Modern day workplace is characterized by long working hours, shorter deadlines, higher competition, lesser holidays and leaves, frequent tours and job transfers. Similarly, family–work conflict (FWC) arises out of inter-role conflicts between family and work and results in lower life satisfaction and greater internal conflict within the family unit.
Conceptually, conflict between work and family is bi-directional. Studies differentiate between WFC and FWC. WFC occurs when experiences at work interfere with family life, such as asymmetrical or rigid work hours, work overload and other forms of job stress, interpersonal conflict at work, extensive travel, career transitions, unaccommodating supervisor or organization. FWC occurs when experiences in the family impede with work life such as presence of young kids, elder care responsibilities, interpersonal divergence within the family entity, uncooperative family members.
An article from the Global business Review highlights different forms of Conflicts: (a) time-based conflict, (b) strain-based conflict and (c) behaviour-based conflict. Time-based conflict occurs when the amount of time spent in one role takes away from the amount of time available for the other role. Work-related time conflict is typically based on the number of hours that an individual spends at work, inclusive of the time spent in commuting, over time and shift work. Family-related time conflict involves the amount of time spent with family or dealing with family members detracting from time that could be spent at work . Strain-based conflict occurs when the strain (or stressors) experienced in one role, makes it difficult to effectively and efficiently perform the other role. Work-related strain is related to strenuous events at work, resulting in fatigue or depression, role ambiguity etc. Family-based strain conflict primarily occurs when spousal career and family expectations are not in congruence. Each of these three forms of WFC has two directions: (a) conflict due to work interfering with family and (b) conflict due to family interfering with work.
There are numerous negative outcomes associated with these conflicts: domestic violence, poor physical activity, poor eating habits, poor emotional health, excessive drinking, substance abuse among women, decreased marital satisfaction, decreased emotional well-being and neuroticism. Conflict between work and family is associated with increased occupational stress and burnout, intention to quit the organization, lower health and job performance, low job satisfaction and performance, high absenteeism rates, reduced career commitment, increased psychological distress, increased parental conflict and marital distress, increase in child behaviour problems and poor parenting styles and lower satisfaction with parenting.
The negative spillover of family and work into each other is an area of major concern and needs attention at both the ends, i.e, family and corporate background.
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