Work Life Balance among HR Executives-An Empirical Study at Hosur, Tamil Nadu
Ms. Lisa Elangoα, & Dr. D. Maria Antony Rajσ
Work life balance is the current topic which is now a day’s prevalent among the employees. It deals with how an employee fulfills both his/her family and professional role and how he or she succeeds. This concept is interrelated to many other concepts like Job Satisfaction, Stress, Motivation, etc. When an employee doesn’t balance his/her work and family life then he/she may not be satisfied in his/her job, he/she may not fulfill his/her role in his/her family, he/she may have a stressful life and he/she may not be motivated in any of his/her part of his/her life. So leading a balance between personal and professional life leads to fulfillment to some extent. This is being achieved by few employees and even management aims at helping their employees achieve it. So to find out how the HR executives in industries balance their work and personal life, this study was carried. The researcher used purposive sampling technique and collected data from 68 respondents. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (version 20), further the data was interpreted and were presented as tables and charts.
Keywords: work life balance, hr executives, work place support, personal life interference.
Author α: Assistant Professor, P.G. & Research Department of Social Work, Sacred Heart College (Autonomous), Tirupattur (Vellore District) – Tamil Nadu, India – 635 601.
σ: Principal, Sacred Heart College, Vellore District - TN, India.
A person in his life time spends most of his days at work place. Here balancing ones time allocated for work and for other aspects of life says whether that person is successful in leading his life. This pursuit leads to stress free life for the individuals. This concept is called as Work Life Balance and this concept is becoming a prevalent topic among the working class people. Employees have different identity both in their personal and professional life. Professional identities such as Employee, Supervisor, Customer Representative, Management representative, Motivator, Trainer, etc gives him more stress in the workplace and the other side personal identities such as father, brother, son, husband, friend, etc. creates more responsibility to him. Spending long hours in the organization creates inflexibility between the employees balanced life. This may lead to negatives correlates like depression, stress, Frustration, Monotony, etc. It has been proved from few employees experience that positive correlates with both work interference with family and family interference with work. In recent days this concept is being the main concentration of the Management and they organize many awareness programs, and activities to help employees to spare their time equally between their personal and professional life. When it comes to Work Life Balance, management concentrates more on the employees but the executives who are the management representatives are not concentrated to the same extent as it is done for employees. In India this concept of conducting training program for the executives and top level managers are emerging now recently in this decade. Finding from the recent survey done by Monster.com on Feb17, 2019 reveals that the executives get more pressure when it comes to handling their profession and the other side to manage their personal role also. The researcher came across few working professionals who shared their view on the difficulties which they face in balancing their work and personal life, so the researcher decided to carry out a sample study on this topic work life balance among the executives.
- REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Work-life balance is a broad concept, defined in different ways by different researchers using different dimensions. The origins of research on work-life balance can be essentially drawn back to studies on women having multiple roles. Work Life Balance was initially called as Work Family Conflict, Kahn et al.(1964) defined as “a form of inter role conflict in which the role pressures from work and family domains are mutually incompatible in some respect. That is, participation in the work/family role being made more difficult by virtue of participation in the family /work role”. Marks and Mac Dermid Zedeck and Mosier (1996) defined role balance as ‘‘the tendency to become fully engaged in the performance of every range of studies, but also to identify possible directions for further research.
Clark (2000) proposed a new theory about work family balance known as work/family border theory states that, every person’s role differs with specific domains of life such as work/family domains, generally separated by physical, temporal or psychological borders. The theory illustrates individuals to be daily border crossers as they move between home and workplace having significant implications on level of integration, easy movements and the degree of conflict between domains based on the nature of borders such as, flexibility and permeability between work and family life boundaries.
Factors of Work Life Balance: Many studies have been dedicated in search of antecedents influencing perception of work life balance among individuals. These antecedents can be broadly grouped based on the major dimensions of WLB namely, organizational, individual, and societal factors. The following sections present notable contributions of the researchers in these directions.
Individual Factors Influencing Work Life Balance: The studies undertaken in determining the Individual factors influencing the perception of work life balance among employees is explained in terms of personality, wellbeing and emotional intelligence.
