Factors causing work life imbalance among working women--a study on school teachers.

AuthorMadipelli, Saritha


One of the major changes anticipated in the labor markets in India is the entry of women professionals into different sectors. "The Indian family has traditionally granted a favored status to men as a chief breadwinner" (Awasthy & Gupta, 2001). The socialization at work, great work environments, flexi time and facilities make many employees to spend more time at office and enjoy the time (Sandeep Krishnan, 2011). Grzywacz Butter (2005) tested some propositions, relating to work family facilitation finding that resource -rich jobs enable work to family facilitation. The relationship between domain satisfaction (e.g. job, family, marriage) and life satisfaction have given a very great scope (Beutell, 2006).

There are contradictory role expectations from women while at work and at home. On professional front women are expected to be sweet, soft, sensitive, adaptable, gentle, and unassertive and domesticated (Misra, 1998). A healthy balance between work and non-work life keeps an individual motivated and engaged. Hence, maintaining a balance between work and non-work life is crucial and a matter of strategic concern to the employers as well as employees (Baral & Bhargava, 2009).

Literature Review

Over the last decade work life balance has become a significant issue for both employees and employers. Work and personal life are mutually dependent and play an integral part in an individual's life. There is a growing recognition by policymakers of the importance of supporting women in juggling work and family life (Maria, Glaser & Henz, 2002). But, the woman who enters occupations traditionally reserved for males have to struggle, face many difficulties to create place for her and prove her worth (Roe & Siegelman, 1964). However, it must be recognized that in Indian society the new and expanded role of women with a strong occupational identity is putting a lot of pressure on women's time and energy (Adya, 2008). Work-life imbalance was not only a source of concern, but also that it was the major source of dissatisfaction for participants. Furthermore, it is also observed that there is a clear connection between problems with work-life balance and withdrawal behaviours, including turnover and non-genuine sick absence (Hughes & Bozionelos, 2007).

In a national study on work life conflicts in Canada in 2001, one in four Canadians reported that their work responsibilities interfered with the ability to fulfill their responsibilities at home (Duxbury & Higgins, 2003). Family care commitment and work intensification are the two major sources of work life conflicts (Cooke & Jing, 2009). Those who are young and single tend to have less work life conflict issues compared with those who have childcare and elderly care responsibilities (Chen, 2006). Study conducted by Allen (2000) states that the conflict results in dissatisfaction, depression and bad physical health.

The work-family conflicts have been conceptualized as an individual's orientation across different life roles, an inter role phenomenon (Marks & MacDermid, 1996), 'satisfaction and good functioning at work and at home with a minimum of role conflict' (Campbell-Clark, 2000), and 'a satisfying, healthy and productive life that includes work, play and love, that integrates a range of life activities with attention to self and to personal and spiritual development, and that expresses a person's unique wishes, interests, and values'(Kofodimos, 1984; Shaffer, Francesco, Joplin & Lau, 2003).

Work life imbalance is a major concern for all the people. Employees experience imbalance in their work and life due to the role conflicts, employment pressures, multiple roles, domestic responsibilities, child care, nature and attitude of superior and family members, competition etc. The literature also reveals that there are scanty studies for work life imbalance towards school teachers. Though teaching is a comfortable profession for the women, there are some incompatibilities felt by the teachers at work place and home. Thus there is a gap in the literature about work life imbalance in the teachers. In this context, the present study could fill the gap in the literature by identifying the problems causing work life imbalance at work place and at home by taking a sample from school teachers.

Objectives of the Study

The prime objective of the proposed study is to identify the problems causing work life imbalance in working women. More specifically the objectives are:

  1. To ascertain the opinions of teachers towards the problems they face at work place and their relation to work life imbalance

  2. To identify the factors affecting imbalance at home for working women.

Data & Methodology

The present research work is an empirical study and is based on primary data; certain information is collected from secondary sources also. The main sources of primary data include the information collected from select respondents of various schools. The secondary sources include data collected from the journals, magazines of related topics' of research and the related websites. For the purpose of survey, a sample of four schools has been selected based on convenience sampling technique. The sample has come from the teachers of these schools. About 125 samples have been identified for the purpose of the survey that had lasted for about 70 days. At the end of the survey only 100 questionnaires are usable with respect to all the items completed. Thus, finally a sample of 100 respondents has been selected for the study. The researchers have collected data by making personal visits to all the respondents. Structured questionnaire has been handed over by making a request to the respondents to fill as per their convenience and the questionnaire has been collected by the researchers personally. In addition personal discussions were held to gather information like their opinions on problems of work life imbalance at work place and at home. The data collected had been analyzed by using factor analysis, mean, standard deviation and inter-item correlation.


Table 1 shows problems effecting work life imbalance at work place and Table 2 shows problems effecting work life imbalance at home.

Inter-Item Correlation Matrix of factors effecting work life imbalance at work place is presented in Table 4.

Number of Days of Work

'Number of days of work' has a higher mean value 4.36 denoting the high level of imbalance at workplace due to the disproportionate number of working...

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