I have been doing research on the work-family interface for 7 years now but it was not until a few years ago that I began to experience the benefits of having to manage both work and family responsibilities.
Academics explain that work family enrichment happens when the experiences you get from being involved in a family role improve the quality of your work. My colleagues and I published an article at the Journal of Business Psychology reviewing 25 empirical studies examining the consequences of work family enrichment for employees in the workplace. We found that employees who experienced work family enrichment were more satisfied and committed at work. They were also more satisfied with their family and reported having better physical and mental health. Other studies have also shown that work to family enrichment relates to employee performance.
But what does work family enrichment entails?
Researchers state that you can “transfer” knowledge, emotions, and values from one role to another. A few years ago I became a mother. While, like many working moms, I did experience the difficulties of balancing work and family, I also experienced the positive side of having a child. Having a child in my life makes me happier. This makes me a more satisfied and committed employee at work. Having a baby also gave me the opportunity to hone some important skills that help me face the working challenges better.
But can you only experience enrichment between work and family?
Not at all! Work-Life enrichment also happens when you benefit from participating in different roles in your life. For example, you may gain some very important team working skills by practicing a team sports. This skill can help you become a better team player at work. Also, you can gain creative skills by dancing; reading and traveling that can be used at work. This is why companies like Google take in consideration employees’ passions in different areas when making hiring decisions.
But it is nice to know that there are positive consequences from having a family and working at the same time.