Editors often struggle with work and home life interfering; one study identifies how to establish a work-home balance.
Like many professionals, editors face the challenging tendency for work and home life to intersect—and even interfere—at times. Technology enhances this issue because editors can communicate with colleagues while at home, or communicate with friends or family while at work. Because editors must comply with demanding deadlines while remaining efficient, it’s crucial for their success and fulfillment to maintain a healthy work-home balance.
In an effort to study the way that employees’ work-home culture was associated with negative and positive work-home interaction, Josje S. E. Dikkers et al. (2007) researched support and hindrance factors and highlighted their findings in the article “Dimensions of Work-Home Culture and Their Relations with the Use of Work-Home Arrangements and Work-Home Interaction.” Although this study did not explicitly target the publishing industry, publishers can find great value in the findings of these occupational health researchers. The study consisted of 1,179 participants from governmental, manufacturing, and financial institutions. The survey contained 18 questions representing five components of work-home culture: “(a) organization’s support, (b) supervisor’s support, (c) colleagues’ support, (d) career consequences, and (e) organizational time demands” (156).
The participants’ answers to this survey indicated that employees who perceived greater support in reference to “organization’s, supervisors’, and colleagues’ responsiveness to work-family issues” (155) and less hindrance (meaning “employees’ perceptions of career consequences and organizational time demands” ) experienced less conflict between their work and home lives, and even a greater positive influence from home on their work. Interestingly, Dikkers et al. found that these results were the same across organizations, gender, and parental status.
Overall, Dikkers et al. concluded that employers creating a work culture of high support and low hindrance can help their employees’ work from adversely affecting the employees’ personal lives.
As mentioned, professional editors often grapple with the challenging intersections of work and home life. However, Dikkers et al.’s research suggests that the solution lies not in separating work and home, but rather in allowing them to coexist without conflict. If we intentionally include the support of family issues in the workplace, home life won’t be a distraction or hindrance.
This research can be particularly helpful for publishers who are transitioning back to work post-COVID, helping them establish a foundation of healthy interactions between the work and home lives of their editors. Creating high support and low hindrance between work and home will reduce work-home conflict—a great need in this unique “work from home” era.
To learn more about the study of work-home relations, read the full article:
Dikkers, Josje S. E. et al. 2007. “Dimensions of Work-Home Culture and Their Relations with the Use of Work-Home Arrangements and Work-Home Interaction,” Work and Stress 21 (2): 155–72, https://doi.org/10.1080/02678370701442190.
—Myla Parke, Editing Research
FEATURE IMAGE BY LAUREN GRAY
Find more research
Check out Thomas Rollins and Darryl Roberts’s (1998) book to learn more about the relationship between an organization’s work culture and its business success: Work Culture, Organizational Performance, and Business Success: Measurement and Management. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Take a look at Christena A. Nippert-Eng’s (1996) book to learn about her research on setting boundaries between work and home life: Home and Work: Negotiating Boundaries through Everyday Life. Illinois: University of Chicago Press.