9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN14 Gender Relations in the Labour Market and the Welfare State

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Work Life Balance Building AA, AA.324

Work engagement, work family enrichment and gender in Portugal and the UK

This paper examines factors associated with positive work and work-family experiences, specifically work engagement, work to family and family to work enrichment and satisfaction with various life spheres in two EU countries: the United Kingdom and Portugal.

Much research on quality of working life focuses on occupational stress, burnout, work-family conflict and other negative outcomes. Yet, under optimum conditions, involvement in work as well as family or other roles can interact and contribute to personal growth and quality of life in very positive ways. It is important to identify and understand such optimum conditions in order to facilitate win-win situations which enable employees to benefit from greater satisfaction, enjoyment and self-esteem at work and beyond and organisations to benefit from highly engaged and motivated employees.

A central aim of this paper is to examine work and non work factors that contribute to positive work engagement and facilitate mutually enriching rather than conflicting work and non work roles, in two contrasting national contexts.

The quantitative analysis will be based on questionnaires returned by 2261 employees in eight organisations belonging to different sectors in each country, data gathered in the Quality of Life in a Changing Europe Project. This innovative project has the general aim of mapping out and understanding the well-being and quality of life patterns of European workers in the service sector.