Title

“Work Is Life”: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Experiences of Work–Life Balance Among Nongovernment Workers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

This study explored the experiences of work–life balance (WLB) of development nongovernment organization (NGO) workers in the Philippines. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to make sense of the data gathered from semistructured interviews with 6 NGO fieldworkers. Findings surfaced 3 superordinate themes arising from the WLB experiences of NGO workers as (a) work–life synthesis (WLS) rather than WLB characterized by perceiving that work is life, living out one’s calling, and having integrated relationships; (b) challenges disrupting WLS such as heavy and unpredictable workload, unintended spillover, and fatigue; and (c) the presence of both internal and external factors enabling WLS. This study contributes to psychological literature by introducing a new conception of WLB as WLS outside its conventionally associated corporate interpretation. Practical implications of this study include the identification of several enabling and hindering factors affecting the WLS of NGO workers that could be addressed by organizational leaders and/or human resource management units of NGOs.

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