Essay, 15 pages (3500 words)

Work life balance in pakistan management essay


The paper examines the responsiveness and application of factors that are related to balance of time in family and work i.e. policies, culture, training and the way they impact work and life balance. The paper also attempts to find the association between the policy, training, and culture with work life balance. The results are un-tied by the samples collected by 98 respondents from different companies in different industries. These responses show results, which demonstrate significant association among policies, training, and culture with work life balance. The results indicate the understanding of areas of policies, training, and culture in which the right decisions can bring balance in work and personal/family life.Keywords: Work Life Balance, Quality of Life, Family Friendly Companies, Human Resource Management, Pakistan.


In this era organizations are facing high competition on global basis, and due to this employees are facing increased performance pressures, it also have increased the working hours at the workplace for employees, managers and it may be more increased for professionals (Schor, 1991). For the high performance purposes the organizations have now higher expectations for commitment of work and time by the staffs.The high hopes are challenging for men with families and even more difficult for the women because they also have to perform different household tasks in bulk (Hochschild, 1989, 1997). These factors contribute to the low entry reason by females in higher management (Burke & McKeen, 1992), higher levels work plus family conflicts might also be reported by men and women both.Work Life Balance is the most problematic issue being faced by families in 21st century. Economic pressures have been increased significantly over last decade, majority of the families at the present require at least two breadwinners for meeting the rise in cost of living (Ford, Heinen, & Langkamer, 2007).The “family friendly” phrase was used for the companies attempting to care work and life balance (Rodgers & Rodgers, 1989). The early work included creation of strategies that are much favourable for well-adjusted work life balance. These efforts of advanced companies had described through the list for top best companies to work in, and in mainstream journals (Burke, 1995, 1997, 1999). The work on this issue still not created any change and had not influence, unfortunately (Bailyn, 1994). The most auspicious efforts can be said which primarily deal with norms in workplace, that are the reason for reduced work personal stability and production of organization (Bailyn, Fletcher, & Kolb, 1997; Fletcher & Bailyn, 1996; Fletcher & Rapaport, 1996). However, still this type of struggles is infrequent.The concept “Time Bind” was used by (Hochschild, 1997) for describing the ways in which employees like to divide their time for their work and personal life in such a way that is dissimilar from the situation it is being divided currently, but they find it unable and difficult. The employees may have desire for more or less time to work, and more or less personal time, and they cannot do this because of their fixed work and personal commitments.In simple words it is apparent imbalance in job and private time. Opposing to time bind there stands work and family balance. This involves more issues rather including only time imbalance, and difficulty to achieve balance.This gives emphasis on individual toward controlling the job and domestic situation. Though, employees that are capable of mechanise their environment stands one example, (Carlson & Kacmar, 2000; Shelton, 2006), especially the females not permanent working due to personal duties (Drago, Black, & Wooden, 2004; Pocock, 2005). That is the reason; balancing roles stay extra problematic for women as compared to men. For the reason that social norms yet believe men to have focus to carriers, while females should emphasis on household (Biggs & Brough, 2005; Buttner & Moore, 1997; Haar & O’Driscoll, 2005; Raskin, 2006).

Literature Review:

(Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985) described that clash in work or personal, was due to involvement in one. (Becker & Huselid, 1998) distinguished work life clashes the same by writing it “a lack of fit” in the employee’s personal life responsibilities and organizational task. In the 1990’s the organizations accepted the fact that if they wanted to keep the employees, it is necessary to increase the determination, pleasure of employees, commitment, decrease the stress, then work associated difficulties (Cappelli, 2000). Training activities increase the cost, but if the turnover rate is reduced this will refer to decrease in expenses, so this is the inspiration for organization for implementing work-life balance. In addition to this the staffs tensed out, create mistakes and also go on leaves. Some of the extreme cases employees also suffer emotional exhaustion and burnout (H. C. Lingard, Yip, Rawlinson, & Kvan, 2007). In 1990’s employers accepted that advantages for implementing balance strategies to recruit and retain best staff (Cieri, Holmes, Abbott, & Pettit, 2002). It reveals the commitment of an employer for employees, to keep balance between family and work life that could be in terms of introducing the work hours that are flexible, child care and parental/family leave policies.When changes in organization structures were made, in which extra participative and not as much of hierarchical structures were brought in the requirement of work life balance enlarged (Cieri et al., 2002). (H. Lingard & Francis, 2005a) stated that less than 35 years males were much stressed, they stood also intense to bring transformation in to business providing accommodation for work life balance. The advantage to the work and personal balance exists when employees turn into extra diversify employees (Bond, Galinksy, & Swanberg, 1997), employees by old population and family commitments will grow (“Equal Employment Opportunities Trust,” 2007). Several researches indicated the females tolerate impact of domestic duties; consequently mostly stress remains probably on females (Abbott, Cieri, & Lverson, 1998; Konrad & Mangel, 200).The obstacles in work and personal balance remains culture in work place which is unsupportive i.e. not to facilitate employees to take work at home, and executives are not in favour to promote work life balance, along with this high organization dedication is also a barrier to family life commitments (Cieri et al., 2002). In addition to this isolated and uncooperative environment for employees at work place that encourage and reward long working hours, and helping to fulfil other life commitments that are external to organization like taking care for elders and sick relatives. Behaviours, attitudes of senior management and supervisors that give preference in recruiting to those people that are perceived to be similar of themselves (homo-sociability) along with this learning about work and personal balance policies exist also as an obstacles in execution (Cieri et al., 2002). A survey was conducted in New Zealand by the Department of Labour and it was exposed positive association among office culture & work life balance, and also using work strategies plus policies (“Equal Employment Opportunities Trust,” 2007). Survey that was conducted in 2007 shown more requirement for implementing work life balance policies in the public sector organizations (“Managing Work-Life Balance International,” 2007), it also found some of the barriers that may affect private sector more as compared to public sector companies. Literature shows reliabilities on variables along with obstacles in work life balance (“Equal Employment Opportunities Trust,” 2007; “Managing Work-Life Balance International,” 2007).

Work Life Balance and Professions:

Employees working in construction are perceived as accepting disorganized working practices from decades (Ball, 1998; H. Lingard & Francis, 2005a; Loosemore, Dainty, & Lingard, 2003). (Dainty, Bagilhole, & Neale, 1999) study for UK shown that the profession that are site based are time consuming along with this influence family responsibilities and mostly accepting the long working hours is the geographical transient culture. This was also revealed that these practices and the culture lead towards lower retention rate particularly for females. (Dainty et al., 1999). The studies in Australia have also confirmed the issues of suffering exhaustion, anxiety, high turnover rate and work family conflicts (H. Lingard & Francis, 2005a, 2005b, 2006; H. Lingard & Sublet, 2002). (H. Lingard & Lin, 2004) study based on 109 females revealed that women value work life balance practices as they value transparency, support and feel more committed to such employers. This is also found that employees not like to choose construction as carriers because it is not compatible with family life due to long working hours, and they are required to select among family or work (H. Lingard & Lin, 2004). The obligation of organization towards work life balance established as determine factor for worker absenteeism rate. Taking construction business of Australia in consideration female participation remained about 7.9 % in total staff due to these factors (H. Lingard & Francis, 2005a).Furthermore it is also revealed that the exhaustion starts from class room. The study of (H. C. Lingard et al., 2007), which was based on 227 construction students stated that students displayed anxiety, exhaustion, lack of involvement and high rate of pessimism (H. C. Lingard et al., 2007). The schoolboys tried to balance work along with education obligations by distress to not go in to this segment after completion of education or will leave it soon thereafter (H. C. Lingard et al., 2007). Exhaustion occurs after some time, i.e. continuous strain, plus apprentices remain in continuous stress for bringing stability in their work and family life then ahead entering in the labour force. A study in New Zealand show that 40 per cent workers of New Zealand employees have work life balance problems (“Department of Labour (DOL),” 2007).Particularly construction sector remains in pressure due to its traditional working patterns, and also experiencing retention problems partly due to floating markets. Benefits besides knowledge about work life balance is acknowledged in many public and private organizations have taken up the practices (“Managing Work-Life Balance International,” 2007). Obstacles in implementing these policies are outcome for not adopting these strategies.

