging population, childlessness, and income inequality.
Sirajunisa and Panchanatham (2010) demonstrate how occupational stress affects work-life balance in employed women. Women engage in dual roles where they accomplish both family and work responsibilities, thus creating less time to attend to their personal duties. Most employed women experience stress as they respond to family and work demands and pressures. The authors hold those female employees work for long hours and have inflexible work patterns, which generate unending work-family conflict. Work demands normally interfere with family responsibilities making it difficult to provide the required parental care effectively. Based on the role theory, the numerous roles people occupy as family members and employees appear to be in conflict because of limited individuals’ energy and time, thus generating high-stress levels. Occupational stress further arises from the unfriendly work environment and the available physical properties. The increased stress levels adversely affect the female employees’ health and reduce job satisfaction and performance, yielding low profits (Sirajunisa & Panchanatham, 2010). Consequently, organizations should focus on overcoming work-life conflict by utilizing the available resources to allow employees to attend to personal and professional commitments.
Kumari and Devi (2013) disclose how work-life balance remains a challenge to most female employees in the workplace. The authors claim that work-life balance primarily arose from the conflicting demands related to personal and work life to improve employees’ quality of life. Female employees find it hard to effectively balance their individual and job life needs compared to male workers. This is because women accomplish most of the household tasks and hence experience role overload. The decision by women to spend more time at work generates negative consequences for family life. Smooth work-life balance among female employees is achieved through organizational support, flexible work schedules, and part-time jobs. Increased work-family conflict generates weak family relationships and decreased life satisfaction. The focus of organizations to maximize their profits and augment competitive advantage has made it challenging for female employees to attain seamless work-life balance (Kumari & Devi, 2013). The authors compel organizations to adopt policies that revolve around sharing, reduction, and elimination of roles to overcome challenges linked with work-life balance.
Gragnano, Simbula, and Miglioretti (2020) demonstrate the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. Current research on work-life balance should focus on diverse domains that are non-work related and avoid concentrating only on family and work domains due to the modern heterogeneous workforce. Work-life balance remains a concern to female employees with kids as they tend to contemplate how to provide the proper parental care. According to Donald Super’s life-space theory on career development, the critical non-work domains include community involvement, family, health, friendship, education, and leisure. Work-life balance generates positive impacts on family, health, and job satisfaction. The authors assert that the balance allows employees to address family needs and provide the correct parenting to kids to help them attain their dreams (Gragnano et al., 2020). Additionally, work-life balance increases job satisfaction coercing workers to focus on executing their tasks and avoid unwanted behaviors like absenteeism.
Lastly, Ryan and Kossek (2008) show how organizations can successfully implement work-life policies to realize the anticipated positive impacts. Most organizations adopt work-life balance to attract and retain employees as it allows them to attend to other roles in society. Some of the policies that companies should adopt to support work-life balance include flexibility in the workplace, monetary support for non-work tasks, and benefits programs for caregiving. However, the policies require a proper implementation to create healthy and positive work environments that support the employees’ needs. The guidelines essentially promote inclusivity as they encourage job security, equality, and information access to all employees devoid of discrimination. The implementation process should entail adequate training and cultural change to meet workers’ demands (Ryan & Kossek, 2008). Additionally, supervisor support, excellent communication, negotiability, and universality should be maintained for the policies to be successful.
The study focuses on analyzing the work-life balance of employed women by advancing on the existing gaps to help individuals and organizations create healthy work settings. This is essential in assisting employees in participating in society’s roles and accomplishing organizational tasks promptly. However, the study requires suitable formulation of research questions and data gathering to determine the reality of the problem.
Research Questions and Research Objective
Studies have shown that having a work-life balance is the most challenging issue faced by employees and employers. More so, work-life conflicts are more visible with employed women when work-life policies are limited. My research objective is to study and describe the overall work-life balance among employed women in different levels of positions. Also, to gain their perspective and demonstrate the impact of work-life balance on their personal and professional lives. Furthermore, I will be exploring research questions such as how does work-life balance affects employed women’s personal life and professional life? Also, does an imbalance of work-life balance induce occupational stress and burnout?
My study will incorporate randomly selected female workers at Pennsylvania State University. These employed women work in Human Resources, Student Affairs IT, Bryce Jordan Center administration, and Auxiliary Hospitality Services. The primary methodology that will be used in this study is a questionnaire and secondary source analysis. The questionnaire establishes statements of work-life balance, statements about personal life, and statements about professional life, with a scale ranking from strongly agree to disagree strongly.
