With growing work stress and awareness about the Work-life balance (WLB) and Mental Health, WLB has been one of the most discussed topics in both professional business practice and academic research in the last few years. WLB has become a popular research area of interest in different fields of study such as sociology, psychology, HRM, organization studies, and gender studies.
Many research has been carried out in trying to explain the correlation between work and family life and related WLB to organisation policies, organisation culture, HR management, work commitment, absenteeism, gender equality, family life, and many more. The majority of the studies on this topic were carried out in the United Stated, Australia and New Zealand but now a lot of people are also working on this topic.
Objectives of this study involve finding answers to the following questions:
- How work-life balance impacts the wellbeing of employees?
- Is there any relation between the WLB and the performance of the employees?
- Is there any correlation between WLB and family satisfaction?
- Is there any correlation between WLB and psychological distress?
The scope of the study has been limited to finding the impact of the WLB on the working class in India only. The study is conducted based on the response of a questionnaire and doing percentage analysis of the response
Gender: As seen in the below pie chart we can see that 23.3% respondents are female and 76.7% are the male.
Figure: Gender Distribution of Respondents
Age: Majority of the respondents were from the age group of 26-30 years which constitute 56.7% of the total respondents followed by 31-35 years age group which constitutes 20% then 20-25 Years constitutes 10%.
Nature of Organization: The responses were collected from only working people and we received responses from employees of all kinds of organizations. Majority of the respondents came from MNC companies which constituted 50% of the total respondents, 33% respondents come from some established Indian company, 10% from startups and 7% from government organizations.
Marital Status: Half of the respondents were married and remaining were unmarried.
Defendants: Since majority of the respondents were quite young with half of them unmarried therefore majority 46.7% have no dependents on them. 23.3% of the respondents mentioned their parents as their defendants, 13.3% indicated their spouse and children as their dependent, 10% as their spouse only and remaining said their parents, spouse and children all are dependent on them.
Nature of Employment: All our respondents were full time employees of their organization.
We have found from the various literatures that there are correlations between the WLB and organization’s performance, employee satisfaction, work satisfaction and mental health. We collected data to study the WLB among the working class of Indians. In order to analyse 15 key questioned were framed and floated by the responses in a self completing survey form. Let us analyse the responses of each question one by one to understand the WLB and how it impacts the employees.
In the table 4.1 we have presented the summary of the correlation statistics based on the 13 questions asked. It shows the mean and standard deviation of all the questions in which we assigned value 5 to the “Always” and 1 to “Never”.
Table 4.1: Summary Statistics (Correlation)
|Variables||Observations||Obs. with missing data||Obs. without missing data||Minimum||Maximum||Mean||Std. deviation|
|Do you normally work more than 5 days in a week?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.581||1.167|
|Do you normally work more than 10 hours in a day?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.419||1.275|
|Do you feel you are not able to balance your work & personal life?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.258||0.886|
|Do you work in shifts?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||1.935||1.279|
|Do you bring work home with you?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||2.871||1.397|
|Do you find yourself unable to spend enough time with your family/friends?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.323||1.004|
|Do you find time to exercise, eat properly and keep yourself healthy?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.194||1.265|
|Do you get adequate sleep most nights?||62.000||0.000||62.000||2.000||5.000||3.290||0.894|
|Do you ever feel tired or depressed because of work?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||4.000||2.935||0.765|
|Do you feel that your managers are supporting?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.613||1.246|
|Are you satisfied with your current work profile and company?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.226||1.193|
|How frequently you think of leaving your job?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||5.000||3.032||1.318|
|Do you delegate your work to others?||62.000||0.000||62.000||1.000||4.000||2.548||1.019|
In the table 4.2 we have presented the correlation matrix between all the 13 parameters on which we asked the question.
Table 4.2: Correlation Matrix with a significance level alpha=0.05
Question 1: Does your company have a separate policy for work-life balance?
This has strong correlation between the Question 3 which directly indicated poor WLB. From the figure 4.1 we can see that although there has been lots of talks about WLB in recent times but in India still more than 65% of the organizations doesn’t even have any WLB policy. In our survey only 16.7% respondents confirmed WLB policy in their organization and 16.7% indicated that they are not aware if their organization have any WLB or not.
Question 2: Does your organization try to spread awareness about mental health among the employees?
Figure 4.2 shows that although most organizations don’t have a separate WLB policy (Fig 4.1) but most of them are trying to spread awareness about mental health. 62.5% of our respondents confirm that their organization is taking steps to spread awareness about the mental wellbeing and a substantial 31.3% respondents denied any awareness initiative by their organization. 6.2% respondents said that they don’t have any knowledge whether their organization try to spread awareness about mental health or not.
Question 3: Do you normally work more than 5 days in a week?
In western countries all organizations have only 5 days or even 4 days working policies but our survey confirms that even those working in MNC in India work more than 5 days in a week. some does it always (29%), some often (22.6%), Some does it sometimes (29%) and some rarely (16.1%) but almost everyone have worked more than 6 days a week.
Question 4: Do you normally work more than 10 hours in a day?
More than 90% of the respondents have confirmed working for more than 10Hrs in the office. 25.8% always work for more than 10hrs, 22.6% often work for more than 10%, 29% said they work overtime sometimes and 12.9% said they rarely work for more than 10hrs. Only 9.7% said that they never work more than 10hrs in the office.
Question 5: Do you feel you are not able to balance your work & personal life?
