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Improving Quality of Life through Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance represents one of the more important issues among adults of working age. This is manifested in adults’ social relationships with their families as well as their performance in an increasingly competitive workplace. Hence, the challenge for career counselors is to find approaches in order to address work-life balance issues among Canadians. This paper seeks to review and evaluate the work of Duxbury, Higgins and Coghill (2003) titled “Voices of Canadians: Seeking Work-Life Balance. ” Specifically, this paper seeks to relate the personal and social development of adults with issues on their work and career.

Specifically, the arguments put forth by the authors will be critically assessed using theories and principles in adult development. This paper using the points made by Duxbury, Higgins and Coghill (2003) argues that personal values, social relationships and psychosocial factors which are directly related to work-life balance issues affects the career and family domain of adults. Work-Life Balance and the Personal and Social Development of Adult Canadians Using the empirical data on over 30,000 Canadian employees, Duxbury, Higgins and Coghill (2003) examined the issues surrounding the work-life balance of Canadians.

Particularly, they explored how institutions such as their employers and the government should determine measures in

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order to provide a better quality of life. The authors argue that work-life balances occur at three levels: 1) difficulties experienced in the organization; and 2) work and life difficulties; and 3) the individuals’ personal and social character. Consequently, about 50% have disclosed that they see work as having a negative impact on their family life and social relationships so that they no longer have time for leisure and social activities.

Similar to the work of Bjorklund, and Bee (2006) who posited that successful adulthood can be achieved by coping up with the changes in the environment which includes work issues such as the increasing participation of women in the workplace as well as the negative impact of tight work schedules has on marriages, the work of Duxbury, Higgins and Coghill (2003) also argues that the negative impact of work on social relationships can be solved both in the personal as well as environmental levels.

This is because personal and social development can be used to enhance the level of stress tolerance that an adult worker can have. In the process, they are more likely to exhibit positive attitudes in the workplace and in their social relationships. As characterized in the study of Duxbury and Higgins (2003), most Canadians are in poor mental health due to the stress that they face in balancing their life. That is, trying to make a good living vis a vis having a happy family life or social life.

This is aggravated by more women reporting higher levels of stress, burn-out and unhappiness which in turn make them less productive in the house (Duxbury and Higgins, 2003). The unavailability of women to tend to household chores, in taking care of children and in tending to their husbands also adds to the stress experienced by men. Consequently, the pressure to perform parental, marriage duties and work responsibilities makes women more agitated.

Addressing these problems is necessary in order to promote better quality of life for both adult men and women. Doing so however, is not an easy process as argued by Amundson (2003) who used the metaphors length, width and depth in promoting career skills development. According to the author, the goal of adults should be finding meaning and purpose in one’s life by providing a link between work and the person’s values, lifestyle, life patterns and social relationships and responsibilities.

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