The effect of work intensification on work-life balance.
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Today‘s organizations are pressurised to produce goods and quality services, taking cognisance of the demands of contemporary working life and the porosity of the working world. The aim of the study was to get an overall perspective of the perceptions and the effect of work intensification on work-life balance through the distribution of questionnaires to employees in a public sector organization, in KwaZulu-Natal. In this study, major emphasis is placed on the key constructs of the study, taking cognisance of a better balance in employees‘ daily lives. Various forms of work intensification exist, including in those organizations that are not labour intensive. The sub-variables for work intensification are organizational and technological change, work intensity and ergonomic factors, work-related stress and psychological factors, volume of workload and job insecurity. With work-life balance, the current study addresses work-family conflict, work flexibility, managerial/supervisory support, child/elderly care and employee wellness. The literature review addresses various contextual factors and embarks on various domains to understand and address the research problem. The study is quantitative and the final sample comprised of one hundred office based employees (managers, supervisors and employees). A self-developed questionnaire was utilized and a simple random sampling method was chosen. Both, descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized and the reliability and validity of the measuring instrument was established using Factor Analysis and Cronbach‘s Coefficient Alpha, respectively. Hypotheses testing formed part of the study. The study involved the testing of seven hypotheses of which all were partially accepted. The results revealed that work intensification and work-life balance occurred at varying degrees. It was found that work-related stress and psychological factors; volume of workload; managerial/supervisory support and work-family conflict were areas that required improvement. Significant differences surfaced with the biographical profile of employees. Interestingly, there were no significant differences in the perceptions of male and female employees in this organization. The effects of the demands of contemporary working life on work-life balance have been reported on exposing significant correlations between specific sub-dimensions of work intensification and work-life balance. The study culminates with a discussion on recommendations and conclusion and, practical implications are provided.