A person can live a life that is happy, healthy and successful when there is work-life Balance. Work-life Balance has indeed become a primary concern to those wishing to have good quality of life. The notion of Work-life Balance has been described by many, and for the majority, work encompasses the venue of official tasks to be accomplished by individual while executing a given job.
“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucious
Accordingly, life encompasses a collection of activities not related to work for instance household chores and childcare. In this regard, balance is achieved when there is harmony between work and life. Since the last decades, the concept of Work-life Balance has been viewed as crucial to both organizations and people, and it has indeed been found to greatly contribute in the improvement of productivity of employees which in turn impacts the performance of organizations in positive manner.
Effective policy of work-life balance embraced by the organization allows the employees to socialize with the community while assuring that cost and turnover are under control and productivity is improved.
To understand the effect of Work-life balance and Happiness at work on employee’s performance and hence, the following questions must be addressed
- Does Work-life balance impact employee performance?
- Does Happiness at work (employee engagement, job satisfaction, and affective organizational commitment) impact employee performance?
Understanding Work-Life Balance
The management of work-life balance and/or work-family conflict interest of employees have been found to be among the primary aspects to be addressed by the organization as a way to preserve human resources.
Work-life balance encompasses a balance between two entirely separate roles performed by a person namely the roles of work and the roles of family, and to holder of the roles, both bring satisfaction.
The benefits of work-life can improve both the life quality of employees and the effectiveness of the organization. Hence, there appears to be countless delineations regarding work-life balance, but all appear to be in agreement that work encompasses a group of formal tasks completed by an individual while occupying a given job.
Life comprises a group of activities not associated with work such as household chores, care of elderlies and care of children. Emslie and Hunt stated that balance is attained when the domain of work and that of life are in harmony. Work-life balance is about a person’s capacity irrespective of age or gender in successfully combining work and household accountabilities. Within this context, work becomes a term that can be regarded as paid employment and also free work done for an employer.
Conversely, the notion of “life” is not related to work and it can be broken down into free time used in doing leisure activities, and family time. Accordingly, the concept of work-life balance defines the amount of time available to an employee in balancing between family and the demands of work. Work-life balance encompasses an employee’s time-sharing ratio between work and family.
When there is imbalance between work and family, whether too much on work or too much on family matters, stress and negative work attitudes can occur and these can lead to burnout.
Effective Work-Life Balance
Effective Work-Life Balance is underpinned by two applicable primary concepts namely the day-to-day accomplishment and enjoyment. Achievement is the successful completion of something particularly after a series of diligent attempts or being given what is desired. With respect to the notion of enjoyment, it does not denote happiness.
Rather, it denotes pride, satisfaction, celebration, joys of living as well as a sense of wellbeing. In life, achievement and enjoyment have close linkage in terms of value. In other words, a person has to have both. This is the reason why those who are deemed successful do not feel happy or are not as happy as they are supposed to be.
Understanding Happiness at Work
In general, happiness relates to how people experience and appraise their lives in total. Considering that a significant amount of time of most people is spent on working, having the understanding of the role played by employment and the workplace play is highly critical.
This is because such understanding can assist in the creation of happiness for individuals and communities globally.
As evidenced by recent studies, work and employment drive happiness which in turn can assist in shaping the outcomes of job market, productivity, and performance of firm as well.
Happiness at Work is more than the possession of sense of pleasure, positive affective experience, good feelings and enjoyment because it also means having meaningful work life. Furthermore, a person is deemed as a happy person when he or she feels positive emotions repetitively. A person possessing positive emotions means that he or she has good life with no readily visible threats.
Organizational commitment comprises a number of elements. These elements include the sense of affective devotion towards the organization, loyalty towards to the organization, and identification of the goals and values established by the organization.
In the extant past works, three main components have been the focal points, and they are employee engagement, job satisfaction, and affective organizational commitment. These components are as as below:
1. Employee Engagement
Engagement is the attachment of members of organization to the roles of work assigned to them, and in engagement, people physically, cognitively and emotionally make use of and articulate themselves during role performances.
Engagement can likewise be described as an unrelenting and positive affective-motivational state of accomplishment. Work engagement is highlighted as a positive, gratifying and job linked mind state characterized by three dimensions namely dedication, absorption and vigor. Past studies on work engagement of employee found that employees who are engaged are likely to demonstrate positive organizational outcomes such as lower turnover intention, greater customer satisfaction, and greater level of productivity and profit.
Engagement is also seen as a positive effect that has relation with the job and the environment of work, and engagement connotes or overtly denotes sense of persistence, alertness, energy, vigor, dedication, absorption, enthusiasm, as well as pride.
2. Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction is the main priority for all organizations in establishing their policy, and as a concept that has linkage to the humanitarian and utilitarian viewpoints, it is worth the scrutiny. The humanitarian viewpoint is postulates that employee satisfaction level is linked to the degree to which employees are receiving fair and apposite treatment in the organization.
Whereas the utilitarian viewpoint indicated that employee satisfaction contributes to behaviors impacting the operation of the organization. Job satisfaction is also viewed as a quantifiable depiction of an emotion related response towards certain job; in other words, the person performing the job feels satisfied with it.
Likewise, job satisfaction relates to how people feel about their jobs and about the differing aspects of their jobs. Meanwhile, in a study, job satisfaction was described as the extent to which employees are fond of their work.
