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Work-Life Balance

Mental health in the working world

The question of the compatibility of an employee's working life with their private life is receiving an increasing degree of attention. Scientific investigations also focus on work-life balance and the conflicts that might arise regarding this issue.

Work-life balance is usually being investigated as a conflict between social roles and their requirements in different areas of life. Furthermore, the question of the extent to which roles from different areas of life can mutually enrich each other is also being addressed.

There are various theoretical approaches to the relationship between the two areas of life (work and family, or the private life), for example the conflict theory, the enrichment theory, the conservation of resources theory, the job-demands-resources model and the effort-recovery model. According to these theories, a successful work-life balance plays an important role in ensuring the health and motivation of employees.

The compatibility of work and private life, or work-life balance, is receiving more and more attention. Especially against the backdrop of today’s increasing technologisation and, therefore, permanent availability and the blurring of different areas of life, the subject is being discussed more intensively. Additionally, many indications hint at employees increasingly attaching particular importance to achieving a balance between their working and private life.

Current state of knowledge

A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) summarises the state of the scientific knowledge concerning work-life balance. It considers its correlation with (mental) health and well-being. It also describes its relationship with motivation, job satisfaction and performance. Another focus was on those working conditions that may have a potential influence on the work-life balance. The review also reveals research gaps and discusses options for designing this factor.

The project "Mental health in the working world"

The scoping review on work-life balance is part of the project "Mental health in the working world - determining the current state of scientific evidence". The project assesses mental load factors by means of the state of scientific knowledge.

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