Among all the difficulties that employees face, it regularly pop out of the mind how difficult it is to reconcile work and personal life.
For nearly more than a century, while the hours of work have been on a downward trend as the sleep time of the Mauritian people also recedes, as is the number of children in couples, how is it that the balance between work and life personal is particularly problematic today?
First of all, the official working time does not always correspond to the actual working time. Even when the latter is measured precisely, an employee cannot badger if he carries work at home at night or on weekends. In addition to that, some of them indicate that they do not have time to take all their days off.
Secondly, the work has intensified since the 1990 due to the increase in demand of productivity, the pressure of customers who are increasingly impatient, the need to be hyper responsive to market developments and, finally, due to the new technologies. Therefore time seems to be accelerating. There are fewer and fewer ‘downtimes’.
Finally, the amount of the labor force that are working on atypical schedules is increasing. More and more people are affected by the work at staggered hours or during the weekend. There has been an increasing amount of call centers in Mauritius which requires the employees to be working according to the time zone of the country outsourcing. For example: France or England.
However, not all explanations are related to the professional universe. The effect of family changes should not be forgotten. The increase in divorces, single-parent families and reconstituted families generally make the balance between personal and professional life more difficult. Moreover, this conciliation is complex, because our ambition is extremely high: we want everything, right away. Moreover, it is also necessary to add the social pressure which requires for example that a woman is both an excellent mother for her children, an excellent wife for her spouse, an excellent daughter for her parents, an excellent employee, an excellent friend, etc.
However, one question remains unanswered: what is a good balance between work and personal life? If everyone knows the expression, it is not so obvious as it is to define. Human resources researchers propose at least 6 different definitions:
Not everyone has the same conception of what a good balance of life is, companies would have an interest in questioning employees on this subject to better understand and know them.
Mauritius is confronted with both increasing competitions on a global scale and huge demographic changes. The Mauritian workforce needs to increase its efficiency and skills in order to cope with this competition even as its population ages and those who have to financially support an increasing number of retirees are less and less numerous . In addition, the entry into the labor market is growing later, families are based on a more advanced age and the number of children per family is declining.
All this is still weighing more on the workers. We want to do a good job, but also to be able to live a pleasant existence. But how do we combine these two elements? How to manage the balance between work and private life? People who are satisfied with their lives and who manage to find a fair balance between work and private life seem to be happy in three areas, That we will classify in ‘spaces’: ‘Inner space’, i.e. the personal sphere, ‘The living space’, i.e. the private sphere, and the ‘workspace’, i.e. the professional sphere. ‘Inner Space’ symbolizes self-satisfaction, the sense of trust in the future and the ability to cope with life. ‘The Living space’ is an intimate and trusting relationship with someone you can count on.
Finally, ‘the workspace’ is to have influence, to be recognized and to feel involved in his work, as well as to have confidence in his superior. Employers could facilitate the establishment of favourable conditions in at least two of these three halls by creating a culture of openness and trust, giving executives time to create links with their employees and provide them with a return Experience as well as giving time for reflection, both at work and at home. Employers to It is good in life to nurture ambitions, especially when you manage to achieve them.
We have identified four types of ambitious people: the performers, who manage to achieve their high ambitions in all areas of life; The outdated, who nurture great ambitions but fail to achieve them; The resigned, who do not even realize small ambitions and finally the ‘campers’, who simply realize their small ambitions. The outdated and the resigned have great difficulty in managing the balance between their private and professional lives. They do not feel at the height of their work or their privacy. They are people who need help in order to cope with their situation. The performers and campers seem to manage this balance well. There are obviously measures and strategies that can be integrated into policies across Mauritius in order to better reconcile professional and private life.
For example, working time can be eased and new working methods can be introduced. This means that everyone should have the opportunity to decide where and when to work and that technical solutions (information technology, telephone, etc.) should be available to help them. These measures must be introduced at the Mauritian level but also at the national and organizational level.
Other strategies are conceivable, such as more reception services for young children and people in dependency, longer and better paid parental leave etc. Companies could also be forced to adopt measures to help their employees achieve a better balance between work and private life. The importance of these measures varies from one country to another. Equality between women and men is of great importance. Men and women must share the burdens of working and private life they must support each other to cope with the pressures of modern life.
In recent years, there has been an increasingly lively debate about the balance between work and privacy: the way we manage our daily lives when we age and are faced with more responsibilities. As we will see, the generation who are going through this phase of their lives today wants to make the most of all aspects of life. Professional success is no longer enough. We also have to be good parents, keep in shape and have interesting hobbies. People aged 30 to 50 years have great ambitions for all aspects of their lives; they aspire to a perfect life and to the ideal image of happiness. These people, we call them the ambition generation.
Most people aged 30 to 40 years ‘extend’ their adolescence and lead a life that was previously associated with the end of adolescence. This group waits longer to land, to start a family and to have children. These people try to cram both their careers and their families during this short period of time from 30 to 50 years. It is a period in which a balance must be found between work and private life. This requires management of the balance between work and private life. Many people reach this balance and manage stress while others cannot; they are either exhausted or overworked. The increasing number of absences for sickness, often due to psychosomatic factors, clearly shows that we are less and less happy as we enjoy more wealth.
People aged 30 to 50 years assume the general responsibility of the modern society of wellbeing. They are the majority of the workforce in the companies, the governing bodies as well as the organizations and they are also the largest consumers. Their potential inability to manage their lives could have a serious impact on society. We would like to better understand what everyone, including employers, could do to help people in this generation and others to better manage their lives. The current debate revolves in large part on ‘the balance between professional and private life’. Our objective here is to examine in detail the management of this balance, example: to seek to know how everyone faces the demands of today.
As part of this report, we strive to understand and explain what makes some feel happy about their existence despite the stress and great ambitions, despite the fact that the demands are high both in their professional and private lives.
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