|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 82-85
Work–life balance among Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) workers in Anekal Town, South India
Neethu George1, Pretesh Rohan Kiran1, T Sulekha1, Joseph S Rao2, Prem Kiran2
1 Department of Community Health, Chennai Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
2 St John's Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
|Date of Web Publication||1-Oct-2018|
Dr. Pretesh Rohan Kiran
Associate Professor, Department of Community Health, St John's Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Buses take up more than 90% of public transport in Indian cities and serve as a cheap and convenient mode of transport for all classes of society. However, the well-being of employees of this mode of transport is paramount in passenger and personal safety. As in any job, the person has to balance work and personal issues. Work–life balance is a concept that supports the effort from an employee in any sector to split their time and energy to balance work and personal lives. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study using a structured interview schedule was conducted among 103 Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) workers in Anekal town, Karnataka, to determine the work–life balance among them. The total score was classified into high, medium, and low work balance categories. The scores for each domain were analyzed separately to derive at the factors which act against work–life balance. Results: Low work–life balance was found in 26 (25.2%) of all subjects. The important factors that affected work–life balance were identified to be shift work, work load, night duties, social functions, and negative attitude of family members. The reasons that motivated them to work were to support family (35%), future security (33%), and to clear personal debts (15.5%). Conclusion: Given the low work–life balance in a quarter of several individuals in this study, there is a need to address this issue to ensure necessary balance and safety and well-being of both road transport employees and passengers.
Keywords: KSRTC workers, personal life, work life, work–life balance
|How to cite this article:|
George N, Kiran PR, Sulekha T, Rao JS, Kiran P. Work–life balance among Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) workers in Anekal Town, South India. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2018;22:82-5
|How to cite this URL:|
George N, Kiran PR, Sulekha T, Rao JS, Kiran P. Work–life balance among Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) workers in Anekal Town, South India. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 15];22:82-5. Available from: http://www.ijoem.com/text.asp?2018/22/2/82/242538
| Introduction|| |
The concept of work–life balance was evolved and materialized in late 1970s and 1980s in the western world. The concept denotes equal priority to work aspects—careers and ambitions—and personal aspects—family, friends, enjoyment, and spiritual and intellectual development. In addition, it implies creating equal hours for execution of both work and life achievements. It is actually the effort from the part of worker to split his or her time and energy effectively for work and personal life.
Work–family balance is defined by many authors. Work–life balance is a concept that deals with the ability of individuals, irrespective of the age or gender, to get into a flow that allows them to combine the demands of work and other non-work responsibilities and/or activities. One author suggested the definition as satisfaction and good functioning at work and at home, with a minimum of role conflict. Parkes and Langford defined work–life balance as “an individual's ability to meet work and family commitments, as well as other non-work responsibilities and activities.”
In addition, few authors tried to describe work–life balance as a balance between time, involvement, and satisfaction.
- Time balance: amount of time given to work and non-work roles
- Involvement balance: the level of commitment to work and non-work roles
- Satisfaction balance: the level of satisfaction with work and non-work roles.
This model of work and life balance, with time, involvement, and satisfaction components, enables a broader and more inclusive picture to emerge for every worker in any occupation.
Additionally, there are assumptions that work–life balance is the absence of work–family conflict. The literature indicates various definitions of work–family conflict, and Netemeyer et al. described work–family conflict as a form of inter-role conflict in which the general demands of, time devoted to, and strain created by the job interfere with performing family responsibilities. The three forms of work–family conflict are time-based conflict, strain-based conflict, and behavior-based conflict.
Work–life balance is like two rungs of the ladder where both sides represent the pressures of work and life. The middle rung represents the steps which can be achieved in optimum balance of both [Figure 1].
The balance of work and life is an important aspect for both the employee and the employer. Balance will reduce absenteeism, lateness, healthcare, and sick leave and thus the related costs. Also for the employer the balance will benefit by the improvement in productivity and more commitment resulting in profit.
The study was conducted among transport workers in a Town in Karnataka. It is a common knowledge that buses are an indispensable source of transport for all classes of society in a country like India. In Karnataka, public transport is under Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and was started in 1946 under the name of Mysore Road Transport Corporation. Currently, KSRTC serves for 17 districts in the state and also interstate transport. The welfare of the employees is an important concern here, as passenger safety is also involved.
The objective of our study was to assess work–life balance of KSRTC workers in Anekal town, Karnataka.
| Materials and Methods|| |
We conducted a cross-sectional study for a period of 2 months (February and March 2016). Institutional Ethical Review Board approval and individual consent were obtained for the study. The study population included transport workers in the age group of 18–60 years irrespective of sex including bus drivers, conductors, clerical staff, cleaners, and watchman.
The sample size was calculated using an estimated 30% prevalence of work–life imbalance as reported by a previous study in Bagalkot district in Karnataka. For 95% confidence limits and an absolute precision of 10% and anticipating a non-response rate of 20%, the sample size came up to 100.
