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Work-Life Conflict?

Work-life conflict can present itself in several ways:

  • Life off the job may interfere with work responsibilities
  • Work responsibilities may interfere with life off the job
  • Conditions at work may positively or negatively “spill over” to personal life
  • Personal life may positively or negatively “spill over” to your work life

This web site offers information and suggestions for each of these types of work-life conflict.

Work-life conflict also changes throughout the course of one’s career.

In early careers, people may experience difficulty paying back student loans, finding suitable living arrangements and intimate relationships.  These are real issues for younger employees, and ones that have not received as much recognition as other work-life issues.

In early to mid-career, relationship and parenting issues often are paramount.  In addition to these issues, early to mid-career employees often face conflict trying to figure out how to have a “life off the job,” that is, community participation, attention to wellness, hobbies and leisure pursuits, and more and more, helping older parents.

In mid to late career, work-life conflict can manifest in issues relating to aging parents and other family members, including the increasing difficulty adult children are experiencing in launching their own independent lives.   Finding time for wellness activities and adjusting to age-related health conditions also require attention.  Mid to late career employees also need to find new community and leisure activities as they contemplate retirement.  Retirement planning is also a work-life balance issue for employees in this career stage.

Finally, increasingly even retired employees seek a new balance as they enter new types of employment, sometimes called “second acts.”  With labor shortages emerging in some areas and an increasing need for older people to stay active and engaged in social interaction, work-life balance for retired workers is an emerging concern.

If you believe you are wrestling with too much work-life conflict, please visit other pages on this site, such as What About Me? or Feeling Overloaded at Work?

Copyright © 2014 University of Rhode Island.

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