3. Affective Organizational Commitment
Affective organizational commitment encompasses emotional attachment felt by employee in addition to their identification with and participation in their organization and its goals. It encompasses a bond established by employees within the organization and there has been strong linkage between affective organizational commitment and positive work-related behaviors (e.g., dedication and loyalty).
Affective organizational commitment is also describable as the association of a person with an organization, his/her belief in the goals established by the organization, and working to achieve those goals by being part of that organization.
Relevantly, affective organizational commitment has been viewed as a force uniting a person to action that relates to one or more targets, This term has been used in defining organizational commitment whereby three characteristics are involved as follows: a solid conviction and acceptance towards goals and values of the organization; readiness to make significant effort on behalf of the organization; and a strong wish remain as part of the organization.
Employee Performance can be described as responses in the form of behaviors reflecting what has been learned by the employee or the kind of training that the employee has received; it encompasses the outcome of the mental and psychological capabilities.
It is a concept that is increasingly popular amongst scholars of management sciences, as employee performance is vital to both individual and the organization. Employee Performance contributes to the overall betterment of the processes of the organization particularly in terms of efficiency and productivity.
Employee performance has linkage to the activities and tasks employees carry out in effective and efficient manner, and it also dictates how much employees contribute to the organization and among the contributions of employees are output quantity, work attendance, and accommodating attitude.
Furthermore, the financial or non-financial outcomes of the employee which are closely related to the performance and success of the organization is also reflected by employee performance. It entails the full outcome or success of a person during specific periods of duty as opposed to the predetermined and established standard of work and targets or criteria.
Performance is the product of the capacity of employee, multiplied with support and effort. Hence, reduction or nonexistence of one factor will cause decrease in performance.
Work-Life Balance, Happiness at Work and Employee Performance
1. Work-Life Balance and Employee Performance
In the era of knowledge, different skill sets and requirements are needed from employees, as opposed to those required during the era of industry. Correspondingly, within organizations, work health is deemed to be a resource, and as emphasized by researchers, for management, the promotion of employee’s health should be made as the organization’s vital part.
However, considering the limitation of resources, the issue is on how an individual could manage to have satisfactory personal life while also delivering excellent results at work, The emerging question is on whether both goals are contradictory or complementary to one another.
Inability to attain the correct balance with respect to effort and reward has significant linkage to the dearth of control over workload as well as lack of energy in fulfilling personal needs and obligation. When there is imbalance between effort and reward, fatigue, poor performance and declined life quality can result.
There are generally three primary concerns pertaining work-life imbalance considering that it is impacted by technological influence.
- Developments at work which can be a hazard the work life balance,
- Shifting nature of work activities particularly tasks that are associated with technology which requires updated knowledge of the field,
- Regarding the shifting work demands.
There have been a lot of explanations regarding work life balance and the notion would have different meaning to different individuals with generational differences which greatly contribute to these differing perspectives.
Work-life balance implicates the attitudes, behaviors and wellbeing of employees as well as the effectiveness of the organization. Hence, companies are obliged to integrate new management practices that provide social and supervisory support. The perceptions of superiors towards their employee work-life conflict also greatly dictate the career progress of employees.
In the last few years, the issue of work-life balance has been heavily scrutinized particularly in terms of increasing the flexibility of paid work and improvements in working conditions. In this regard, employees with heavy workloads were reported to have low work life balance, were less likely to be embedded within their jobs while also demonstrating poor job performance.
It is possible for employees to leave their work if their failure in integrating work and network roles becomes intolerable. The withdrawal may be in a form of absenteeism, below optimum level performance, or they can leave the organization for good.
In the context of organizations and people, work life balance has demonstrated its significance since the past decades. Work life balance has indeed been found to be the major factor in the productivity improvement of employees and this has a positive impact on the general performance of organizations. An organization needs to implement effective work-life balance policy, that is, a policy that allows employees to remain socially connected with society while cost and turnover are controlled, and productivity improved.
2. Happiness at Work and Employee Performance
The latest studies reported that employees who are happy appear to be more involved in work roles while enjoying greater level of job satisfaction. As reported by American Psychological Association (2014), employers advocate the significance of making employees happy, and in fact, these employers are intensifying their efforts for the sake of their employees’ happiness.
The main concern is employee’s engagement owing to the fact that engaged workers appear to have greater level of motivation while demonstrating more involvement in their jobs and organizations, and showing greater level of productivity and readiness to go beyond expectation in assisting the survival and growth of their organizations.
As reported by studies, happy employees are inclined to show greater level of productivity, produce fresh ideas and attempt to accomplish similar job use different groundbreaking methods to improve effectiveness and reduce the time spent.
Furthermore, among the desirable effects to be anticipated from having affectively committed employees are: better professional endeavor and performance, positive employee outcomes and behaviors, and innovative behavior demonstrated by employees. Review of the extant literature is demonstrated that having strong affective commitment towards the organization makes employees work harder at their jobs and show better performance as opposed to those that have less affective commitment.
The impact of Work-life balance and Happiness at work (employee engagement, job satisfaction, and affective organizational commitment) on employee performance is significantly high. Work-life balance has a positive significant impact on employee performance.
In particular, the impact of employee feeling comfortable (both physical and mental) on organizational success and its importance i.e. employees with good feeling and only small degree of stress at work and at home show more likelihood to experience satisfaction with their work. The individuals who feel that there is interference of work roles with family roles shows less likelihood to feel that they possess work-life balance.