Ethical imperatives of work-life balance

Changes in values, demographics, and technology have focused attention on work/life balance as an important indicator of employees’ quality of life. This chapter reviews research on work/life balance and organizational work/life benefits and policies designed to ameliorate the negative effects of work/life conflict and support individuals in trying to achieve a balance among the multiple roles in their lives. Individuals and organizations share the responsibility for helping employees achieve a work/life balance. Although a wide variety of work/life benefits and policies are offered, they are only used by a minority of employees for a variety of reasons. In addition, empirical support for the effectiveness of work/life programs is mixed for a variety of reasons. This chapter articulates multilevel ethical dilemmas that individuals and organizations may face, and how job design, organizational communication, and organizational development initiatives may provide some solutions to foster a better work/life balance for employees.