Work-life balance and the employment relationship When we characterized the individualized work environment in Chapter 7 and some of the most pertinent individual differences that influence individualorganization linkages in the previous chapter, it hopefully became clear that work roles have become a dominant aspect of individual lives. We begin the chapter by looking at the challenges associated with balancing work with parenting and caring responsibilities and coping with a long work-hours culture. We consider the impact that work has on the home and the challenges created by gender role changes within work-life responsibilities. We introduce the main theoretical perspectives on work-life balance and review the range of employer policies and strategies. We then discuss the implications of greater diversity in the workplace and the need to understand the link between commitment, non-work obligations and the nature of family resources. We consider the pervasive long work hours culture as a block to flexible work provision and review evidence on changes in work hours. This is followed by a review of the link between work hours and well-being. Finally, we outline an agenda for change that summarizes much of the debate so far in this book.