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Overview of work-life balance discourse and its relevance in current economic scenario

Naithani, Pranav (2010): Overview of work-life balance discourse and its relevance in current economic scenario. Published in: Asian Social Science , Vol. 6, No. 6 (June 2010): pp. 148-155.

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During the second half of the 20th century, with work demands increasingly encroaching on family and personal time at a faster pace, employers acknowledged the need of work-life balance programmes to facilitate employees maintain a healthy balance between the conflicting demands of their work and personal life. Availability of work-life balance facilities to employees witnessed a phenomenal growth between the late eighties of the 20th century and early years of the 21st century. This growth has been abruptly interrupted by the current economic downturn. Increasing numbers of organisations, in the name of cost cutting, have either curtailed work-life balance facilities or are contemplating to do the same. This paper analyses the emergence of work-life balance discourse, from the days of early communal living till the present day theories, and presents a macro level model of work-life balance. Further, a detailed analysis of proven and anticipated benefits of work-life balance is presented to justify the need of work-life balance initiatives at organisational level during the present economic downturn.

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