Pressure on Work-Life Balance

A strong economy is a goal for all governments everywhere. When a nation has a strong economy it can trade with rest of the world for the resources, products and services that it needs. This lifts the standard of living of citizens of the nation.

Efficiency and productivity of business activity is an integral part of forging a strong enconomy as this enables the nation's products and services to be competitively priced in the global market place. If businesses are globally competitive, then the nation's economy will be strong.

In response to an increasing competitive global marketplace (i.e. globalisation), governments tend to make changes to Industrial Relations policy. In reality, such changes are typically about providing businesses of the nation with greater flexibility in terms of the laws regarding employment. This flexibility enables employers to hire and fire more easily and to reduce controls on the pay and conditions of work of employees. This has the effect of putting downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on productivity.

This pressure also has an effect on work-life balance and as a result there are changes in society. In particular, there is a noticeable trend towards a longer working week. The proportion of workers working very long hours i.e. 60 hours per week or more, is increasing.

Other important trends include:

  • Extending working hours by taking work home or working from home
  • Being increasingly contactable by your employer or employer's clients by mobile phone
  • Increasing job complexity and responsibility

The net effect of these trends is that there is:

  1. A blurring of the boundary between work and home life
  2. Less home life

Read about Work-Life Balance on the excellent website: Employers for Work-Life Balance

Read the Fact sheet provided and more.


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