Literature Review

3708 Words Sep 6th, 2010 15 Pages
Topic and Construct Definition
This Literature Review focuses on the implementation of work -life balance policies and the effects they have on organisations. As defined by Lockwood (2003) work-life balance is “a state of equilibrium in which the demands of both a person’s job and personal life are equal.” This paper will review the consequences work life balance policies have on organisational performance, weighing up the cost and benefits for the organisation when introducing a work life balance policy. It is important to determine if the net impact is positive, and if it is beneficial for organisations to implement work life balance policies. A firm will only implement such policies if it has a positive return on investment. The
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This may include costs associated with changing processes or culture.

Indirect costs also include loss of team spirit, perceived favoritism of certain employees over others and being branded as uncommitted and unmotivated if requiring the work life policies (Byrne, 2005). This list of costs and benefits is drawn from a number of sources. The exact mix of costs and benefits in an individual firm will vary with the work-life balance policies offered and the characteristics of the firm itself.

Empirical Review

The CBI has estimated that sickness absence in the UK costs £11 billion per year. Any reduction in sickness absence would represent a significant saving for organizations. The Chubb Group insurance companies reported a reduction in absences from 12,120 days per year to 10,549 days per year following the introduction of a paid time off policy for family illness (Dex and Sheibl, 1999).

Research by Lockwood (2003) has documented that Johnson & Johnson “found that there was a 50% decline in absenteeism among employees who used flexible work options and family leave policies.” It is important to note that both the rate of voluntary resignations and the absenteeism rate are lower where employees

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