Effects of Work-life Balance on Profitability of a Business – Literature Review

Work-life balance denotes the capacity of a person to effectively manage his or her profession and all other aspects that constitute a person’s life such as family, health, education, and entertainment. Work-life balance involves balancing individual responsibilities, expectations, desires, and needs, as well as those of partners, families, employers, friends, as well as community groups, all of which are considered central contributors to attaining a balance. Employers can help their employees to attain balanced lives through alternative leave plans, flexible working hours, as well as maternity and sick leaves (Balancing Australia Pty Ltd 2010).

Thesis Statement

Work-life balance is crucial to the profitability of a business.

Literature Review

  1. The principle for ensuring that an employee is satisfied with his work consists of a number of things, including the level of pressure at work, the level of understanding and believing the purpose of the organization, and the degree of confidence and trust in top management. Despite these aspects being essential, work-life balance is a paramount factor (Hammond 2012).
  2. If workers have difficulties balancing their life and work, they are likely to have little confidence in their leaders. Work-life balance is becoming increasingly crucial in companies’ efforts to maximize each employee’s productivity (Gitman & McDaniel 2009, p.102).
  3. Work-life balance results in business profitability by enabling a company attain competitive advantage from retention, recruiting, enhanced customer service, and productivity increase (Clutterbuck 2003, p.15).
  4. Economic recession has exerted great pressure on lasting job security of employees. In response, employees are looking for employers that provide superior work-life balance. Research indicates that employees work harder for such employers (Business Week 2009).
  5. The benefits that business enjoys from good practices and policies for work-life balance include hiring and retaining the right and best employees, and improving productivity (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment 2007).
  6. The benefits of initiatives for work-life balance at the workplace include increased output at the firm level, and better job satisfaction, and security, which in turn lead to better organizational profitability (Queensland Government 2013).
  7. Family-friendly workplace policies contribute to positive organizational outcomes like productivity and employee commitment. (Eaton 2001, p.4).
  8. Flexible working has assisted companies to enhance their customer service, lessen workforce absenteeism and stress, and save a lot of money in recruitment expenses, all of which increase their profitability (DTI 2003, p.1).
  9. Measures of work-life balance have positive impacts on the performance of a firm, and are more effectual in situations requiring high employee responsiveness and flexibility (Bloom, Kretschmer, & Reenen 2009, p.16).
  10. Policies for work-life balance can improve business performance through attracting better recruits, enhanced employee retention, and decreasing negative overflows from the lives of employees, which lead to productivity gains (Yasbek 2004, p.6).
  11. A survey on 527 U.S companies suggests that firms with more wide-ranging work-family policies and practices have higher supposed firm-level performance (Perry-Smith & Blum 2000, p.1107).


  • Balancing Australia Pty Ltd. (2010, August 7). The Importance of Work Life Balance for Employers. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://www.balancingaustralia.com.au/the-importance-of-work-life-balance-for-employers/
  • Bloom, N., Kretschmer, T., & Reenen, J. V. (2009). Work- Life Balance, Management Practices, and Productivity. National Bureau of Economic Research, 7 (1), 15 – 54.
  • Business Week. (2009, 27 March). The Increasing Call for Work-Life Balance. Business Week.
  • Clutterbuck, D. (2003). Managing work-life balance: a guide for HR in achieving organisational and individual change. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
  • DTI. (2003, April). Flexible Working: The Business Case. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.femtech.at%2Ffileadmin%2Fdownloads%2FWissen%2FThemen%2FVereinbarkeit%2FThe_Business_Case_50_success_stories.pdf&ei=_op-UdLHKenT7AbdxYDoDg&usg=AFQjCNHNq1__mhO
  • Eaton, S. C. (2001, March 1). IF You Can Use Them: Flexibility Policies,Organizational Commitment and Perceived Performance. Harvard University Faculty Research Working Papers Series. Cambridge, U.S: Harvard University.
  • Gitman, L. J., & McDaniel, C. D. (2009). The future of business: the essentials. Mason, OH: South-Western Cenage Learning.
  • Hammond, S. (2012, October 23). Why the work-life balance is now more important than ever. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/general/working-life.htm
  • Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment. (2007). Benefits of Work-life balance. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/bestpractice/worklife/benefits/
  • Perry-Smith, J. E., & Blum, T. C. (2000). Work-Family Human Resource Bundles And Perceived Organizational Performance. The Academy of Management Journal, 43 (6), 1107-1117.
  • Queensland Government. (2013). Work-life balance: important for business. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justice.qld.gov.au%2F__data%2Fassets%2Fpdf_file%2F0013%2F22207%2Fwork-life-balance-important-for-business.pdf&ei=gId-UYu5HsWV7Abwh4GgCg&usg=AFQjCNGmgwuxwWd_S
  • Yasbek, P. (2004). The business case for firm-levelwork-life balance policies: a review of the literature. Wellington: Department of Labour.
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