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Dissertation Chapter: The Relationship Between Work-life Balance and the Level of Work-related Stress

2021-07-28 20:27:17
6 pages
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Wesleyan University
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Dissertation chapter
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Chapter 4: Results and Analysis

Introduction

This chapter focuses on presenting the results of both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The chapter is divided into sub-chapters to address each of the specific research objectives. Previous studies revealed that work-life balance and work-related stress differed depending on the demographic profiles of respondents (Doble & Supriya, 2010; Lavanya & Thangavel, 2014; Bhandari & Soni, 2015). Therefore, the chapter begins with the descriptive analysis of the demographic factors and how the factors influence the responses of the participants. The chapter examines the work-life balance and the level of work-related stress among employees working for the four selected banks. Normality test and internal consistency tests are conducted to determine the normal distribution of the test and the internal consistency respectively. Finally, linear regression is done to test the hypothesis regarding the relationship between work-life balance and the level of work-related stress.

Results of the Descriptive Quantitative Analysis

Participants Gender

As Figure 4.1 shows, 58% of the participants were males while 41% were females. Only one participant failed to indicate his/her gender. A comparison of means provided crucial insights regarding the views of both genders regarding work-life balance and the implications of stress. Evidently, both genders registered nearly the same work-life balance, where male participants scored a mean of 3.63 (out of 5) while their female counterparts scored 3.60 (Table 4.1). However, the level of work-related stress differed significantly. This outcome can be explained by previous findings by Doble and Supriya (2010) that the perceptions of work-life balance differ by gender. Another study by Lavanya and Thangavel (2014) showed how difficult it was for female employees to balance work and life due to their dual responsibility at work and home. Female also participants registered a higher level of work-related stress than their male counterparts with mean scores of 2.78 and 2.61 respectively, as Table 4.1 shows.

Figure 4. 1 Participant' gender

Table 4. 1 Work-life balance and work related stress by genderGender Work-life balance mean scale Work-related stress mean scale

Male Mean 3.6286 2.6100

N 58 58

Std. Deviation .56693 .88583

Female Mean 3.5735 2.7795

N 41 41

Std. Deviation .63052 1.02155

Total Mean 3.6058 2.6802

N 99 99

Std. Deviation .59157 .94307

Job Position

As hinted earlier, the study involved two main job categories: managerial and other employees holding lower positions in the hierarchical structure of their organisations. As Table 4.2 shows, participants holding managerial positions were 40 while those holding other junior job positions were 60. However, two participants failed to indicate their job positions, reducing the non-managerial positions to 58. As demonstrated in Table 4.2, respondents holding managerial position scored a significantly higher mean score (3.81) compared to those holding non-managerial positions (3.48) in WLB. Interestingly, those non-managerial participants registered a higher work-related stress score (2.76) compared to a mean score of 2.56 for managers. This revelation provides a hint that work-life balance might be inversely related to work-related stress, as hypothesised in the literature review.

Table 4. 2 Work-life balance and work-related stress means by job positionJob position Work-life balance mean scale Work-related stress mean scale

Managerial position Mean 3.8111 2.5583

N 40 40

Std. Deviation .52431 .83698

Non-managerial position Mean 3.4765 2.7568

N 58 58

Std. Deviation .59759 1.01369

Total Mean 3.6131 2.6758

N 98 98

Std. Deviation .58966 .94609

Responses by Department

This study is not only country-specific but also sector-specific. Therefore, there was a need to examine the specific challenges and stressful working conditions that employees face and such stresses influence their work-life balance. The decision to assess of work-life balance and work-related stress based on departments was informed by previous finding that work-related stress depend on the specific task that an employee handles (Johnson et al., 2005). A closer examination of the specific departments revealed that work-life balance and work stress fell within the same range as shown in the Figure 4.2. However, it is worth noting that participants working in the accounting department registered the highest work-life balance mean score and the lowest work-related stress, while participants engaging in Customer service have the highest work-related stress and lowest work-life balance. It can be assumed that dealing with clients can create stressful working environment and thus impede the WLB of respondents.

Figure 4. 2 Work-life balance and work-related stress by department

Responses by Years of Experience

The respondents experience in the banking sector was also an important factor in this study. A study by Nekoranec and Kmosena (2015) revealed that 66% of employees in European countries believe that work-related stress is caused by long working hours. As Figure 4.3 shows, the different experience ranges were well-represented apart from those with less than one year of experience (6 participants only). Therefore, a comparison based on years of experience was made possible. The comparison of means illustrated an interesting pattern for both work-life balance and level of stress. Concerning the work-life balance, the mean score is increased gradually with the years of experience. As Figure 4.3 demonstrates, the participants scored means of 3.44 (less than 1 year), 3.48 (1 to 3 years), 3.51 (between 4 and 5 years), and 3.72 (between 6 and 10 years). Contrastingly, the mean score for work-related stress decreased gradually with the years of experience. In particular, the scores were 2.89 (less than 1 year), 2.7 (1 to 3 years), 2.68 (between 4 and 5 years), and 2.62 (between 6 and 10 years) (Figure 4.3). However, as Figure 4.3 illustrates, the responses from the participants with more than 11 years of experience deviated from the seemingly inverse trend.

