Parkes and Langford (2008) defined work-life balance as an individual’s ability to handle all the commitments, including work, family, and other nonwork responsibilities. The authors established that all the employees desired to have a well-balanced structure of the different roles and activities they were responsible for.
This inherent desire cuts across different types of employees, including married, single, or have children. Parkes and Langford (2008) pointed out that work-life balance was critical as it boosted employees’ health. The authors were specific to state that a well-balanced work-life balance reduced employees’ stress levels, which enabled them to concentrate on their responsibilities. Stress itself is a significant cause of poor health conditions, which are expensive and difficult to treat.
Parkes and Langford (2008) also noted that work-life balance was considered a responsibility of individuals. In the past, organizations did not think that they could take a leading role in alleviating difficulties in creating work-life balance. Organizations only developed programs that were intended for reducing stresses, such as counseling and child care. The authors stated an exciting revelation that there was a change in approach towards work-life balance since modern companies realized that there was a scramble for talent.
Therefore, the organization had a role to play in enabling its employees to be comfortable with their jobs. According to Parkes and Langford (2008), the competitive labor market has forced organizations to develop programs and strategies that ensure that their employees are engaged, satisfied, and pleased with their jobs since they experience increased work-life balance.
Parkes and Langford (2008) used secondary data of other scholars to highlight how work-life balance was associated with reduced workplace stress levels. Reduced work stress is, on the one hand, related to increased productivity, which is the aim of every employer. The secondary sources of information also bring out that a balanced work-life balance increases employee job satisfaction. When employees are satisfied with their jobs, this satisfaction yields loyalty and reduces high employee turnover risks.
Parkes and Langford (2008) highlighted that work-life balance was commonly associated with women since they were more concerned with their families’ matters. The authors pointed out that women were more burdened with responsibilities that were connected with the domestic chores in addition to their duties at work. Thus, they become more likely to experience stress-related to balancing between work and their families. The authors emphasized that though married women were the most susceptible to difficulties in balancing between their work and home duties, every employee who was employed was affected by the issue of work-life conflict. This balance is, therefore, important to both genders and married and single employees.
Parkes, L. P. & Langford, P. H. (2008). Work-life Balance or Work-life Alignment? A Test of the Importance of Work-life Balance for Employee Engagement and Intention to Stay in Organisations. Journal of Management and Organisation. 14(3), 267-284.