A structured interview schedule was administered to the study population. The interview schedule consisted of two parts. The first part included socio-demographic detail of the subjects. The second part included questions about work–life balance and was arranged into two domains, work life and personal life. A total of 21 questions about work–life balance were scored on Likert's scale (1: Always affects, 2: Affects many times, 3: Affects sometimes, 4: Doesn't affect at all). A pilot study was undertaken on 10 subjects to assess the internal consistency of the questionnaire (Cronbach's alpha was 0.75). The maximum work–life balance score was 84. The total score was classified into low, medium, and high based on percentiles (low score <25, medium score 25–75, high score >75). Health assessment of the workers was done by recording weight, height, and blood pressure using calibrated bathroom weighing scale, measuring tape, and sphygmomanometer.
We also identified the topmost factors affecting the work–life balance. For this, a score for each item was obtained by multiplying the weight–age into frequency of responses. For each question, the maximum possible score was 412 (4 × 103 samples). Percentage score for each question out of total score was calculated. The factor which was having minimum score was considered to be the topmost factors affecting balance between work and personal life.
The data were entered in Microsoft Excel and analyzed using statistical package for SPSS 16. Data were checked for normality using normality tests (Shapiro–Wilk test) and plots. The socio-demographic details of the study population were described using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, mean, median standard deviation, and inter-quartile range. Balance score was measured as a continuous variable and then categorized into low, medium, and high based on quartiles. The association between socio-demographic variables and balance scores was tested using Chi-square tests.
| Results|| |
The questionnaire was administered to 103 subjects. The age of participants ranged from 19 to 57 years, and nearly half (57.2%) were in the age group of 30–50 years. Their mean [standard deviation (SD)] age was 34.79 (3.04) years. The majority of the subjects were males (92.2%). Around 45 (43.6%) of the subjects had PUC or degree education. Most of the respondents were residing in nuclear families (88.4%). Most of them (98%) belong to Hindu religion. More than half of the subjects 70 (68%) were conductors in KSRTC.
[Table 1] shows body mass index (BMI) measurements of the study population and observed that 52 (51.5%) were having abnormal values according to World Health Organization (WHO) BMI classification.
Of the workers, 62 (60.2%) had systolic blood pressure (SBP) between 120 and 139 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) between 80 and 89 mmHg which is classified as pre-hypertension, and 11 (10.7%) had SBP ≥140 mmHg or DBP ≥90 mmHg which is classified as hypertension according to Joint National Committee 8. Of 103 subjects we interviewed, 68 (66.02%) reported they had some illness.
Out of the people who reported illnesses, 34 (50%) were on regular medication. About 4.4% reported as previously diagnosed cases of hypertension and on medications [Table 2].
In our study, we classified work–life balance score into categories (low score <25, medium score 25–75, high score >75). In all, 26 (25.2%) were suffering from low work–life balance in this study [Figure 2].
[Table 3] shows the topmost factors that affect work–life balance.
In [Table 4], we found that as both age and education increase, work–life balance decreases and the result is statistically significant.
|Table 4: Association between balance score and socio-demographic variables|
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We obtained various responses for the reason for their motivation to work: support to family (35%), for future security (33%), to clear personal debts (15.5%), for financial independence (14.6%), and for personal satisfaction (1.9%).
| Discussion|| |
The objective of our study was to assess work–life balance among KSRTC employees. In our study, we found that 25.2% of the study population had low work–life balance.
In a study done in Bagalkot among male KSRTC employees, about 70% reported that they are unable to balance their personal and work life. This huge disparity can be because in that study they assessed the work–life balance based on a single question “whether you can balance your personal and work life.” Different studies, among different professions tried to assess the relationship between work–life balance and work–family conflict. The results showed that work–life balance and work–life conflict have an inverse relationship. Work–life conflict brought down an individual's work–life balance. Both the family–work conflict and work–family conflict have been found to be negatively associated with work–life balance.
In our study, we found that as age increases work–life balance decreases. This can be attributed to the extra responsibilities for the worker as age progresses. But many studies,, showed that work–life balance was not at all related to age of the study subjects.
In our study, we found that as education progresses the work–life balance decreases, which can be due to the fact that higher desire to achieve more may lead people to make extreme efforts thereby increasing their working timing and thus decreasing their work–life balance.
In our study, factors affecting work–life balance (shift work, work load, etc.) were similar to studies conducted among drivers and conductors in Tamil Nadu State Corporation.
| Conclusion|| |
This study concluded that low work–life balance was found in 26 (25.2%) of all subjects. Given the fact that work–life balance is an important entity, it will be better to find its effect in a larger population. Periodic examination is required in between for the employees to detect morbidities and for further intervention. Also, we would like to recommend three broad types of work/life strategies: flexible work options, specialized leave policies, and health initiatives. Further performance linked pay or at least additional rewards or incentives for superior performance can be initiated or existing can be strengthened. The work–life balance was studied among a small sample of KSRTC employees and further studies have to be conducted involving other occupational settings for a better understanding of work–life balance.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]