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Work-family Conflicts

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By Author: John Sullen
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Family problems did not arise yesterday: single-parent families, divorces, marital conflicts, problems of loneliness. A quarrel generally causes a long time crack in the relationship; it hurts like an open wound. We cannot forget such conflicts, but we also should not suffer habitually and humbly. Work and family are important parts of our life. However, we generally balance between the requirements of work and family liabilities: we torn apart, trying to solve these issues.
The issue of work-family conflicts is very wide-ranging, so it is not a surprise that it has caused interest for many years. For decades, people in developed countries have sought solutions to smooth such situations to save the marriage. Generally, there are three approaches that in a wide sense are the buffers of work-family conflicts. The first buffer approach is solving the problem at the state level. Many countries has initiated a system of family vacations, according to which employees can discontinue working to pay the attention to the family needs, without the risk of losing their job. It also can be an unpaid leave due to giving birth, adoption of a child or child care, care for a sick person (husband or wife), parent or child of the employee or due to his own illness. Developed countries provide a system of child care leaves, the payments (one-time and systematic), and the system of kindergartens.
The second buffer includes the solving of the issue at the level of the firm (enterprise). Owners and managers of the profitable successful companies are concerned of the task of improving the productivity of the employees with small children. Companies create child-care centers on the territory or nearby for their employees, sometimes in cooperation with business partners, creating the conditions for parents to give their children to professionals in order work without worries. Modern labor market provides many jobs that involve part-time job, distance working, freelance, and flextime. And now the third approach, a buffer, which I consider as the most important and fundamental when we face and suffer conflicts between work and family – solving the problem in the bosom of the family. In some cases, the conflict between the requirements of work and family liabilities can be over came with the free-choice dismissal of one of the marriage partners from work to pay the maximum attention to the family needs. Not all the families are able to afford such way because of the financial reasons. It should also be noted that often there are psychological problems among unemployed women, who, after some period of time, realize that they lose their professional skills, cannot perform social potential. Working couples often complain of the lack of time which causes the inability to perform their professional and domestic liabilities. Coordinating schedules which differentiate the working hours of the marriage partners may partially solve the problem of child care, house holding, but may also cause the crack of the relations, the growth of general psychological tension. However, always the most effective way is a way of compromises, negotiations and joint search for solutions. We often have to make a choice that allows us to perform domestic duties, but at the same time, reduces the income of the family. We should not lean over backwards, giving priority to work, our family and our loved ones, the most important support in life. You can chase after money and lose family, which constantly suffers from your absence and inattention. In any case, the desire for open and friendly dialogue is a very positive solution to the conflict between the requirements of work and family liabilities.
Using the knowledge of the nature of conflicts, and also the third, the most essential, in my belief, buffer, it is important to restore the understanding, if it has been lost. We need to do a series of steps in order to establish mutual balance between the career and family. - The conflict is not a reason to offend or try to hurt your beloved person. The dispute must lead to a constructive mature dialogue, the discussion of the problem. The goal is to establish a friendly atmosphere in the family, we should never forget about it. The conflict, quarrel is not equal to the battle. Winning is not important, but it is necessary to renew family relationships and to achieve consensus on the job issues. - It is important not to get distracted from the discussion of the topic within the dialogue, not to try to figure out all the problems at once, besides the work-family conflict. It may take a long time to find out all the disagreements that have arisen as a result of the excessive work enthusiasm. - It is important to seek for a compromise. The discrepancies arise because the marriage partners have different points of view, interests, and have no desire to give them up. At least partially acceptance and execution of the request of your beloved husband or wife can make a big deal. It can be a daily evening dinner after work, in the full force of the family, or an extra phone call in the middle of the working day. - Show your sense of humor. Sometimes, it helps to smooth the conflict, but does not avoid the discussion of the problem. You can, sometimes, remain silent or ignore the attack of the wife or husband, understanding that he/she is upset and disturbed, especially after a hard working day.

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