Work and Non-Work Relationships

Most families in this contemporary society are committed to creating a balance between work life and non-work life. To ensure this stability, individuals are often compiling information on how to cope with work and family responsibilities. Since employers are as well aware of this problem, they have purposed to offer support to their employees through work-family programs, which are aimed at relieving the employees from work-family stress and, at the same time, attending to their duties and responsibilities at the workplace as usual. Nowadays, the correlation between work and family is completely different compared to the way it was some time back. These two dynamics (work and non-work) are inseparably entangled to one another which makes them influence each other. Researchers have had to conclude these two –work life and non-work (family) life are dependent on one another (Chang, 2009).

This particular study explores and evaluates the relationship between work and non-work/family, however, in different dynamics. First, the study discusses work and non-work issues; to give the audience a clear understanding or an insight of what the study is all about. Second, the study evaluates spillover cost benefit in work/non-work relationship (work-family relationship) where the threefold typology (extension pattern, neutrality pattern, and the opposition pattern) of work and non-work will be introduced. Equally, the study describes some pieces of evidence that gives further insight and understanding on a work-leisure relationship, workload and technological effects on leisure. In addition, the paper discusses work life balances but focusing much more on the roles of women at the workplace. Also, the essay will try to evaluate the complexity of relationships and the mutual interference between family and work as well. Conversely, the essay evaluates the need for promoting home-work culture.


Apparently, work and non-work issues have been separated with the impression that personal issues are a jeopardy both at the workplace and to the career as well. However, some scholars have emerged with new findings that contradict this particular notion; they have identified that important connections exist between work and non-work issues. Of these findings is the fact that personal Stressors have an impact on work performance and career development as well on the health and well-being of the employee. Also, the findings suggest three organizational strategies of averting distress associated with work/non-work interactions; 1) create options for home-based workers; 2) train employees on effective coping skills, and 3) initiating changes at the workplace to provide for greater work/non-work integration.

In that case, work issues include dynamics such as company obligations, employee performance, paid workload, relationships at work, leisure, productivity and workload management. In that regard, we can conclude that work issues happen in the workplace/working environment where employees have to act or behave in compliance with the organization’s regulations. Non-work matters, on the other hand, are studied under two different perspectives; 1) as a natural reaction to the employee’s subordinate position and are expressions of the opposition to this position, and 2) regarding anti-social and aberrant behavior in general. Mostly, non-work issues have been identified as home-based or family related and in most cases they not part of one’s business responsibility.

Understanding these two dimensions is critical for this study as they are diversified aspects prevalent in our daily lives. Note that non-work domain has a more considerable influence on the work domain more than how the work dominion influences non-work dominion. There are certain circumstances when the impinge of work on non-work can be positive or negative; it depends on the noticeable interaction between work and non-work life. Olson and Primps (1984), identifies that working almost the entire day brings about dissatisfaction on non-work life while assuming non-work roles.

Work and non-work are interrelated in various dimensions. Wendy and Linda (1995), identifies that the relationship can differ in nature if variables such as interference are present. According to Wendy and Linda, work has more negative impacts on family than family has on work (1995). In support of various dimensions about the relationship between work and non-work, two primary dimensions of work and non-work relationships have been put in place. They include work non-work interference and non-work work interference. The work non-work interference is noticeable when a particular work function manipulates or alters the non-work dimension. The non-work work interference, on the other hand, is realized when a work function that is within a non-work dominion influences the work domain.

Well, from the above, it is obvious that the correlation between work and non-work is interactive. Still, the relationship is rendered interactive because the impact of a single action on one aspect is ephemeral to the other. Basing on these sentiments, we can conclude that the relationship between work and non-work is directly dependent on the type of relations. What to note is that negative interferences usually harbor a work conflict. Work conflict can also occur when there is a discrepancy between the resources and work demand. For example, a work conflict may arise if resources surpass the work-input required.

Spillover cost and benefits is another noticeable and important dimension associated with the relationship between work and non-work. For instance, if spillover costs exceed the benefits then the skills rendered in executing a role are unreasonable or unrealistic. Spillover benefits have been evaluated to play a crucial role in employee satisfaction, facilitation, dedication and above all, reliability. Spillover is either positive (helpful) or negative (detrimental). Positive spillover adds value and increases the performance of both the organization and employee while negative spillover detriments the firm and demoralizes the employee. Generally, the cost of initiating programs for obliging spillover is high, and their success is uncertain. Work non-work and non-work work are two major spillovers developed in regards to the above sentiments. Examples of positive spillovers include skill development, learning opportunities whereas those of a contrary spillover include family conflict and job stress among other distress associated to work and non-work.

