Experience of work-life interaction in the mining industry : a phenomenological study
Hardly any research has been done on work-life interaction (WLI) in the mining industry in South Africa. Mining is a high-risk profession and the custom of reducing the occurrence of morbidity and inhumanity in these industries must be gainfully considered. Many of the individuals who work in the mining industry are shift workers. Individuals who are working shifts often appear to have little time for non-work related commitments. Their families, personal health, socialising with friends, maintenance of their households and hobbies do not receive the necessary attention, which cause an imbalance of work and life. The general objective of this research was to study the experience of WLI of two cultural groups (Afrikaans and Setswana-speaking individuals) in the mining industry and more specifically, to determine certain antecedents, consequences and strategies used with regards to WLI. A non-probability purposive voluntary sample of 25 mineworkers was taken from the Northern Cape Province. Participants consisting of males and females were stratified in terms of language (Afrikaans and Setswana). Data collection for this research consisted of a pilot study, qualitative interviews and field notes, The data was transcribed verbatim and checked by independent researchers. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. It was found that Afrikaans males, Setswana males and Setswana females experienced pressure and stress at work, where the Afrikaans females did not have that same experience. Several antecedents (e.g., pressure at work, heavy workload, stress, and family obligations) that led to definite consequences (e.g., lack of quality time for self and family, physical and emotional strains, and low levels of productivity), as well as the strategies (e.g., prioritising, time management, communication and planning) which the different language groups use to cope with their work-life interaction were revealed during interviews. The results also confirmed that there were some major differences between Afrikaans and Setswana-speaking individuals in terms of their experiences of work-life interaction. Recommendations were made for the organisation and for future research.