Work life balance describes the relationship between your work and the commitments in the rest of your life, and how they impact on one another.
Employers, employees and government want to maximise participation in the workforce. However, in our demanding lives many people struggle to balance work and the responsibilities of caring for children, family members with a disability or elderly parents.
For other workers it's often difficult to find time outside work for study, volunteering, taking care of their own health or participating in sport and recreation.
There is no ideal work life balance; everyone is different and the 'right' balance may alter over time as families grow older and personal commitments change.
Having options about how work is organised makes managing work and life demands possible by allowing employees to work in non-traditional work patterns and locations that better fit their personal commitments. Overall quality of life improves and businesses also benefit from employees' higher morale and commitment.
For employers the capacity to negotiate flexible work arrangements provides an antidote to loss of skills and experience and the high cost of recruitment and retention in a competitive labour market. Employers who provide flexible work options immediately gain a competitive edge in the labour market by becoming 'employers of choice.'