Porter’s threefold typologies; extension, opposition and neutrality of work-leisure relations are also an important dimension in the relationship between work and non-work. The extension approach describes why employees seek to attend to other duties different from those they are supposed to execute due to boredom. The opposition methodology considers the fact that work and leisure are two dominions that are completely different; opposite to one another. For example, serving customers while listening to music are two conflicting and opposite activities; one has to give attention to only one. Finally, the neutrality approach renders the idea that no causal correlation exists between work and leisure.

Looking at work and leisure in comprehensive, a positive relationship that has a direct impinge on work life, and family life is noticeable between them. Leisure from this perspective is alleged to reduce stress and increase employee job satisfaction. Contrariwise, some scholars disagree that leisure is part of an employee’s non-work life. In this contemporary society, if leisure is tolerated in the working environment, then, we should expect poor productivity and performance.  When we consider an employee’s non-work life, leisure now comes in as some leisure activities such as watching movies, swimming, reading, among other are equally related to employee performance (work) and the general well-being (non-work).  If leisure is aligned well with the working hours, then the responsible organization should expect a strengthened work and non-work interrelation.

The primary goal of most of the today’s organizations is high productivity which makes them more attentive and focused on employee performance. Because of this reason, many employers only introduce leisure programs when employees clamor. Apparently, some employers are considering hiring a whole family over implementing leisure programs as an effective measure of minimizing employee stress. Workload has always been used as a measure of employee performance, and therefore, employers are overloading their employees not giving concern to the after effects which include psychological stress, physical injury among much more. Despite these claims, the workload has it beneficial side; it provides employees an opportunity to explore their workability and learn from their flaws thus advancing their careers. Chang, (2009) alleges that workload is important as it makes hardworking employees both active and energetic. The emergence of technology has set a new trend in employees to work life. For example, through phones employees can still fulfill their obligations without presenting themselves in person. Examples of technologies that prove technology has changed work life, and the non-work life are AI technologies such as robots, and computers. Human-work relationships are diminishing slowly with technology being on the frontier of overseeing this; robots are enough evidence to prove the increasing job insecurities in this contemporary society since they are largely subverting the job market.

Wendy, & Linda (1995) affirms the factors such as economic, culture, social, and the job type and the setting of the employer affects employees work and non-work (family) life. All these factors are identified as a pillar for human existence which is important in establishing a work-life balance that minimizes family conflicts such as divorce. Wendy, & Linda (1995) articulates that an ideal work-life has a balanced work non-work life that constitutes all individual needs including leisure activities and work-life activities as well.

Today, women have also developed an interest in participating in paid work. For that reason, there has been a rising work-family imbalance and family conflicts in the society. Research conducted by Geurts, and Kompier, (2004) indicate that almost 45% of couples who are on paid work programs disagree on their roles in the house. In his research, Geurts, and Kompier, (2004) identifies that about 55% of married couples believe that peace and a good relation between work and non-work will be achieved by performing one role and excluding the other. A good example is when we leave for work we should purpose to do away with non-work life, and vice versa. The idea introduced in this case suggest fulfilling one demand make the other unfulfilled.

Couples are making efforts to find a solution to family conflicts associated with work and non-work. Some, those with children, in particular, are thinking of minimizing their responsibilities, especially at work to at least give their kids maximum parental care. Since both sides seem to be affected, we can identify the situation as a mutual intervention. According to Amaral (2008), joint interference between work life and family life poses a negative impact on both work and non-work dominions. Employers are aware of the effects associated to this mutual intervention, and for that reason, they are calling for the home-work culture which gives employees (married couples) privileges to fulfill their tasks at home through the use of technology. This new strategy fosters family interaction and minimizes family conflicts. Equally, it guarantees employee retention, performance and above all, increased productivity. Most important, home-work culture promotes work-life balance as well. Admiral (2008) provide proof that home-work culture accommodates both work and non-work activities.

In conclusion, work life and non-work life are related in many aspects. The various experiences that employees encounter at work influence non-work life and experiences associated to non-work also have impinged on work life. Of these impacts, we have negative impacts which intervene in the in the effectiveness of the other. Under certain circumstances, resources from one part are valuable and important in other. Organization’s and employees can opt for flexible work arrangement (FWA) measures to initiate strategies and actions to minimize family conflicts and work stress in employees. The FWA can also be influential in strengthening the positive effects both on work life and non-work life.