Characteristics of Workforce:

The estimated total population of Pakistan is about 174.39 million, out of which 53.84 million were employed (SBP 2010-11). According to Labour Force Survey (“Statistical Bureau of Pakistan (PBS),” 2010-2011) of Statistical Bureau of Pakistan labour participation rate in Pakistan was 45.7 per cent, and unemployment rate was 6 per cent. Pakistan has the aging population rate as anticipated for 60 years and above is 11.9; those employed but are 60 years or above are 37.3 per cent, and for 65 and above is 14 which is also unemployed labour force (“Statistical Bureau of Pakistan (PBS),” 2010-2011).The separate data for employed persons rank levels and occupation is not available in numbers because, this type of data is recorded in their particular company or business for both private and government sector. Most of the persons are employed in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and wholesale-retail businesses. This includes all the occupations like trade, finance, and administration.The manufacturing employment share in overall employment rate is 13.7, in construction the rate is 7.0, and for communication sector 5.1. Hence these sectors stand big enough and also add meaningfully in GNP and economy of Pakistan (“Statistical Bureau of Pakistan (PBS),” 2010-2011).

Workforce Participation:

The increased numbers of working women in the workforce have highlighted the concerns for the balance in the commitment for work plus family (Davidson & Burke, 1994; Schwartz, 1992). Furthermore, this is not only concern of the women; men also have shown their interest in balanced work and life commitment (Burke & Nelson, 1998). The fact is revealed situation might problematic to accomplish the well-adjusted commitment (Hochschild, 1997).In Pakistan participation in work by females have been raised also over last decade this has been increased to 21.7 which is 12.11 million, age specifically females of 60 years or above age working are 11.9 per cent. Female’s unemployment rate is 8.9 which is 1.18 million. Females working in particularly manufacturing sector is 10.9 per cent and in communication sector the rate is per cent, therefore it can be said employers are now keen for retention of females. Now, this stands very significant to the companies of manufacturing and communication towards retaining the employees and it could only possible by maintaining the work life balance policies (“Statistical Bureau of Pakistan (PBS),” 2010-2011).


The first variable is policies of a company regarding working hours and paternity/maternity leaves, part time work, work at home, and the second variable is counselling and training to employees and their family about the maintaining work plus personal life balance, third variable stands culture in the organization if the company and the executives supports the work life balance and understand the issues raised by this, and employees support to each other in case of emergency, all of these were independent variables, and the work life balance is a dependent variable. Hypothesis is whether organizational policies, training, culture can bring balance in work life and personal life or not. In order to test the hypothesis regression and correlation statistical methods were used.

Research Objectives:

The primary objective was to reveal some factors that can bring work life balance in a profession, to get rid of issues being faced due to inefficient work life balance. The purpose is giving bench mark for work life balance to employees along with employers in different industries of Pakistan. This has been informed with a deep understanding of practices for work life balance. Somehow this too shows the previous policies in work life balance revealed in earlier researches (RICS, 2003, 2005). In addition, it will show the practices currently being followed in Pakistani industries in respect of work life balance.

Questionnaire Design:

The tool used in survey was settled by five point scale. The questions in the instrument focus on key areas.Questions in instrument were developed that bases on earlier work (Carlier, Llorente, & Grau, 2012), these questions mirrored questions that are related toward work life balance. Furthermore the research also used some questions from the questionnaire that was settled for surveying (Wilkinson, 2008), as that questions covers the related subjects.The instrument was based on the parts. The first part collected the data regarding company, the sector in which company operates. The part two inspected the terms and conditions regarding employment, like the respondents have the flexible working and paternity and maternity leaves are given under the head of policies. The part three focused on training and counselling programs according to work life balance. The fourth part asked responsibilities and roles of management for work life balance. The last part asked for the culture of the organization if it supports creating work life balance or not.

