Quality of Work Life

Quality of Work Life (QWL) is a philosophy, a set of principles, which holds that people are the most important resource in the organization as they are trustworthy, responsible and capable of making valuable contribution and they should be treated with dignity and respect.

The elements that are relevant to an individual’s quality of work life include the task, the physical work environment, social environment within the organization, administrative system and relationship between life on and off the job.QWL consists of opportunities for active involvement in group working arrangements or problem solving that are of mutual benefit to employees or employers, based on labor- management cooperation. People also conceive of QWL as a set of methods, such as autonomous work groups, job enrichment, high-involvement aimed at boosting the satisfaction and productivity of workers.

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It requires employee commitment to the organization and an environment in which this commitment can flourish.Thus, QWL is a comprehensive construct that includes an individual’s job related well-being and the extent to which work experiences are rewarding, fulfilling and devoid of stress and other negative personal consequences. It is difficult to best conceptualize the quality of work life elements.

Eight major conceptual categories relating to QWL as •adequate and fair compensation •safe and healthy working conditions •immediate opportunity to use and develop human capacities •opportunity for continued growth and security •social integration in the work organization constitutionalism in the work organization •work and total life space •Social relevance of work life. QWL can be assessed by combining the amount and the degree of stress and the degree of satisfaction experienced by the individual within his/her occupational role. The most common assessment of QWL is the individual attitudes. This is because individual work attitudes are important indicators of QWL. The ways that people respond toothier jobs have consequences for their personal happiness, the effectiveness of their work organizations and even the stability of society.Individuals selectively perceive and make attributions about their jobs in accordance with the expectations they bring to the workplace.

While the characteristics of the jobs have long been considered to be important influences on work attitudes, the past decades of 1970s and 1980shave witnessed much greater attention to aspects of the organizational context in which the job is performed. Thus, we must also look at how organizational characteristics exert both direct and indirect effect on the QWL. Age may be the most commonly studied individual influence on work attitudes.

Studies which use widely differing samples find consistent results: older employees are more satisfied, more job-involved and more committed to their work. Studies of the relation between career stage and job satisfaction and job involvement yield inconsistent findings. For example, there is a positive relation between career stage and work commitment when career stage is defined in terms of age, but curvilinear relations appear when age is defined in terms of job or company tenure. Past studies indicate that family roles reflect needs, opportunities and constraints have influence on individuals’ reactions to work.After all, two important focal points of adult life are family and work.

The role expectations of these two domains are not always compatible thus creating conflicts. These conflicts are related to outcomes such as job dissatisfaction, job burnout and turnover, as well as to outcomes related to psychological distress e. g. depression and life and marital dissatisfaction. Work-family conflict studies have contributed to a better understanding of role conflict and its impact on mental health and the quality of work life.

Author: Clinton Nash


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