A Perspective on Work-Life Balance and Its Determinants

A Perspective on Work-Life Balance and Its Determinants

Sonali Bhattacharya, Netra Neelam, K. Rajagopal
DOI: 10.4018/IJHCITP.2020100103
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With a changing demography and social structure, the work life balance (WLB) is a major concern felt by employees of most organizations. This study has attempted to have relook at the constructs of work-life balance from the perspectives of banking and information technology employees with various household structures. The present study develops a multidimensional work-life balance scale to measure existing levels of work-life balance. The scale considers work-life balance as a multidimensional second order construct comprising workplace inclusion, family support, employee benefit, time management, coworker relationship, and supervisor-subordinate relationship. The study reveals not only indicators of organizational family work culture, but also personal characteristics such as time management and familial support determine work-life balance. However, no significant difference was perceived in the work life balance was found between employees with different family structures and between the two sectors considered under the study. Also, there was no significant difference in perception of work life- balance between knowledge workers from IT and banking sectors.
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According to an AON Hewitt survey (2015) over one-third of employees across geographies reported that they do not have sufficient work-life balance and 41% of employees who have poorer work-life balance intend to leave. 73% of employees with positive work-life balance indicated they would not leave their present organization. In developed countries the aspect of the work life balance has been given utmost importance and these countries have made efforts to launch inter-disciplinary research centers connecting theories from various disciplines like sociology, work life balance, social work, management, economics and psychology (Drago and Kashian, 2003). The employees of Scandinavian countries reportedly are the most satisfied with the work-life balance though many of them work for 50 hours a week (Hewitt, 2015).

In the competitive business environment, I human capital are the most important resource and it has become imperative for organizations to understand the changing demands of this important resource. Employees have adopted to life-style changes to balance job and family demand. Organizations have started to formulate policies and procedures effectively to facilitate work-life balance (Pandey, 2015). Better work-life balance of employees increases organizational productivity, job satisfaction and job engagement. The rate of absenteeism and the attrition also gets minimized to a great extent. In a survey of Best Employers, on Top Engagement Drivers of India, it was found that employees at leadership positions feel Work-life Balance as most important driver of employee engagement (Aon Hewitt India, 2017). There is growing demand of work-life integration by use of new age technology. According to The Job Confidence Index Q1 2017 based on responses of 650 employees in India and 4,700 across the Asia-Pacific region, work-life balance is the one of the top three drivers for seeking employment in India with 39% respondents yearning for better work-life balance. According to Randstad Employer Brand Research 2018 survey, assurance of work life balance (44%) is the second most important reason why people opt for joining certain companies in India after salary and employee benefits. According to the report, work-life balance is implied to be freedom to work for only 4 hours once a week, doing yoga some day or some volunteering work at some other day. According to a recent report by travel agency Expedia (Hindustan Tines, 2018), India is the most vacation-deprived country among 19 nations surveyed with 75% Indian respondents expressing that they have been vacation deprived. The reason sighted was demanding work culture and poor work-life balance with 41% saying they have deprived themselves from leave or vacation for more than six months. The same report mentions that IT/ITES (Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services), Automotive, Retail & FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), BFSI (Banking and Financial Services Industries), Energy, Services, Manufacturing, Pharma & Healthcare are the most attractive sectors in that order.

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