Research Paper: Work-Life Balance Does Leisure Time

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[. . .] Positive work reflections predicted an increase in positive work behavior and organizational citizenship. These results were unrelated to actual work performance, but were based entirely on the feelings of the employee and what they thought about work during their off hours.

Fullick, Grindey & Morris et al. (2009) found that in employees that are involved in shift-work, gender and the amount of hours worked were found to be predictors of the amount of energy left to enjoy leisure-time activities. Males spent more energy than females during their leisure time. The more energy the worker spent outside of work, the better able they were to disengage from work. Those who spent more energy also tended to have fewer sleep problems. Those that had fewer sleep problems and spent more energy also had fewer domestic-related problems. The same findings did not hold true for female shift workers. Sleep destruction was found to be a major problem for shift workers.

The literature agrees that quality Leisure-time in the ability to balance work and other areas of life are important predictors of work performance, attitude, and productivity. The ability to disengage from work was found to be an important factor in avoiding burnout. This research is based on the findings of the literature review regarding the importance of quality leisure-time in their ability to provide better patient care while at work. The purpose of this study will be to provide a view of how workers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia spend their leisure time and the quality of their leisure time experiences.

Methodology

Theoretical Basis

Sufficient evidence was found in the literature review to support the need to assess the quality of employees work and life balance in relation to their productivity while at work. The results of this study will help to improve programs designed to provide employees opportunities to better balance work and home life with the ultimate goal of making them more productive health care workers while at work. This study will make an important contribution to the body of work as a whole as it will demonstrate that methods used in the literature review can be applied to an organization to help achieve the desired improvements.

This study will answer several research questions. The first is, "what is the state of the quality of leisure-time among staff members at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia?" The second is, "What can be done to improve the quality of leisure-time at the hospital?"

Sample Population

This study will utilize a sample of 200 employees in various positions at the hospital. To be eligible for the study workers must have been with the hospital at least one year. Workers will be various age groups, professional backgrounds, and both male and female. Workers will indicate their demographics on the questionnaire. Demographic information will be provided in the final study results,. This study will use a random sampling technique and the researcher will have little control over the final demographic profile of the study participants, with the exception of limiting the study to those that have been with the hospital one year or longer.

Procedures

This research will involve a survey questionnaire that has been developed by the research. Questionnaires will be distributed at the front desk and employees will be able to take one of the surveys and return it to the receptionist. When someone returns a survey, the receptionist will ask them how long they have been with the company. Only those that have been with the company over one year will receive a survey questionnaire. The survey will be available for one month. The receptionist will collect the surveys and put them in an envelope. The researcher will return to collect the surveys on the designated date.

To encourage participation in the study, when a survey is returned, the participant will receive a coupon good for one free meal at the hospital cafeteria. This incentive has been pre-approved by executive management. The study was found to be valuable to the organization, therefore executive management felt that they should support the efforts.

Data Analysis

Data analysis will entail descriptive statistics. The results of the study will be analyzed using frequency distribution and presented using tables and graphs. Various demographic groups will be cross tabulated to determine that there is any correlation or bias that is the result of the sample population. This method will also allow the researcher to determine if any particular group or demographic is responsible for the results obtained on the survey. Data will be analyzed statistically using quantitative research methods and the results will be reported accordingly.

Results

All 200 surveys were answered and returned by the designated time frame. It is suspected that the lunch coupons were responsible for the successful response rate of the survey. Nearly 73% of the survey respondents were female, largely consisting of the nursing staff. This skewed response rate is largely due to the overall employee ratio of women to men in the hospital. Although the hospital has a nondiscriminatory policy, they tend to get higher ratios of female as opposed to male job applicants. The ratio of male to female applicants in this study is significant because it differs from results obtained my studies in the literature review. Studies in the literature review found that men had significantly easier times disengaging from work than females. The results obtained by the study may be a result of gender bias in the sample population. Another study that focuses on an all male population of hospital staff and that compares it to a female only population of hospital staff would have to be conducted to determine the effect of gender bias on the study results.

How would you rate the quality of your leisure time?

How often do you think about work, when you are not at work?

Do you ever miss out on quality time with your family due to work obligations?

The results of the study demonstrate a pattern in key questions that indicates inadequate use of leisure time. Staff indicates that they often loose quality time with their family due the work obligations. They work long hours and indicated that they were not happy with the amount of time spent at work. They often think about work when they are not working, which means they do not have the ability to detach themselves from work. Work stress follows them home and does not allow them time to recuperate between shifts. Rsearch has demonstrated that this inability to recuperate between shifts results in long-term stress and lost productivity at work. It leads to burnout and job dissatisfaction.

Surprisingly, results were split as to whether workers felt able to balance their work and home life. However, the interpretation of this question may not a been clear. This question was referring to a feeling of balance and lack of stress. However, in light of consistency and other responses to the questionnaire, it appears that the employees interpreted this question to mean that they could handle the workload of both work-life and home life. Other questions indicated that work got in the way of leisure time. When work stress eads to the inability to relax, this is not achieving work-life balance. The implications of the study will be discussed further in the Conclusions section of the study.

Conclusions

The results of this study indicate serious problems within the hospital. Workers are being overtaxed at work and are now unable to thoroughly recuperate in their off-hours. Literature indicated that this type of situation leads to long-term stress, health problems, absenteeism, high turnover rates, and poor job satisfaction. It is the goal of this health care agency to improve these working conditions. Staff that is overstressed and unable to balance work and life will lead to poor patient relations, mistakes, and an overall lack of quality in the work that they perform.

Staff indicated that flexible work shifts, as well as time-off for family engagements would help them to feel less stressed. Due to the need to maintain staffing levels, flextime is not always possible. However, it is possible to work out the possibility for trading shifts with another staff member to allow for family time. The details of such a program would have to be worked out and supervisors should always have the final say in terms of time off, but employees indicated that this type of arrangement would solve many of their problems.

It is recognized that the nursing profession is a high stress environment. It is not uncommon for nurses not to be able to detach from the work environment once they get home. Nurses, by their very nature are caring and compassionate. During the course of their work day they see many tragedies and have a strong desire to help their patients. However, when the nurse brings their work home with them it can cause serious long-term stress problems. A final suggestion for improving the situation at the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Work-Life Balance Does Leisure Time.  (2012, August 13).  Retrieved April 26, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/work-life-balance-leisure-time/2317845

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"Work-Life Balance Does Leisure Time."  13 August 2012.  Web.  26 April 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/work-life-balance-leisure-time/2317845>.

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"Work-Life Balance Does Leisure Time."  Essaytown.com.  August 13, 2012.  Accessed April 26, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/work-life-balance-leisure-time/2317845.