Friday, 30 November 2012

Intention to leave job driven by partner's perception of how work disrupts home life

We know that levels of work-family conflict can cross-over from an employee to their partner, loading them with their share of the stressors produced by such tension. Now new research shows how employee attitudes to work are influenced by cross-over from the other direction: their partner's perception of how much work is getting in the way of family life.

A team led by Marla Baskerville Watkins approached individuals in a large sample of US government agency workers to identify those who were willing to be involved alongside their partner. 102 couples completed the data collection which consisted of two phases: the first collected demographic data from the employee and asked each partner to rate the amount of disruption that the employee's work posed to family life. The second phase one month later asked the employee how they perceived their own levels of work-family conflict, and additionally the degree to which they were looking for another job.

Employees were more likely to be engaged in a job search when their partners had higher perception of work-family conflict, even after controlling for the employee's own perceptions. I may feel the late hours and weekend work is reasonable, but if my other half doesn't, I may find myself looking for other options. Baskerville Watkins and team remind us that many organisations already recognise the importance of engaging with their employees' partners in a specific context: expatriation to an unfamiliar country. But they suggest that it may be more worth more broadly for organisations 'to consider family members in employer retention endeavours.'


ResearchBlogging.orgBaskerville Watkins, M., Ren, R., Boswell, W., Umphress, E., Triana, M., & Zardkoohi, A. (2012). Your work is interfering with our life! The influence of a significant other on employee job search activity Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 85 (3), 531-538 DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8325.2011.02050.x

9 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more, true work give us income but sometimes work is the reason why children are being neglected by parents and why some marriage are being ruined by work.
    psychologist in Denver

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  2. Bertie, just remember...

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  3. I will think about it.

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  4. I just can't understand why one would think about it when it clearly isn't the question that needs to be thought about but why one would not think about the story that isn't here. I believe this article reflects the answer to those thoughts but maybe it doesn't not know when it will happen.

    Work is most like a rhino.

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    1. I agree, it can be very difficult to recognize, but we must get the word out! I think that the answers are very clear and unambiguous — if only more would join in to the discussion.

      Especially when it concerns our big-nosed friends. A rhinoceros is important for the work environment.

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    2. I feel it almost outrageous however that the author of this article would suggest that someone who works "hard enough to disrupt a family life" would be doing so on a PC (as the image suggests)... clearly they would be on a Mac....

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    3. That is true.

      I think it boils down to Steve Jobs' management style and the fact that Mac OS X Rhino has not been released yet.

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  5. I hope the author will address this in their next article. Otherwise I will stop reading.

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    1. Yeah, Mr. Fradera really needs to step up his game, the rhinoceros shant be ignored!

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