Work LifeBalance Programs for Women

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The term work-life balance has been in use for quite a long time and refers to the flexible working atmosphere provided to both parents and non-parents to keep a balance between their work and personal life. Work-life balance programs intend to provide new ways to work and life that give a flexible and satisfactory atmosphere to the workers (Zedeck and Mosier, 1990). To put it in the words of Pillinger (2001), work-life balance programs provide adjusting work patterns so that everyone, regardless of age, race or gender, can find a rhythm that enables them more easily to combine work and their other responsibilities and aspirations. In the words of a layman work-life balance program is defined as a perceived balance between work and the rest of the life (Guest, 2001).Also known as flexplace or telecommuting, the program allows the employees to work at home. At the same time the employee must keep his/her contact with his/her office through computers or virtual private networks.Work-life balance programs become a necessity when the overwhelming demands of work-life and personal life become incompatible. Such a situation makes it difficult for the workers to participate in their work-life and family life at the same time (Duxbury and Higgins, 2001). There has been a dramatic increase in the adult working women population in the United Kingdom who are in paid employment (Taylor, n.d.). Women, in particular, are in a great need for such kinds of programs as they perform multifold domestic duties along with their job at the workplace. In a survey, it was disclosed that approximately 48% of the women aged between 18-64 have the responsibility of taking care of dependent children and 80% of mothers look after the medical needs of their children. 44% of women believe that they are primarily responsible for the health insurance decisions of their families. More than one-fifth of the women having dependent children reported having no access to health facilities (Wyn and Ojeda, 2003).