Research Population and Sampling:

Primarily investigation was held in textile industry through the Human Resource professionals. Subsequently, numerous developments were brought in to the questionnaire.Now as soon as refining the questionnaire, comprehensive examination was done in textile, telecommunication, and fast-food sector, the questionnaire was given to staffs of companies with post and e-mails, and with some references. Overall 150 questionnaires were circulated in many organizations of different industries in Pakistan. Schoolchildren and jobless individuals were excluded in this research. Then respondents were given the guarantee that their given information will be retained private. Total 98 questionnaires were returned to the researcher. Generally the research population were from managerial positions mostly. The data were then entered in SPSS software version 15 for the purpose to analyse the data to reach at a conclusion. The data were not collected for the name, gender, age, and ethnicity.

Data Analysis:

The correlation and regression measures of statistics were used for analysis purposes using SPSS software. Descriptive statistics was used to measure central tendencies, mean, correlation and standard deviation. For the purpose to test the hypothesis and relationship among the variables Pearson’s Correlation was used with regression using SPSS software.Table 1 shows the descriptive statistics: mean of the variables, standard deviation of variables, and Pearson’s coefficients of correlation among the variables of this particular research. SPSS software was used for the purpose to find the relationship among variables under Pearson’s correlation; numerous significant correlations were observed between the variables. All of three independent variables (i.e. policies of company for working hours and leaves, training and counselling on the issue of work life balance and culture in organization towards work life balance) have significant effect on the dependent variable (work life balance). Work life balance was significantly and positively related to Policies (r=0.346, p<0.01), to Training (r=0.335, p=0.01), and to Culture (r=0.339, p=0.01)Table 1: Mean, Standard Deviation, and Correlation.MeanS.D.1231-Policies4.2551.503832-Training4.5321.55869.1043-Culture4.4082.82283.144.1314-Work Life Balance4.6837.46743.346**.335**.339**.N=98, *p<0.05, **p<0.01.For the purpose to test statistical significance of the relationships between variables with strength, regression analysis was used with SPSS software.The hypothesis was tested with regression, taking the work life balance was set as a dependant variable, while policies, training and culture was taken in as an independent variables. Analysis presented the results of coefficients from independent to dependant variables.The tables that were the outcome of "Enter" method of regression analysis are given as under i.e. Table 2. The table included model summary, coefficients of variables, and ANOVA table. In the model summary, the value of R is 52.7%, which is showing the correlation between the forecasted values for dependant variable. The R-square shows the inconsistency in the dependant variable (work life balance); it can be explained through independent variables (policies, training, and culture). It shows the relationship in variables. The value of R-square shows that 28 per cent change in work life balance is caused by these expecting variables, remaining is caused by other factors.ANOVA table is showing the significant F statistics (F=12.019, p<0.01), which shows that using the model is better than guessing the mean.Now taking into consideration the standardized regression coefficients, independent variables i.e. policies, training, and culture have a positive path coefficients to work life balance.The standardized total effect of policies on work life balance is 0.280, p<0.005, it means that increase in the policies by 1 is liable for increasing the work life balance by 0.280 and vice-versa, then moving to the training the total effect of training on the work life balance is 0.272, p<0.005, it shows that the increase in training by 1 is liable to increase the work life balance by 0.272 and vice-versa. Then culture effect on the work life balance is 0.263, p<0.005, it shows that the increase in culture by 1 is liable for increase in work life balance by 0.263 and vice-versa. It indicates that policies, training, and culture have positive relationship with work life balance. The results gained by the analysis indicates that policies of working hours and leaves, training and counselling on these issues and culture supportive to work life balance have a great significance and effect on maintaining work and life balance.

