Family Influence Impacts Work Life

“My family responsibilities don't conflict with my career. Not at all.”
Meg Ryan

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Family’s emergence as an important motivating factor is because of the growing number of ‘nuclear units’. The interdependence on each others in smaller families is high. Increased awareness and education has a favoured impact on women because compared to men it is they who have been benefited. More men were getting education and outside world exposure in the past and the ratio is fast changing. This is resulting in growing importance of the opinion of the womenfolk in the families. If some men get profoundly uncomfortable with this and are unable to handle it, it is they who have to have a solution.

With time the sensitivity towards the family members is on the rise and it is increasingly felt that a taxing job does disturb the harmony and bliss in the family.

Emerging family expectations work as a positive pressure to achieve more. It is quite obvious and natural for the family to realize that for fulfillment of aspirations it has to depend upon the key bread winner. Though largely silent these anticipations do force the individual to constantly think of newer avenues and options.

The growing compassion is also resulting in concerns about their families getting affected with their job related stress. While seeking a job employees have started considering the need to spend quality time with their families. Commuting time to the work place, work environment and number of work hours are being taken into consideration while choosing between available alternatives.

People in companies with good work culture opine that company colleagues should have family get-togethers but for companies with high attrition rates larger number of employees feel mixing the personal lives with professional, should be avoided, for they do not want to have the wrong rub-off effect.

The job responsibilities hindering with family and social responsibilities is more commonly reported at the junior levels. The de-motivation comes from the day-to-day irritations that distract one from doing a good job and organizations must plan to map and improve the abilities of the employees to balance the priorities in work and personal life.

Though most admit that the family is more important to them than the job but it does not reflect in practice. Progressive organisations do have policies and systems to ensure that not only the family is encouraged to understand the limitations and compulsions of the working individual but more importantly create an atmosphere where the organization gains the respect of the family. There have been numerous examples of two or even three generations working for the same organizations, which includes large and small both.

The importance of the family in relation to the job and the individual’s state of mind is highlighted with the fact that many respondents to a survey believed that they could have been more relaxed if their families could have been more understanding. Some felt they could have worked harder and while others expressed that they could have been more progressive if the desired support from the family would have been forthcoming.

A pragmatic approach is to identify the de-motivators rather than working on motivation, first.

It is important to start by considering whether the ‘de-motivation assaults’ are occasional or circumstantial, triggered by certain factors or are they habitual, symbolizing the employee’s working style (leaving tasks unfinished; or saying yes to everything irrespective of whether one can do it). The cause, whether circumstantial or habitual must be identified.

The analysis paves way for the solution. If circumstantial factors are the cause for de-motivation they are to be identified and corrected.

However, if the de-motivator is a recurring habit, it has to be acknowledged as a serious handicap. The individual needs to be helped to make concerted effort to bring motivation and passion to the activity.