The role of work has changed throughout the world due to economic conditions and social demands. Originally, work was a matter of necessity and survival. Throughout the years, the role of “work” has evolved and the composition of the workforce has changed. Today, work still is a necessity but it should be a source of personal satisfaction as well. One of the vehicles to help provide attainment of personal and professional goals is work-life benefits and programs.
Are work-life balance programs in existence as a result of a social responsibility to employees or to provide a competitive advantage to employers?
Before we can answer this question, we need to define what work-life balance is. Many people think of work-life balance only in the framework of what the company does for the individual. However, work-life balance is a two prong approach. The other prong of work-life balance, which many individuals overlook, relates to what individuals do for themselves.
According to Jim Bird, “Work-life balance is meaningful achievement and enjoyment in everyday life.” The primary way companies can help facilitate work-life balance for their employees is through work-life programs and training. Achievement and enjoyment at work is a critical part of anyone’s work-life balance. Furthermore, achievement and enjoyment in the other three quadrants of one’s life (e.g. family, friends and self) is critical as well.