Innovative machine learning approach and evaluation campaign for predicting the subjective feeling of work-life balance among employees
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At present, many researchers see hope that artificial intelligence, machine learning in particular, will improve several aspects of the everyday life for individuals, cities and whole nations alike. For example, it has been speculated that the so-called machine learning could soon relieve employees of part of the duties, which may improve processes or help to find the most effective ways of performing tasks. Consequently, in the long run, it would help to enhance employees’ work-life balance. Thus, workers’ overall quality of life would improve, too. However, what would happen if machine learning as such were employed to try and find the ways of achieving work-life balance? This is why the authors of the paper decided to utilize a machine learning tool to search for the factors that influence the subjective feeling of one’s work-life balance. The possible results could help to predict and prevent the occurrence of work-life imbalance in the future. In order to do so, the data provided by an exceptionally sizeable group of 800 employees was utilised; it was one of the largest sample groups in similar studies in Poland so far. Additionally, this was one of the first studies where so many employees had been analysed using an artificial neural network. In order to enable replicability of the study, the specific setup of the study and the description of the dataset are provided. Having analysed the data and having conducted several experiments, the correlations between some factors and work-life balance have indeed been identified: it has been found that the most significant was the relation between the feeling of balance and the actual working hours; shifting it resulted in the tool predicting the switch from balance to imbalance, and vice versa. Other factors that proved significant for the predicted WLB are the amount of free time a week the employee has for themselves, working at weekends only, being selfemployed and the subjective assessment of one’s financial status. In the study the dataset gets balanced, the most important features are selected with the selectKbest algorithm, an artificial neural network of 2 hidden layers with 50 and 25 neurons, ReLU and ADAM is constructed and trained on 90% of the dataset. In tests, it predicts WLB based on the prepared dataset and selected features with 81% accuracy.
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