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A conceptual framework of how mindfulness can deal with the challenges of work-life balance

Abstract

Today's working world poses many challenges to employees while compressed with personal struggles in daily life. Worker burnout and continuously recruiting and training highly qualified workers is a significant challenge that affects organizational performance. Therefore, both organizations and employees are struggling to find harmony in personal life and professional life. Limited studies are investigating how 'mindfulness' can be used as a tool to balance working and family life. This conceptual study aims to identify the challenges to work-life balance and how those challenges can be mitigated or overcome through right mindfulness in a Buddhist concept, which is mainly based on the noble eightfold path. According to the Pali canonical reading in Buddhism, it has clearly explained that how personal life and working life can be balanced through developing ethical conduct (Sila) and mental discipline (Samadhi), and wisdom (Panna). Based on the existing literature, this paper offers a conceptual framework that outlines how practicing mindfulness could effectively mitigate the challenges related to work-life balance via understanding the model of five aggregates: (i) stress and burnout, (ii) lack of emotional intelligence, (iii) low level of concentration to a particular task (iv) inability of prioritizing work, and, and (v) shortfall of motivation to follow the desired goal. Furthermore, it offers insights related to how mindfulness could positively influence the individual perception related to external environmental factors that are beyond the control of employees, such as the organizational policies, rules, and regulations, poor management decisions, and internal politics, to view such factors with an open mind. Overall, this paper suggests strategies adopted by the organization to support an effective work-life balance.

Keywords: Challengers of work-life balance, Five Aggregates, Noble Eightfold Path, Mindfulness, Work-life Balance