Model Summary

ModelRR SquareAdjusted R SquareStd. Error of the Estimate1.527.277.254.40368


ModelSum of SquaresdfMean SquareFSig.1Regression5.87631.95912.019.000Residual15.31894.163Total21.19497


ModelUnstandardized CoefficientsStandardized CoefficientstSig.BStd. ErrorBetaBStd. Error1(Constant)1.890.4793.947.000Policies.260.083.2803.148.002Training.227.074.2723.059.003Culture.149.051.2632.948.004Dependent variable: Work Life Balance.Independent variables: Policies, Training, and Culture.The research conducted earlier (RICS, 2003) shows that flexible policies for work are the important factor that most of the workers feel will increase the balance in work and personal life. Then research examined work hours that are flexible, sharing of job, part time working, working at the home, compressed hours, leaving work due to emergency at home, career breaks, paternity or maternity leaves, efforts to reintegrate the employees after long leaves, under the head of policies. The research examined training and counselling issues, there was the more response to the agree options that shows respondents were confident to this that through counselling and training work life balance can be brought in. Furthermore it was also examined the importance of manager support, clear implementation, responsibility of a ranked person for work life balance.This analysis lead us to understanding that policies, training and culture can support and hinder the opportunity of harmonizing work along with family or personal life, and flexibility helps employees to achieve balance in work and personal life.

Discussion and Conclusion:

The situation is clear by results, work on policies, training and culture has impact on work life balance; the findings are confirmed by the samples that were taken from different companies in different industries. The obtained results reinforce the significance of policies, training, and culture on balance in work and personal life. Furthermore companies maintaining work life balances are capable for perform better. Interestingly the data driven results supported the use of flexible policies, training and culture can bring balance in work and personal life. Therefore investment in these areas is favourable for the company. The results also indicate the investment in these areas can be important for the company. The investment depends on the size and characteristics of a company.The results give a purpose for being positive or negative for work life balance, resulting by policies for elastic work hours, work at home, and job sharing, taking a break in career or compressed working hours. In addition to this culture of unsocial hours of work as told (Cieri et al., 2002) remains solid even employer never depress it. There was lack in knowledge about the maternity or paternity leaves, or the research population was dominantly based on males, they never want using these advantages, as research collected the no information regarding age, and sex, so it limits to interpret the results for this, or it could be employees felt that the employer will not provide pay on this leave.The companies need to make clear that training programs are occurring without discriminating factor (“Equal Employment Opportunities Trust,” 2007; “Managing Work-Life Balance International,” 2007). The training for suitable purpose should take place, and also requirement should better quality, on diversity with increasing female participation (OECD, 2007).It is true most of the work life balance strategies remain understandable also reachable but yet half are not understandable or accessible, employees need to be educated on these (“Equal Employment Opportunities Trust,” 2007) else employees should start the programmes themselves. The working should be done to guide the employees, policies and culture supporting to this and this could only be done by training and counselling.Transparency is required for validating finest of the policies should implemented and being used, absenteeism remains a major problem when employee is leaving because of work life balance when employer have invested on him in term on recruitment, retaining, and training him. The companies will be facing the problems due to this, if they not give value to their employees. The research indicated where companies have implemented the practices and demonstrates where more work is to be done also.Policies are essential but not important if not complemented by the real time examples of executives, and managers, with a consideration for culture in companies, and family. In companies better communication along with cross culture friendship may support growth in improved work and domestic settings.

Future Research:

The paper give understanding of areas where working can bring work and life balance. Further research can be based on a case study to have a complete view of how different factors impact the work life balance.The paper collected the primary data based on the responsiveness by employees regarding work life balance and not prepares to discover if employees have been facing adverse effects caused by inequality of work and family. In future (H. Lingard & Francis, 2005a, 2005b; H. Lingard & Lin, 2004; H. Lingard & Sublet, 2002), rather than examining the issues, the cross professional comparison can be made.


This research paper has some limitations. Responses were small to be able to get more clear results, and the research population did not cover all the industries. There are many professionals that belong to other industries were not taken in to participate because the research was limited on ground basis, their views would have addition to this research. Moreover the respondent’s information cannot always be correct to reflect the reality. Lastly, without trust the people do not share their data with others.

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