Work—life conflict is not gender-specific. According to the Center for American Progress , 90 percent of working mothers and 95 percent of working fathers report work—family conflict. Organizations play a large part in how their employees deal with work—life balance. Some companies have taken proactive measures in providing programs and initiatives to help their employees cope with work—life balance. The conflict of work and family can be exacerbated by perceived deviation from the "ideal worker" archetype, leading to those with caretaker roles to be perceived as not as dedicated to the organization.
This has a disproportionate impact on working mothers,  who are seen as less worthy of training than childless women. Many authors believe that parents being affected by work—life conflict will either reduce the number of hours one works, where other authors suggest that a parent may run away from family life or work more hours at a workplace. Research conducted by the Kenexa Research Institute KRI evaluated how male and female workers perceive work—life balance and found that women are more positive than men in how they perceive their company's efforts to help them balance work and life responsibilities.
The report is based on the analysis of data drawn from a representative sample of 10, U. The results indicated a shift in women's perceptions about work—life balance. In the past, women often found it more difficult to maintain balance due to the competing pressures at work and demands at home. She continues, "Women's growing earning power and commitment to the paid workforce together with the stagnation of men's social mobility make some families more financially dependent on women. As a result, the foundations of the male dominance structure have been eroded.
In recent research by Pew Research Center, it is reported that half of working mothers and fathers believe it is a challenge to simultaneously be a professional and a parent. Generally speaking, men have more interests in financial gain which requires working longer hours. Women tend to report higher desires of flexibility between profession and home life, which can allow them to be at home more frequently. Today there are many young women who do not want to just stay at home and do housework without having careers. While women are increasingly represented in the workforce, they still face challenges balancing work and home life.
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Both domestic and market labor compete for time and energy. Many men do not see work alone as providing their lives with full satisfaction, and they often want a balance between paid work and personal attachments, without being penalized at work. More men are realizing that work is not their only primary source of fulfillment from life. A new study on fatherhood shows that more men are looking for alternatives to their hour workweek in order to spend more time with their family. Though working less means a smaller paycheck and higher stress levels, men are looking for flexibility just as much as women.
However, with an ever-changing society, flexibility is becoming much more apparent.
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Traditionalism is becoming less frequent due to what's actually practical for each individual family. Men often face an unequal opportunity to family life, as they are often expected to be the financial supporter of the family unit. According to Garey and Hansen, "the masculine ideal of a worker unencumbered by care-giving obligations is built into workplace structures and patterns of reward. Steven L.
Sauter, chief of the Applied Psychology and Ergonomics Branch of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, states that recent studies show that "the workplace has become the single greatest source of stress". Problems caused by stress have become a major concern to both employers and employees.
Symptoms of stress are manifested both physiologically and psychologically. Persistent stress can result in cardiovascular disease , sexual health problems, a weaker immune system and frequent headaches, stiff muscles, or backache. It can also result in poor coping skills , irritability, jumpiness, insecurity, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating.
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Stress may also perpetuate or lead to binge eating , smoking , and alcohol consumption. The feeling that simply working hard is not enough anymore is acknowledged by many other American workers. What little time is left is often divided up among relationships, kids, and sleep.
The study states that women, in particular, report stress related to the conflict between work and family. Between trying to balance a new schedule, managing additional responsibilities, and lacking flexibility and support, they can only increase stress, potentially causing depression to the employee. Psychoanalysts diagnose uncertainty as the dominant attitude to life in the postmodern society. It is the uncertainty to fail, but also the fear of their own limits, not to achieve what the society expects, and especially the desire for recognition in all areas of life.
For example, appearance, occupation, education of the children are compared to a media-staged ideal. This idea of perfection is due to this deep-rooted aversion to all things average; the pathological pursuit to excellence. The individual is then faced with the realization that perfection does not exist. It has been noticed that a burnout affects those passionate people who seek perfection.
This condition is not considered a mental illness but only a grave exhaustion that can lead to numerous sick days. According to experts in the field, the individuals who detain the following characteristics are more prone to burnouts: the hard-working, the perfectionist , the loner , the grim and the thin-skinned. All together, they usually have a lack of a healthy distance to work, leading to work—life imbalance. Another example related to burnout is decision-makers in government offices and upper echelons.
They are not allowed to show weaknesses or signs of disease , because this would immediately lead to doubts of their ability for further responsibilities. The highest priority seems linked to the job, and it leads individuals to waive screening as a sign of weakness. Nonetheless, the burnout syndrome seems to be gaining popularity.
Nothing seems shameful about showing weaknesses, but quite the opposite, the burnout is part of a successful career like a home for the role model family. Since the description of burnout could be "socially recognized precious version of the depression and despair that lets also at the moment of failure the self-image intact", it concludes that "only losers become depressed, burnout against it is a diagnosis for winners, more precisely, for former winners.
Although burnout is linked to a more positive view, four out of five Germans complain about high stress levels. In fact, one in every sixth individual under the age of 60 consumes medication against insomnia, depression or to boost energy levels, at least once a week. Often, those individuals seem to have anxiety disorders and depression as well, which are serious mental diseases. Depression is the predominant cause of nearly 10, suicides that occur each year in Germany.
For example, in Germany, early retirement due to mental illness represented In , the percentage increased to The proportion of failures due to mental disorders seems to be increasing. In , statisticians calculated 41 million absent days that were related to these crises, leading to 3. According to Bowswell and Olson-Buchanan the recent changes in the work place are due to changes in technology. Greater technological advancements such as portable cellphones, portable computers, e-mail and cell phone have made it possible for employees to work beyond the confinement of their physical office space.
This allows employees to answer e-mails and work on deadlines after-hours while not officially "on the job". Having these technological resources at all times and everywhere increases the likelihood of employees to spend their "free time" or outside of work, family time doing work related tasks.
Employees that consider their work roles highly important are more likely to apply all these technological advancements to work while outside of their work domain. Some theorists suggest that this vague boundary of work and life is a result of technological control. Technological control unfolds from the physical technology provided by an organization". Companies use email and distribute smartphones to enable and encourage their employees to stay connected to the business even when they are not in the office.
This type of control, as Barker argues, replaces the more direct, authoritarian control, or simple control, such as managers and bosses. As a result, communication technologies in the temporal and structural aspects of work have changed, defining a "new workplace" in which employees are more connected to the jobs beyond the boundaries of the traditional workday and workplace.
The more this boundary is blurred, the higher work-to-life conflict is self-reported by employees. In a review of recent literature looking at the theory of technological control suggests employers and employees often communicate and continue to work during "off hours" or even periods of vacation. This added use of technology creates a confusion as to what the purpose of the technology poses for the individual using it. Questions such as "what is work usage media compared to non-work usage media look like" or "are we working more because it is easier and more accessible or because we want to work more?
Employee assistance professionals say there are many causes for this situation ranging from personal ambition and the pressure of family obligations to the accelerating pace of technology. According to a recent study for the Center for Work-Life Policy, 1. Technology has also provided the opportunity to work from home rather than from the company's physical office. Working from home is an initiative that arose from the efforts of improving the work—life balance. One of the ways in which the UK government believes the desired work-life balance can be achieved is by working from home.
The idea of working from home started in the UK and the number of people working from home is only increasing. By it was reported that a quarter of Britain's workforce worked from home at least part time.
Working from home can be defined as any paid work that is done primarily from home. Working from home is also known as Telecommuting.