Eh, Get A Life!


Topic: Work-Life Balance
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Can a manager have a life and a career? International and multisource perspectives on work-life balance and career advancement potential
Blogger: Katie Bachman

Back in the days of jukeboxes and sock-hops, it was common knowledge that in order to be truly successful at work, an employee (read: a man) had to be willing to put his work life far ahead of his family life.  Executives were the men who made a commitment to their jobs, forsaking all other pulls on their time and energy.  Well, like bow ties and hoop skirts, this one-sided view of success is now totally out of vogue.

A brand-spanking new article from the latest Journal of Applied Psychology evaluated almost 10,000 managers in 33 different countries with various work-family balance and performance measures.

The authors determined that managers with better work life balance were rated higher in career advancement potential. This was particularly true of women in highly egalitarian cultures and for men in highly traditional cultures.

Particularly at high levels of the organization, employees can become single-minded in their pursuit of success, but companies should encourage balance in order to get the best from their employees.  It looks like an overwhelming commitment to work at the expense of a home life does not breed the best people.  Family picnic, anyone?

Lyness, K. S., & Judiesch, M. K. (2008). Can a manager have a life and a career? International and multisource perspectives on work-life balance and career advancement potential. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(4), 789-805.Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(4), 789-805.