The Challenges of work, life and study balance For working students: a case of selected Universities in Nairobi
Omusi, Jacqueline Adhiambo
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This study set out to establish the challenges of work, life and study balance among working students enrolled for evening programs at public and private chartered universities in Kenya.The general research objective for this study was to investigate the challenges of work, life and study balance for working students. The specific research objectives were to establish the effect of work on studies and life for working students; to establish the effect of studies on work and life for working students and to establish the effect of studies and work on family and social life for working students.Literature review established that work, life and study balance is equilibrium in managing work, studies and social engagements and responsibilities. It further established that imbalances between these three aspects of life lead to a decline in the quality of life of the individual and to a less than optimal performance in these three areas hence the need for further investigations.A descriptive research design was used and a survey launched among working students. A sample frame was constructed from three universities; Strathmore University, United States International University and Kenyatta University town campus and a sample of 150 respondents drawn. A total of 87 students responded. The data collected through questionnaires was analyzed and presented using descriptive statistics.The findings of the study indicate that work affects the studies and life of students through missing classes because of work, getting late to class and having to make up for time spent at the university by working overtime and over weekends thus cutting time spent with family and friends. Studies affect work and life by students wanting to leave the office earlier than the stipulated time and opting for unpaid leave which affects their work plan and time for recreational activities. Family and social life is affected by study and work in that the students utilize all their leave in their studies and end up with minimal time to spend with their families and other social relations. This leads to fatigue and stress.The following recommendations have been made on the basis of the findings; Employers could organize study leaves and flexible working hours for working students to enable them get to class on time and have time to spend with their families and friends. Universities could look into starting classes later than 5.30 pm to give students time to get to class and reduce their stress of having to catch up with what they have missed because of arriving to class late. Employers and universities could work out stress management sessions to assist the working students in assessing their stress regularly and work towards managing it for better productivity in their work and studies.