One workplace, the current legal attitude, andOne workplace, the current legal attitude, and

One of the essential factors in successfully managing work–life balance is the ability to reduce and control stress. Stress is undoubtedly one of the biggest problems faced by the modern workforce. It is also becoming an increasingly worrying problem for employers. In this article we review stress in the workplace, the current legal attitude, and what individuals and employers can do to minimise stress and its damaging consequences.Stress and the workplace Stress is on the increase across the western world. Recent surveys in the US by the American Psychological Association indicate that about 43% of adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress,  and that between 75-90% of visits to a doctor are stress-related. A similar story is playing out across the developed world. Here are some statistics from the UK: 70% of managers think work-related stress has an adverse effect on their home lives and therefore impacts on their work–life balance. In the UK there are nearly 170,000 claims for stress-related illness and injury every year: 27,000 people take time off work each day as a result of stress. (The situation is even worse in the US, where the Workers’ Compensation Scheme, an insurance scheme for work-related health problems, is regularly inundated with stress related claims. Massive payouts are becoming more and more common.) The British Heart Foundation has indicated that stressful jobs increase the risk of coronary heart disease by more than 50% in men and by more than 70% in women compared to less stressful jobs. Although workplace-induced stress affects employees first and foremost, employers are beginning to realise how hard the consequences can hit their bottom line. The rise in legal claims is just one reason for this. In the UK, for instance, the Health & Safety Executive calculated that in 1998 alone, 90 million working days were lost due to stress-related illness.  Businesses sit up and take notice when they realise that this amounts to a loss of about £5.2 billion.  Positive and negative stress However, stress can also be a positive force. It can stimulate you to work harder and increase your focus for short periods of time. However, negative stress is more common and can adversely affect your health and performance. The key then is to find a balance between having enough stress to improve performance and ensuring that the level of stress does not impact negatively on performance and well-being. There is therefore an optimal point on a stress curve as shown in the following diagram  .CHALLENGES FOR COPING WITH WORK LIFE BALANCE  A new Families and Work Institute survey of almost 2,800 employed people reflects some surprising changes in how men and women see themselves both in the workplace and at home. Women are contributing more financially than in times past, and men are doing more child care. But even as men spend more time with their kids, the challenges of balancing a career and parenting duties are taking their toll. Three out of five men reported some or a lot of stress related to workplace-family life balance—about 25 percent more than in last 10 decades .One thing hasn’t changed: partners still disagree about who does more around the house. Men give themselves higher marks than women do for helping with child care, cleaning and cooking. Fifty-six percent of husbands say they do nearly equal or even a greater amount of cooking, while wives report only 25 percent of their husbands do. The study looked at a variety of other questions about how men and women view parenting and work.  “I can’t stay, I have to go pick up my kid”- More men have been uttering those words or some variation thereof in the past decade. Before 2 decade ago it was only 21 percent but now its 43 percent of women said that their spouses took equal or more responsibility for the care of their children. And on average, though employed moms still spend even more time with their kids than employed dads do, working dads are now spending three hours per workday with their kids under 13 (working moms spend about four hours). Among younger working parents (those under 29), dad spend even more time—4.2 hours on average—and moms spend 5.1 hours. The study’s authors think these changes might be because parents may have more flexibility to work from home, defining “spending time with children” differently, and they may be spending less time on themselves. Can working moms still balance? Among both men and women, about two in five report that it’s better “if the man earns the money and the woman takes care of the home and children. Eighty percent of women believe that a mom who works outside the home can have just as good a relationship with her children as one who is home, and 67 percent of men agree. (According to recent federal numbers, about 70.5 percent of American women with children below 18 years work outside the home—including 60 percent of mothers with children under 3.)  Millennial ambitions – Women under 29 are just as likely as men to want jobs with greater responsibility—even if they have kids at home. About a decade ago, moms under 29 had children at home, only 60 percent of them wanted jobs with more responsibility, compared with 78 percent of women without children, but now the numbers have averaged out—about 66 percent of women want more responsibility at work, regardless of whether they have children. And men and women under 29 both report wanting more responsibility at about the same rate, too.    She’s bringing home more money- Women are contributing more to family incomes than in the past. In fact, about a quarter of surveyed women in 2012 had annual earnings at least 12 percent higher than their partners’. And on average, women contributed 45 percent of family income, up from 39 percent about a decade. We like what we know- Men and women whose own mothers worked outside the home all or most of the time were more likely to agree that full-time working moms can still have good relationships with their children than those whose mothers worked none or only some of the time. A balanced life is one where an individual spread his/her energy and efforts – emotional, intellectual, and imaginative spiritual and physical between the key areas of importance. The neglect of one or more areas, anchor points, may threaten the vitality of the whole. Some of the key areas of importance in our life are:    Family – Successful parenting ,the culture of care and selflessness that are part of family life , require energy time , patience and a tolerance for mess and confusion .Family needs nurturing and our responses have to be sufficiently deep and elastic to accommodate the unexpected , not just the scheduled bits ,that fit in neatly in our jobs.    Home – Home making is time consuming .In this process; we can create an atmosphere that reflects our sense of place in this world. The home provides us with an extension of ourselves, a place where we can feel free in our emotions and content to be who we really are.   Friendship – Friendship is an art that requires common skills to an uncommon degree such as a combination of affection, tolerance and patience as well as the sense of constancy in times of struggle and difference .Even when our work life balance spirals out of control , friendship along with exercise is the first things to suffer. Friendship becomes increasingly relevant to our circles of mutual nurture and support.    Community – Like family, home and friendship, our local communities depend on our time and energy in order to function effectively , freely and spontaneously. Hobbies, interest and sporting pursuit