Figure 4. 3 Work-life balance and work-related stress means by years of experience

Responses by Age

The responses of the participants by age revealed that work-life mean score increased by age. As illustrated in Figure 4.4, there is a gradual increasing trend as the age increases. The scores were as follow: 3.19, 3.52, 3.56, 3.66, and 3.81 for 18 to 25 years, 26 to 35 years, 36 to 45 years, 46 to 55 years, and 56 years and above subgroups (Figure 4.4). However, there was no distinct pattern for the work-related stress levels, as Figure 4.4 shows. Figure 4.4 provides an excellent visual impression of the two variables. These findings can be linked to previous results by Rauschenbach, Krumm, Thielgen, and Hertel (2013).The meta-analysis showed how individuals learn to cope and achieve work-life balance as they grow older and assume more responsibilities.

Figure 4. 4 Work-life balance and work-related stress mean scores by age groups

Work-life Balance Outcome Summary

The aspect of work-life balance was the independent variable in this study. The analysis focused on determining how the various organizational factors influence the balance. Therefore, there was a need to examine how the participants responded to the specific items or questions on work-life balance and work-related stress. In doing so, it was possible to compare the responses by the organisations (banks). For instance, the second research objective was to assess the policy implications and strategies that guarantee efficient the balance between work and the social life. Therefore, there was a need to analyse the outcomes by the bank to facilitate the comparison of the strategies that these companies have put in place, as described in the qualitative analysis of the managers responses.

The statistical analysis revealed that the views of employees regarding work-life balance differ significantly from one bank to other. As demonstrated in Table 4.3, the mean score for the 9 items was the highest in Bank (D) of 4.11 followed closely by Bank (A) with 4.09. Examining the specific items, Bank (A) scored the highest in 5 items, while Bank (D) scored the highest mean in 4 items (Table 4.3). As Williamson (2006) and Heeringa, West, and Berglund (2010) and De Vaus (2013) agreed, calculating the means for two or more subpopulations is an effective way of making comparison inferences between the sub-groups. The overall mean for each bank was made possible by transforming the data using the SPSS in a bid to bring the responses from the banks together. A study by Atheya and Arora (2014) showed that work-life balance depends on the commitment of commitment of the management to implement policies that create an enabling environment to achieve the balance.

The third research objective was to determine the effects of flexible working environment on Work-Life Balance in Malaysian banking sector. Addressing this specific objective was made possible by identifying the items that focus on flexibility to create a subscale. As Table shows, the item I prefer any workplace flexibility that allows me to handle all/some of my work from home received the highest positive feedback with a mean of 4.2 out of 5. Another item on flexibility (I greatly value a job with flexible working hours) was also shared among many participants leading to a mean score of 3.78. Evidently, many participants prefer having a time off rather than have an overtime, as indicated by the lowest score (3.05) for the overtime preference.

Table 4. 3 Outcome for work-life balance items

Which bank do you work with? I prefer time-off than working overtime I greatly value a job with flexible working hours I am usually motivated when offered time-off and vacations I more likely to accept a job offer if it offers more weeks of vacation period I prefer working for more hours per day just to have more days off I value the benefits of working overtime than enjoying a time off. I am ready to accept a new position with higher pay even if it entails working for more hours I prefer any workplace flexibility that allows me to handle all/some of my work from home I am confident that I have balance my work and life well Work-life balance mean scale

A Mean 4.50 4.46 4.42 4.33 3.83 3.42 3.13 4.17 4.58 4.0926

N 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24

Std. Deviation .511 .509 .584 .565 .702 .830 1.262 .702 .504 .23551

B Mean 2.61 3.17 2.91 3.26 3.52 2.59 2.59 3.87 3.00 3.0616

N 23 23 23 23 23 22 22 23 23 23

Std. Deviation .722 .576 .793 .689 .730 .734 .734 .694 .674 .29832

C Mean 2.80 3.04 3.48 3.44 3.24 2.36 2.48 4.24 3.16 3.1378

N 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25

Std. Deviation .645 .611 .872 .768 .879 .700 1.194 .723 .898 .36611

D Mean 4.32 4.44 4.60 4.36 3.84 3.80 2.72 4.48 4.44 4.1111

N 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25

Std. Deviation .627 .712 .500 .638 .688 .913 1.100 .510 .651 .30260

Total Mean 3.57 3.78 3.87 3.86 3.61 3.05 2.73 4.20 3.80 3.6068

N 97 97 97 97 97 96 96 97 97 97

Std. Deviation 1.060 .904 .975 .829 .785 .988 1.110 .687 .996 .58636

Work-Related Stress Outcome Summary

The first specific research objective was to highlight the implications of stress on employees in Malaysian banking sector. Therefore, this sub-chapter focused on examining working conditions that employees in Malaysian banking sector consider stressful. The comparison of means provided a platform for measuring the work-related stress.

The outcomes in this study seems to match with sector-specific studies from other parts of the world that showed how work-related stress in the banking sector has reached a critical levels (Alkubaisi, 2015; Giorgi et al., 2017; Ma...

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