Understanding the relationship between work-life balance and stress amongst employees at a large motor vehicle manufacturing plant in KwaZulu-Natal.
Govender, Lushen Lantis.
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This study aims to assess the possibility of reducing stress through work-life balance. It is anticipated that a greater degree of work-life balance will lead to reduced levels of stress. In this study work-life balance is assessed in terms of leave and flexible work arrangements, work provisions and the level of work-life balance. The study is undertaken in a large motor vehicle manufacturing plant in KwaZulu-Natal and the target population comprises of employees from six main departments, namely, Human Resources, Finance, Administration, Engineering, Parts and Manufacturing. A sample of 103 participants was drawn using the cluster sampling technique and the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure was undertaken to confirm the adequacy of the sample. Data was collected using a self-developed questionnaire whose psychometric properties of validity and reliability were measured using Factor Analysis and Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha respectively. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study reflect only a moderate level of overall work-life balance thereby reflecting tremendous room for improvement in terms of attaining work-life balance in the workplace. The results also reflect a moderate level of stress. Significant relationships were also noted between the dimensions of work-life balance (leave and flexible work arrangements, work provisions, work-life balance, general factors) and stress respectively. Some significant biographical correlates (gender, age, marital status, tenure) were noted with the dimensions of work-life balance but not race. Some significant biographical correlates (gender, race, tenure) were found with stress but not age and marital status. Evidently, the variance in stress is not due to leave and flexible work arrangements, but work-life balance (day-to-day practices), general factors and work provisions which account for nearly half of the variance in stress. Recommendations are presented and graphically depicted which when appropriately implemented has the potential to enhance work-life balance and reduce stress in the workplace.