Personality and Work Life Balance: McCrae & John (1992) proposed Big Five factor model of personality traits in terms of five basic dimensions namely: (i) Extraversion – describing active, assertive, energetic, enthusiastic and sociable individuals, (ii) Agreeableness– characterising cooperation, forgivingness, kindness and trust, (iii) Conscientiousness– pertaining to achievement orientation, dependability, orderliness, efficiency, responsibility and hardworking, (iv) Neuroticism- referring to anxiety, insecurity, tension, and worry, and (v) Openness to Experience - characterized by intelligence, imagination, curiosity, creativity, and originality. In general personality can be defined as the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts to and interact with others.
Well-being and Work Life Balance: Psychological well-being refers to positive psychological traits, such as self acceptance, satisfaction, hope or optimism. Gropel and Kuhl (2009) observed that need fulfillment plays a mediating role in the relationship between work life balance and subjective wellbeing. The study utilised two components of subjective well-being namely, a cognitive component (life satisfaction) and an affective component (emotional wellbeing). Findings reported that females experience higher well-being compared to males and consequently exhibit higher work life balance in terms of lower work-family & family-work conflict.
Emotional Intelligence and Work Life Balance: According to Schutte (1998) emotional intelligence is defined as the “ability to adaptively recognize emotion, regulate emotion, express emotion and harness emotions”. Affandi and Raza Rangreji investigated the association between leader’s emotional intelligence and its impact on quality of work life, burnout and employee performance among medical doctors working in various hospitals across Pakistan. Results indicated that leaders’ emotional intelligence is positively linked with quality of work life and can be considered as a strong predictor of quality of work life, and employee performance while it is not associated with employee burnout.
Work Arrangements and Work Life Balance: Many studies have recommended that flexible work arrangements would help the employees to attain a better blend between work and non-work activities and help the organisations to recruit, retain and motivate their employees. Christensen and Staines (1990) identified that flexitime work arrangement reduced absenteeism, employee’s turnover and late comings. The authors concluded that flexible time strategy improved employee productivity by reducing absenteeism, turnover and work family conflict.
Work Support and Work Life Balance: Thompson, Kirk and Brown (2005) showed that supervisors have significant influence on professional stress of female police officers and they can reduce moral exhaustion and contribute to a better work-life balance.
Job Stress and Work Life Balance: According to Stanton, et al. (2001) job stress can be defined as individual’s perception about work environment as threatening or demanding, or discomfort experienced by an individual in the work place. Work life balance has been linked to the varied sslevels of job stress among employees in different occupations.
Technology and Work Life Balance: Lester (1999) identified that technology can either facilitate or hinder work life balance by creating a more accessible and flexible environment at all times of day and night enabling individual to work anywhere, any time.
- MATERIALS AND METHOD
Researcher adopted the Descriptive Research Design to describe the characteristic of the respondents who are being studied. Here the researcher describes the professional and family life and the balance between them. The sampling technique used to collect samples were purposive sampling technique using Likert Scale which was validated by face validity and content validity. Reliability Test was run through SPSS and .814 Cronbach’s Alpha value was the result of the reliability test, which says that the variables were closely related to the topic. Researcher used questionnaire method to collect data from the respondents. The research was done among the HR executives of Hosur region, Tamil Nadu. Data was collected from 68 respondents and the respondents were from different manufacturing industries. The collected data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (Version 20) and then interpretations were done by the researcher using the analyzed data.
4.1 Working hours and Work Life Balance
Working men and women succeed in their part only when they balance their personal and professional life. As per factories act 1948 it is said that every adult worker is allowed to work nine hours per day in an industry, this is to ensure that employees spend some quality time for their family. The study data reveals that there is significant association between the number of hours the employees work in an industry and their balance between work and personal life. Thus it can be inferred that if employees spend more time in their work then obviously they lack in spending time with their family because of which there can be problems in their personal life. So if they adjust their timing between work and family then the employees can have a balanced life. this has been statistically shown in Table: 1.