On the direct question whether they are able to balance their work and personal life, majority 54.8 % respondents said that they find it difficult to maintain the balance sometimes, 9.7% said they always find it difficult, a substantial 22.6% said they often find it difficult to maintain the work and personal life balance. Only 13% respondents said either they never (3.2%) or rarely (9.7%) face any issue in balancing their work and personal life.
Question 6: Do you work in different shifts?
In our survey, the majority of the respondents (51.6% never, 25.8% rarely) indicate that they have fixed shifts and they don’t have to work in different shifts. Only 10% said that they always work in different shits and 10% said they sometimes work in shifts.
Question 7: Do you bring work home with you?
Nearly 26% of the respondents stated that they don’t bring their work home but nearly 74% say that they bring home their work at some point of time. 12.9% said that they rarely bring their work home, 22.6% said they do it sometimes. 25.8% said they often do it and 12.9% said they always bring their work home.
Question 8: Do you find yourself unable to spend enough time with your family/friends?
This is most important to access the WLB, and the results are not encouraging. 48.4% people either always or often struggle to spend time with their family or friend. 38.7% said that sometimes they find themselves unable to spend time with their loved ones. Only a small 3.2 respondents say that they rarely struggle in this department and nearly 10% say that they never face any issue in finding time for their friends and family.
Question 9: Do you find time to exercise, eat properly and keep yourself healthy?
Increasing work performance stress has adversely affected the health of our workforce. To get an idea about this we asked this particular question and in response nearly 35% said that they either never get time to look after their health, nearly 19% said that they get time only sometimes, 31.6% said that they often get time out to after their physical health, 15.6% said they always eat properly, exercise and keep themselves healthy.
Out of those who said they often or always find time to look after their fitness mostly belong to the government organizations and are unmarried.
Question 10: Do you get adequate sleep most nights?
This question was a follow up question to the previous questions in order to find out how well the respondents sleep at night. Nearly 39% said that they always or often sleep well and nearly 61% said that they get adequate sleep only sometimes or very rarely.
Question 11: Do you ever feel tired or depressed because of work?
The response to this question was quite clear with 19.4% saying they often get tired or depressed due to work and majority 61.3% said that they do get tired or depressed sometimes. Only 20% of respondents said that they either never (6.5%) or rarely (12.9%) get tired or depressed due to work.
Question 12: Do you feel that your managers are supporting?
33.2% always find their managers supporting, 19.4% feel that their managers often support them, 35.5 say that only sometimes their managers are supporting, 3.2% say that their managers rarely support them and nearly 10% of respondents say that they managers never support them.
Question 13: Are you satisfied with your current work profile and company?
Most of the respondents are either only sometimes (41.9%) satisfied with their current profile and the company or rarely (12.9%) or never satisfied (9.7%). Only 19.4% are always satisfied and 16.1% find their work profile and company often satisfying.
Question 14: How frequently you think of leaving your job?
Most of the respondents feel quitting their jobs sometimes (41.9%), 19.4% of the respondents always feel like leaving their job, 16.1% often want to quit their job. 12.9% rarely feel like quitting their job and 9.7% are completely happy with their job and never want to quit their current job.
Question 15: Do you delegate your work to others?
The responses to this question indicate that most of the people are not in habit of delegating their tasks if possible. With 0% saying they always delegate and only 16.1% saying they delegate often. 45.2% said they delegate only sometimes, rest said either they never (22.6%) delegate or rarely (16.1%) delegate their work to others.
- CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the survey conducted as part of this study, we can conclude the following:
- Despite taking the sample from mostly MNCs and Government Companies, it came out that most companies are although spreading the awareness about the work-life balance but they do not have separate policy for better WLB of their employees.
- In many organizations the employees have to work for more than 5 days in a week and more than 10hrs a day, which will certainly not help in maintaining a better work-life balance.
- Government employees find more time than private companies to spend time with their family, to work on their fitness and they get better sleep as compared to the private companies. Government employees are more happy with their current job and feel less about quitting their job as compared to the private company employees.
- Across all kinds of Indian companies it is quite clear that employees have not developed the habit of delegation of work. In our survey zero person claimed that they always delegate their work.
- An alarming finding of this study is that more than 60% of the respondents of this study admitted that they get adequate sleep only sometimes or rarely.
- At the end of this study we can safely conclude that growing work pressure and pressure, the work-life balance of our workforce is getting negatively impacted which is resulting in poor physical and mental health of the employees as well as it is hampering the efficiency of the workforce. The responses to all our questions indicate clearly that there is lots of things which needs our attention to create a healthy and employee friendly work environment.
Based on the results and findings of this study we recommend following for the organizations in order to ensure better work-life balance of employees:
- Every organization should have a separate WLB policy which should be in line with the global benchmarks.
- Awareness about mental health and better WLB should be spread among the employees through the expert sessions and counselling.
- Work allocation by the organization should be done keeping in mind that their employees do not have to slog for more than 9 hours in the office and should adopt a maximum 5 working day policy.
- HR departments of the organization need to revisit their leave policy and other employee engagement policies to ensure better WLB and employee productivity by keeping them happy and fit.
- Government should encourage startups and other organizations by granting a monetary compensation to all the running companies to spend on ensuring better WLB of the employees.
- Employees should utilize their personal time more positively by communicating with their loved ones, spending more time with them and engage themselves in things with gives them happiness and pleasure. Employees should try to find time to do some kind of workout or exercise to keep themselves fit.