The intent of this essay is to discourse the construct of work- life balance, pulling on philosophical and theoretical positions.
Keeping work- life balance is a modern-day issue that affects many of us, and yet we can look to the ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato ( Hall 2006 ) to steer us towards what can look like this elusive province. The Aristotelean doctrine is that in pursuit of the Good Life, we seek liberty but besides proof from others ; we want to be able to look back and see that we had a life good lived ; we need to develop certain accomplishments and to gainfully use both our mind and our emotions ( Young 2005 ) . This implies that we should prosecute a well- rounded being, which has deductions for work- life balance.
In prosecuting the Good Life we are besides seeking felicity, a province that Aristotle perceived as a virtuousness ( Buss Mitchell 2004 ) . The deduction here is that felicity is a positive feature that helps to do us productive. Achieving work- life balance is linked to happiness and productiveness, the two constituents are non reciprocally sole ; they are mutualist. Happiness in one country of life is likely to impact upon the individual’s effectivity in the other. Aristotle described virtuousness as being a balance between two extremes ( Fields 2003 ) ; applied to work- life balance, this implies that we should non pass excessively much of our lives working but neither should we hold prolonged leisure clip which is unproductive. Working excessively difficult or for excessively long hence is non needfully virtuous, although the virtuousness of working long hours seems to be a widely- held misconception, manifested in the impression ofpresentism( Bubb and Earley 2004 ) ; which prevails within administrations where there is a civilization of the demand to be seen to be physically present at the workplace for long hours. It is argued that this pattern is non needfully productive, reflected in the ‘work smart, non hard’ time- direction attack ( Dobson 2003 ) which is besides relevant to work- life balance, in that to work smarter should enable us to pass more quality clip within other spheres of our lives. In some professions, presentism even extends to the employee’s so- called leisure clip as there is an outlook that they entertain clients for illustration, or to be seen to be prosecuting in activities considered by the administration to be appropriate, such as playing golf or go toing peculiar nines ( Anderson 2003a ) . Work farther encroaches on an individual’s place life when they take it place to make at eventides and weekends. Thompson ( 2005 ) pulling on the work of Aristotle, argues that administrations should hold a moral duty to promote and ease employees to take a balanced and meaningful life, and that the administration will thrive as a consequence.
This duty of administrations towards its employees is relevant to Stakeholder theory which is concerned with placing cardinal people and groups, both within and outwith, that impact upon the effectivity of administrations ( Freeman 1984 ) . Stakeholders include employees, who should be valued because they are indispensable to the effectual productiveness of the administration. Valuing employees includes accommodating their single involvements with the organisation’s ends and precedences ( Baker et al 1999 ) . The administration should therefore, see its employees holistically and be aware of the demand for work- life balance.
To return to the impression of felicity ; utilitarianism refers to that which brings most happiness to the most people. This construct is applied by Roper et Al ( accessed 2006 ) to a treatment about New Labour and the publicity of work- life balance by presenting family- friendly employment constabularies ( DoH 2000 ) This is underpinned by a belief that family- friendly policies are good for concern ; therefore ‘everyone is happy’ . However the government’s criterions in this regard have been criticised as being unrealistic, particularly in relation to some countries of work ( Sharples 2006 ) .
Immanuel Kants’ position on balance is that it is a province of equilibrium that requires changeless attending in order to be maintained ( de Certeau 1984 ) . He used the analogy of a tightrope Walker necessitating to do accommodations with each measure they take. The deduction of this is that we need to stay aware of the demand to reevaluate our work- life balance at regular intervals as it might otherwise be easy to steal back into old wonts. Kant’s moral doctrine centred around the construct of thecategorical jussive mood. Within this philosophical construct, behavior is guided by moral criterions, by responsibility and by being aware of handling others as one would wish to be treated. This has been applied to the workplace as handling people non merely every bit means to an terminal ( i.e. in footings of what they can lend to the administration ) but besides as terminals in themselves ; as being worthy of regard. ( Folger and Cropanzano 1998 ) . Using the rules of the categorical jussive mood means that handling an employee merely in footings of what they can make for the administration is a misdemeanor of human life ( Budd and Scoville 2005 ) . An ethical administration facilitates personal and professional development for its employees that takes into history facets of the individual’s life outside of work.
In decision, the argument about work- life balance is underpinned by philosophical and theoretical positions, which support the place that to keep a grade of equilibrium between our working and personal lives, is a desirable province which can hold positive results. This point of view is being promoted by the current authorities, yet many of us still experience progressively under force per unit area to be more productive, for longer hours, within the workplace ( Anderson K 2003b ; Marlow et Al 2005 ; Hanson 2004 ; Hardill 2002 ) . While we have an single duty to turn to work- life balance issues, this province of equilibrium besides needs to be facilitated by the administration.
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