Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Work-Life Balance Blurred for Some Employees

Employees with high levels of job autonomy and control over their schedules are more likely to bring their work home with them, according to surprising new research out of the University of Toronto.

Using data from a 2002 nationally representative survey of more than 2,600 American workers, sociology professor Scott Schieman and Ph.D. student Paul Glavin examined the impacts of schedule control and job autonomy on work-family role blurring. Role blurring is measured by how often employees bring work home and how often they receive work-related contact outside of normal working hours.

The study found the following:

• Having great schedule control – that is, having greater control over the start and finish times of work – is associated with more frequent work-family role blurring; this pattern is stronger among men;

• Having greater job autonomy is associated with more frequent work-family role blurring among both women and men;

• Men in autonomous jobs are more likely than women in similarly autonomous jobs to receive work-related contact outside of normal work hours;

• Among both genders, receiving work-related contact outside of normal work hours increases work-to-family conflict, but only among individuals who have less autonomy at work

“These patterns are somewhat unexpected because they identify a potential downside of work-related resources like schedule control and job autonomy,” says Schieman, lead author of the study. “While there is little doubt that these are highly valued resources in the workplace, we find they may cause trouble for people trying to navigate the boundaries between work and family life. Part of the downside of schedule control and autonomy is that more work may come home as a result of having these apparently desirable resources. Employees wonder: When does work end and non-work life begin?”

Schieman adds the findings are important because researchers have established work-to-family conflict as a core stressor in peoples’ lives.

“Conflict between work and family demands is strongly associated with unfavourable personal, health, social and organizational outcomes,” he says.

For more information on the study, published in Social Problems, please contact:

Scott Schieman, Department of Sociology
Office: 416-946-5905
Cell: 416-830-1441

April Kemick | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>