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Balancing work and family life is very important to the socioeconomic development of every society and nation; this is because individuals are becoming concerned about not having enough time to do all they want. Therefore, it is necessary to address the issue with the attention it deserves. Besides that, there are no proven formulas of attaining a balanced family-work environment and schedule, the only solution is to develop creative solutions to the challenges of economic inequality in workplaces and families.
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Wallen (2002) gave views and explanations in her book to explain the implications involved in balancing family and work, especially with regards to family economic status. One of the major challenges is as a result of demographic outlay. Because most low-income families have many children and averagely ageing parents, there has been reduced work turnout and increased absenteeism, which further deteriorates their incomes. There are challenges involved in connecting maternity, child care and work; that is, there are so many misconceptions surrounding the issues concerning family-work balance.
Creating time for oneself and family while at the same time being flexible in an organized but integrated life is a principle that every employee should put into consideration when opting for any employment. In additionto that, while employers are increasingly providing some family supportive measures to the employees, access to the benefits remains uneven due to the family economic inequalities. In building a support network to curb the problem of economic inequality in families, their social positioning must be considered. In thinking for a moment about how your life would be different if you would have chosen other important things than pursuing quick payoffs, it is quite clear that you would have successfully gained bigger goals in life; therefore, a dimensioned plan for employees having families is necessary (Wallen, 2002).
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Work and life balance, as a concept, includes effective prioritizing work and lifestyle. In this regard, Neidermeyer (2007) outlines various guides for both employers and employees who want to maintain a healthy work environment in regard to the family’s economic status. First, work and family integration, especially in women’s career path calls for various measures because women are the key family drivers. That is, for employed women, they should prioritize some areas like maternity leaves and, if necessary, paid leaves. This will certainly reduce fatigue at work and improve mother-child relation to all aspects of social life, which is a positive aspect in family-work life balance especially for women (Wallen, 2002).
In orrder to reduce work-family conflict, the government should be in the front line in formulating and implementing policies that protect both the family and the economy. For example, though the nature of work may grant leave for employees to enable family work balance, some families especially of low income earners cannot take unpaid leaves because of their family demands. Consequently, employers offering paid overtime work may have high employee turnout and, consequently, most employees have very little time for their families, which might create conflict. For single-parent families, maintaining a stable and long term employment while acquiring child care assistance and government subsidy, if necessary, is a dimensioned plan that requires much effort and commitment if they are to realize socioeconomic goals. Because most states deny or provide very limited infant subsidy given its importance, work must be maintained especially for the low economic status families to ensure they can meet family basic needs at all costs (Wallen, 2002).
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Adopting and keeping flexible work policies to accommodate both families of high and low incomes is, therefore, an important issue that should be addressed both by the government and the employers. Redefining culture and traditions regarding gender balance should be addressed also to reduce work-life related stress for the ideal work environment.
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