4.2 Marital status and work life balance
A research paper done on marital status and work life balance (Georgeta Panisoara, 2012) came out with a finding that there is significance between employees who are married, unmarried, married with children or married without children. They all have equal pressure and get equal support from the industry to combat their stress and balance their life. It is understood that there is no significant difference between the married and unmarried employees with regard to the work place support which they receive from the organization. It can be understood that whether married or unmarried the employees get adequate support from the management whenever it is needed and they have equal pressure as well as support to balance their life which statistically tabulated in Table: 2.
4.3 Work life interference with personal life
When there is interference between the employees work life and the personal life then the employees may lack in balance between their lives. The study respondents clearly stated that if person has a harmonious working environment that will surely have a positive reflection on his family life and vice versa if a person has a good family life then it will surely reflect positively on his work. As it is said here statistically it is proved that in this correlation table the significance level 0.003 is less than 0.05 so it is understood that there is a significant association between the work life interference with the personal life and personal life interference with work life interference. That is if an employee has any disturbance in either his personal life or work life it will surely affect his work and family respectively and this has been statistically tabulated in Table: 3.
Work life interference with personal life and work life balance
When a person brings his office work to his family or shows his office tension towards his family then that will surely disturb their family life. Only when an employee knows to balance his personal and family life he/she can lead a balanced life. The above coefficient test was done to find whether there is association between work life interference with personal life and work life balance that is if there is an interference of work life into an employee’s family life then for sure he/she will not have a balanced life. From the above data it was clear that significance level is 0.000 which is less than 0.05 so it is understood that there is an association between the work life interference with personal life and work life balance and data also indicates a negative correlation which says that if an employee takes up his office tension or work into his family life then surely there will be a decrease in his work life balance, which has been statistically tabulated in Table: 4.
The study which was done on work life balance among the HR executives has revealed the current scenario of the industries and the life of the management representative. The researcher would like to highlight few findings like the following,
- Being in the administrative department the respondents had a tough time in managing their time between family and work
- If they were able to adjust their work timing and work for the required time then they get time to spend with family or else if they work for extra hours continuously then it automatically reflects on their family life because of which they lack in spending quality time with their family to fulfill their family roles.
- It was also evident that industries don’t show any difference when it comes married and unmarried employees, they support the employees in their work and also to cope up with their family roles.
- If any employee has any issue with their family or work then surely it reflects on work and family respectively.
- When an employee’s work life doesn’t interfere his personal life then he has a balanced life. So there should be always clear understanding by the person in carrying leading his work and personal life.
Every Human Being has to play two major roles in this world when it comes to his living, one is in the family and the other is in the work. When it comes to earning and living these two parts contribute more in a persons living. Let it be Men or Women when they learn to balance both their roles between family and work then to some extent they can lead a balance life. So the researcher having all this in mind choose this topic and carried out the study with the HR executives of Hosur region, Tamil Nadu. The reason for choosing the HR executives was because they are the ones who play a vital role in an industry between large group of employees and employer, they don’t work on proper timings and they are the ones who always listen to problems in the industry. So the researcher was curious to know how they balance their life between work and family that is how the research was had its shape. From this study the researcher came out with some commendable findings that if employees were able to allocate proper timing for their family and work then they can have a balanced life. As Newton’s Third Law ‘Every Action has a Equal and Opposite Reaction’, here when an employee brings his work and the work pressure into his family then it will surely disturb his family and the same will happen when he goes on to work with his family pressure. Now a day’s even the management not only thinks about the target and income but they also consider and value the employees’ personal commitments. So they support their employees in fulfilling their personal and family roles. Thus from this study it was understood that it is up to a person to make their balanced, if a person knows to adjust his time between family and work then to some extent he can lean balance life.
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Table 1: Association between the Working Hours of the Employees and Work Life Balance
Upto 9 Hrs (n=33)
More than 9 Hrs (n=35)
Work Life Balance
Chi square value= 0.038
Table 2: ‘t’ test between the Marital Status of the Respondents and Work Life Balance & Work
Work Life Balance
Table 3: Karl Pearson’s Co-Efficient of Correlation between the Personal Life Interference with Work Life and Work Life Interference with Personal Life
Work Life Interference with Personal Life
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level
Table 4: Karl Pearson’s Co-Efficient of Correlation between the Work Life Interference with Personal Life and Work Life Balance
Work Life Balance
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level