Work-life balance Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Work-life balance is the ability to balance satisfaction and good functioning at work and home while experiencing minimal role conflict (Clark, 2000). The teaching profession has become progressively more complex, with increasing demands and expectations placed on school staff (Wei et al., 2009). However, educators have difficulty achieving balance between their professional and personal lives (Punia & Kamboj, 2013). Moreover, educators are expected to accomplish more work in the same amount of time, without sufficient resources to do so (Williamson & Myhill, 2008). As a result, teachers' daily workload is not limited to the classroom, and many educators are compelled to work outside of school hours, often within the home setting. This inability to maintain work-life balance can lead to stress, strain, and psychological distress (Sana & Aslam, 2018).

The Learning Bar's Staff Survey framework is based on 13 core indicators designed to capture the key metrics of employee health and well-being. Together, these indicators support the development of a positive school climate.

Why is it important?

  • Work can disrupt family life and, conversely, family can disrupt work life, both of which result in negative outcomes for teachers, including physical and mental fatigue, agitation, and sleep loss (Erdamar & Demirel, 2014).

  • Work-life balance is associated with employee motivation, productivity, and well-being (Byrne, 2005).

  • Employees with work-life balance have greater organizational commitment and are less likely to leave their jobs (Jaharuddin & Zainol, 2019).

How do we measure it?

The OurSCHOOL Staff Survey includes five items assessing the degree to which respondents feel they can manage their work-life demands. The results are reported as “the percentage of staff who have positive work-life balance”.


Byrne, U. (2005). Work-life balance: Why are we talking about it at all. Business Information Review, 22(1), 53-59.

Clark, S. C. (2000). Work/family border theory: A new theory of work/family balance. Human Relations, 53(6), 747-770.

Erdamar, G., & Demirel, H. (2014). Investigation of work-family, family-work conflict of the teachers. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences,116, 4919-4924.

Jaharuddin, N. S., & Zainol, L. N. (2019). The impact of work-life balance on job engagement and turnover intention. The South East Asian Journal of Management, 13(1), 106-118.

Punia, V., & Kamboj, M. (2013). Quality of work-life balance among teachers in higher education institutions. Learning Community, 4(3), 197-208.

Sana, F., & Aslam, N. (2018). Effect of role ambiguity and role conflict in predicting work-family conflict among teachers. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 33, 349-365.

Wei, R. C., Darling-Hammond, L., Andree, A., Richardson, N., & Orphanos, S. (2009). Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad. National Staff Development Council.

Williamson, J., & Myhill, M. (2008). Under constant bombardment: Work intensification and the teachers’ role. In D. Johnson & R. Maclean (Eds.), Teaching: Professionalization, development and leadership (pp. 25-43). Springer.

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