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Dedicated employees are happier!

Employees who are engaged in their work, which includes higher levels of vigour, more dedication and absorption in daily activities, have better moods and more satisfaction at home

india Updated: Aug 25, 2009 19:15 IST

Employees who are invigorated and dedicated have a happier home life, according to a new Kansas State University study.

The researchers studied how positive work experiences extend into family life and facilitate family interactions.

They found that employees who are engaged in their work, which includes higher levels of vigour, more dedication and absorption in daily activities, have better moods and more satisfaction at home.

The research team involved Clive Fullagar, professor of psychology; Satoris Culbertson, assistant professor of psychology; and Maura Mills, graduate student in psychology, Manhattan.

"Our research indicated that individuals who were engaged in positive experiences at work and who shared those experiences with significant others perceived themselves as better able to deal with issues at home, became better companions and became more effective overall in the home environment," Culbertson said.

The researchers tracked 67 extension agents for two-weeks to determine the relationship between daily work engagement and work-to-family facilitation.

The participants responded to two daily surveys, one at the end of their workday and the other immediately before going to bed for the night.

They also completed a separate survey prior to the start of the two-week period and another after the daily data collection had ended.

Culbertson said stress at work and stress at home interact in ways that affect outcomes in both domains.

The study results suggested that engagement is significantly related to daily mood, and mood also is positively correlated with work-family facilitation.

The researchers found that both work engagement and work-to-family facilitation vary considerably from day-to-day.

"Just because an employee might not be invigorated or dedicated to his or her work on a Monday doesn''t mean he or she won''t be engaged on Tuesday or vice versa," Culbertson said.

"Additionally, one's work can facilitate things at home to a different extent depending on the day and what has happened on that particular day," Culbertson added.

The researchers also found that daily work engagement had a positive effect on family life after controlling for workload - heavy or light work hours were not a factor.

Culbertson stressed that engagement refers to positive work involvement rather than more negative forms of job involvement like workaholism and work addiction, which differ in their effects on home lives.

"Work addicts, or workaholics, have been shown to experience higher levels of work-family conflict. On the contrary, our study showed that higher levels of engagement were related to higher levels of work-family facilitation rather than conflict," Culbertson said.

The research has been presented at the annual conference for Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in New Orleans.