This article covers the history and evolution of work-life balance, strengths and weaknesses of the traditional work-life initiatives, the new work-life balance and its associated downsides.
Work-life balance remains a topic of interest in the field of rewards. Some believe that the term work-life balance is the allocation of equal amounts of time to paid work and non-work activities. Also, the term “work-life balance” implies a separation of work and life and seems to imply that the two worlds are not meant to collide.
Employees now view this concept as archaic and unachievable, and this has increased pressure on employers and reward practitioners to come up with winning integrative initiatives, to meet employees changing expectations.
History & Evolution of Work-Life Balance
The term work-life balance may have been coined as a result of the concerns and desires of women to raise a family, whilst also having meaningful careers. Recent studies by the UK Office for National Statistics have shown a rise in the percentage of female workers over the past 40 years relative to their male counterparts. However, changes in the workforce have not only been in terms of demographics, but also globalisation and fluidity in movement across various regions. The resultant effect has led to a change in expectation in terms of work-life balance.
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