Literature Review on Work-Life Balance

Literature Review on Work-Life Balance

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October 7, 2013.


Literature work on such topics: work life, culture at work place and maternity and children care is intertwined and tends to complement one another from this, work life promote healthy environment for all workers to work in a dedicated manner towards the realization of their respective organization’s goals (Redmond, Valiulis, Drew, 2006).

This paper utilizes is theoretical review which is a specialized review, compares and presents various concepts or theories drawn from the same topic founded on assumption.

Literature and findings on work-life balance

The ladies who are expectant within a particular work environment are likely to look around and interrogate how the others who have been in the same situation have been treated and make their decisions based on this.

The issue that is visible from this literature work is that there is increased clamor for work places to be transformed through injection of work-life balance as the steering principles. Though these transformations are likely to face some challenges but will in the long attain the designed gains both to an individual and their organization.

It is apparent that some organization have always put in place measures that are aimed at derailing or crippling change but there is a good number of them that have moved a notch higher to put in place mechanism of improving their recruitment processes, retaining highly skilled work force and motivating their employees so as to better their performances.

This research has some undersides. For example, it didn’t include those workers that have no children and given that its first concentration was on parents. However, these people will automatically be parents at one time and their quest to have children or not will be pegged on the prevalent working conditions at their respective working places.

In addition to this, the attitude of these workers towards their colleagues who have children is not known. This can therefore be a basis for results that doesn’t reflect the views of a wider workforce.

Secondly, the effects of future employment practices on cohorts are not known. According to the author, Fine Davis et al (2004) research in four countries makes an observation of key areas that ought to be further researched on. He notes of the need for additional information so as to have a better understanding of the challenges facing working parents and also inform the policies that should be addressed. Advancement of equitable work-life guidelines with tune workers going both individuals and the collective group, women to be relined work-family responsibilities, men to actively participate in handling domestic matters, employees to initiate sufficient work place flexibility. To him these issues ought to be thoroughly researched on in order to come up with proper policy programs of promoting work-life balance and general working conditions.

There appears to be complete blackout on the role played by men when handling crisis pregnancies. Also it has been noted that majority of mother are willing to switch their jobs for child bearing. There are not clear justification but suggested reasons are pay disparities of gender, gender-biased labor markets, work place policies that mostly deters fathers from seeking that not more pressure on fathers. Also in case of crisis pregnancies it is not known whether the working behaviors of father’s do influence the decision to keep a child or not.

As a result of this one is likely to influence decision-making on child arrangements but it is not clear to what level are these decisions made between couples or solely by one.

The literature Review has a number of limitations. For instance, potential results of some researchers have not been maximized. This can be attributed to the framing of question that limits respondents or ill-phrased, also from only unionized employees thus excludes views of non- unionized workers. In addition to these, the ICTU Study deployed postal questioning as a methodology is agreeably less effective in attaining high number of respondents than say one- on- one or phonier interviews moreover, the studies are not standardized and this hinders comparisons and contrasts a process that is very vital in obtaining a comprehensive view point of particular research sample. Finally there instead of passed opportunities for example the child minders the level of study (2004) the target of this study was to examine the link between the child-minders and state institution. Therefore its limited scope on looking into issues like income, levels of training, routines and proposals for adjustments was an example of a lost opportunity.

Literature and findings on workplace culture

The author argues that both national and international literature that is about the implementation of work-life policies proposes that:

First, policy implementation should be a product of consultations and effective communication forms the basis of these consultations.

Secondly, flexible working programs should be piloted on small scale before they are fully implemented on large scale so as to maximize its efficacy.

Thirdly, any proposal to adjust work arrangements must be a reflection of the views from all cadres of workers. This will make these employees to own up the process and feel obligated to work towards the success of the programs.

Finally, real action must be taken instead of further policy initiatives that are rarely implemented. This will boost employee confidence in their organizations.

Innovations at work place be enhanced and spread as the main strategic reaction to prevalent and irrigable challenges. Additionally, a 3-year fund should be created and advanced to the national centre for partnership and performance (NCPP). This will promote innovative into human resource management. Redmond, Valiulis, & Drew (2006) observe that there should be deliberate measures of promoting flexible working policies so as to foster proper and efficient workmanship at workplaces.

The author notes that a research carried out by Families and work institute concluded that work place culture holds the key to institutional transformation. They propose a four stage by stage approach that will finally culminate into a paradigm reorganization of workplaces. These stages are: Stage I: Grass root child care and woman’s affairs are addressed here. Stage 2- Human resource recruitment and retention of employees is sorted at this point. Stage 3,-cultural change, emphasize on the need to transform work redesigning through the above 4 pronged approach; the entire work place culture can be transformed for the better.

Literature and findings on maternity and Childcare and maternity issues

The following recommendations have been put forward for implementation. First, there should be deliberate measures of supporting women to re-join their workplace after giving birth.

Secondly, the possibility of public- private partnership in the provision of childcare services should be put into practice so as to enhance proper and quality service delivery.

Finally, for there to be increased quality and standards of the services provided, quality controls and provision of subsidies to child care centers should be practiced.

On practical terms, international literature has shown that result oriented strategies should be pursued. For example a study in Scotland where new childcare partnership in majority of local areas which included the provision of childcare services provision; there were records of improved services that were provided by these childcare facilities.

Recommendation for further research

There is a proposal that further research ought to be done on work life balance in Ireland, knowledge in Irish chapter extensive research in the following areas is necessary.

First, there should be practical policy frameworks on how to implement, manage and supervise work related policies in different work places.

Secondly, there should be further surveys in Ireland to understand the gains and challenges that employees who have implement flexible policies are experiencing

Thirdly, a more detailed study on the efficiency or redundancy/ ineffective of specific policies that are needed in specific cases should be conducted.

Finally, there should be further studies on the dynamic nature of roles played by mothers and fathers and also on gender divisions in domestic roles of each and whether flexible policies aid or cripple traditional gender roles.

The above proposals will be productions if further out case studies of individual work places or through pilot projects covering a number f work place

The following are suggested studies and are based on the above proposals.

Study 1

There should be a number of surveys in a range of organization to determine their gains and challenges of implementing work life balance policies.

Study 2

There ought to be interrogation of frameworks and proposals in relation to implementation of work life balance policies in each organization so as to effect of these policies can be realized.

Study 3

A quantitative study be carried out and the survey shall feature variables like; age, occupation, status, earning and parental status.

Study 4

A combined qualitative and quantitative survey be explored with an aim of studying the success of specific work place policies, this study will determine formally or informally, the take up of rate of each type and the extent of implementation

Study 5

This study will be on attitude survey on whether flexible policies backed the old gender obligations at work and home.

Study 6

This study shall accommodate questionnaire that shall be sent organization managers both in small and medium sized enterprises and will address specific issues like; their views on their role in aiding employees to attain work-life balance, their respective experiences in implementing flexible working in terms of cost and organization.

In summary, this literature review may have a number of limitations, but it does propose a number of recommendations that if fully implemented, work-life balance will be attained.


Redmond,J. & Valiulis,M.&Drew,E (2006). Literature review of issues related to work-life

balance, Workplace culture and maternity/childcare issues, NO 6.

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