Are children the key to work-life harmony?

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A study has found that employees who are married with children scored higher on the Work-Life Index, compared to those without children.

According to the National Work-Life Harmony Study by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), findings suggest that the emotional rewards from having children outweigh cost-benefit considerations.

The study also found that work-life harmony in Singapore has remained stable over the past six years. Singapore scored 63 in 2012, similar to the score of 64 in 2006.

It was also found that well-balanced individuals perform better at work and at home.

Ninety-four per cent of those with high work-life harmony said that they are engaged at work, compared with only 71% of those with low work-life harmony.

These respondents also feel more satisfied and enjoy better physical and mental health, have higher family and marital satisfaction, and enjoy better relationships with their children, family and friends.

The study also found that more workplaces now have flexi-work arrangements compared to in the past. Measures for flexi-work hours have now increased from 14% in 2006 to 23% in 2012, while those for tele-commuting increased from eight per cent to 12%.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development, Madam Halimah Yacob, said the findings show that work-life harmony has many positive outcomes for individuals and businesses.

"Work-life harmony is not about working less. It is about people having the flexibility to integrate their work, family and personal life to achieve the best outcomes in these areas. It is about people exercising control and choices. I urge employers to foster a supportive work environment for employees to fulfill both their work and family aspirations. This is a win-win situation for both individuals and businesses," she was quoted as saying in a report by Channel News Asia.

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