A K-State study shows that invigorated and dedicated employees take their positive work experiences home with them.
K-State psychology researchers studied how positive work experiences extend into family life and facilitate family interactions. They found that employees who are engaged in their work, which includes higher levels of vigor, more dedication and absorption in daily activities, have better moods and more satisfaction at home.
The K-State research group included Clive Fullagar, professor of psychology; Satoris Culbertson, assistant professor of psychology; and Maura Mills, graduate student in psychology. They presented the research in April at the annual conference for Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in New Orleans. The study was partially funded by K-State's Center for Engagement and Community Development.
"Our research indicated that individuals who were engaged in positive experiences at work and who shared those experiences with significant others perceived themselves as better able to deal with issues at home, became better companions and became more effective overall in the home environment," Culbertson said.
The researchers tracked 67 extension agents for two-weeks to determine the relationship between daily work engagement and work-to-family facilitation. The participants responded to two daily surveys, one at the end of their workday and the other immediately before going to bed for the night. They also completed a separate survey prior to the start of the two-week period and another after the daily data collection had ended.
Culbertson said stress at work and stress at home interact in ways that affect outcomes in both domains. The study results suggested that engagement is significantly related to daily mood, and mood also is positively correlated with work-family facilitation. The researchers found that both work engagement and work-to-family facilitation vary considerably from day-to-day.
The researchers also found that daily work engagement had a positive effect on family life after controlling for workload -- heavy or light work hours were not a factor.