Questionnaire for the Survey-Based Study
The questionnaire concentrates on obtaining the responses of the 20 female employees regarding work-life balance. However, the five questions from the questionnaire that are related to the research questions are revealed below.
- I overstay at work.
- Strongly agree
- Agree (13)
- Neutral (4)
- Disagree (3)
- Strongly Disagree
- It is difficult for me to find time for me.
- Strongly agree (12)
- Agree (4)
- Neutral (4)
- Strongly Disagree
- I believe that work-life balance is associated with job satisfaction.
- Strongly agree (16)
- Agree (4)
- Strongly Disagree
- Level of balance between work life and home life:
- Very well balanced
- Somewhat balanced
- Balanced (6)
- Somewhat out of Balanced (10)
- Very out of balance (4)
- I always feel stressed about balancing work-life:
- Strongly agree (5)
- Agree (11)
- Disagree (4)
- Strongly Disagree
Based on the questionnaire, 14 of the female employees in the study hold that they overstay at work to accomplish job-related tasks. The results disclose that 60 percent of the female employees find it challenging to get enough time to perform their personal duties. Most of the employed women in the study consider that work-life balance is capable of increasing job satisfaction. Additionally, the female workers believe that home life and work-life are not well balanced to enhance the attainment of the anticipated personal and professional goals. Lastly, 11 of the 20 female workers reveal that they always feel highly stressed when balancing work and life.
The responses by the female employees in the questionnaire offer an actual depiction of the effects of work-life balance. Female workers overstay at work to accomplish their tasks and help organizations maximize their profitability. The strategy by organizations to intensify their competitive advantage requires employees to upsurge their performance to maintain high output levels, thus requiring them to overstay in the workplace (Kumari & Devi, 2013). Spending more hours at work increases occupational stress and burnout, making it hard to engage in family issues (Sirajunisa & Panchanatham, 2010). The inability of female workers to find time for themselves escalates stress levels and prevents them from attaining personal goals that promote quality of life.
Work-life balance produces job satisfaction among female workers as they can balance their time well to accomplish personal and professional needs effectively. Consequently, the employees avoid unnecessary distractions to focus on executing their routine job duties. Therefore, increased job satisfaction augments the overall performance yielding high output and profitability. Organizations should allow all employees to feel and recognize a good balance between work and home life to keep them motivated (Ryan & Kossek, 2008). Most female workers fail to realize the balance due to the inability to manage their time well following increased commitments within the workplace. The desire by employees to maximize their earnings and the unending need by companies to surpass their competitors adversely affects work-life balance (Bianchi, 2011). This compels female employees to find it stressful to balance their family and work life. The workers spend most of their time in their workplace, a situation that limits the time directed towards accomplishing other roles in society leading to low quality of life (Gragnano et al., 2020). The high-stress levels negatively affect the female workers’ health and overall welfare, preventing them from effectively executing their work-related tasks and providing the right support to their kids and families.
The emergence of work-life balance has helped organizations remain more focused on advancing and protecting the employees’ rights and well-being and further refining their reputation. This is due to the fact that the balance creates room for organizations to establish healthy workplaces. Work-life balance for female workers allows them to manage their time efficiently to accomplish professional and personal roles. Maintaining a good balance between work and life avoids unnecessary conflicts and increases job satisfaction while preventing occupational stress. This gradually upturns employees’ performance and allows them to enjoy quality lives and establish strong family relationships. Organizations should consider preserving an excellent work-life balance among employed women by utilizing the available resources and setting the right work-life policies to keep them highly motivated. Future studies should address the gaps related to work-life balance to guide individuals and companies to create positive and healthy work settings that match all employees’ needs.
Bianchi, S. M. (2011). Changing families, changing workplace. The Future of Children, 21(2), 15-36.
Garg, M., & Dawra, S. (2017). Work life balance and women employees. International Journal of Applied Business and Economic Research, 15(22), 233-246.
Gragnano, A., Simbula, S., & Miglioretti, M. (2020). Work-life balance: Weighing the importance of work-family and work-health balance. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3), 1-20.
Kumari, K. T., & Devi, V. R. (2013). Work-life balance of women employees- A challenge for the employee and the employer in 21st Century. Pacific Business Review International, 6(6), 33-40.
Ryan, A. M., & Kossek, E. E. (2008). Work-life policy implementation: Breaking down or creating barriers to inclusiveness? Human Resource Management, 47(2), 295-310.
Sirajunisa, K., & Panchanatham, N. (2010). Influence of occupational stress on work life balance among women professionals. The Journal of Commerce, 2(1), 44-57.