Relationship between work and home

Aviary unisa-edu-au Picture 1 A new fascinating study by the Centre for Work + Life (University of South Australia) sheds light on the link between home, work and community. The study is a comprehensive (four separate reports) look at how decisions about work are influenced by what happens at home and the wider community. As Dr Pip Williams, Project manager of the report, says: “Planning decisions about work and housing cannot be expressed independently of each other.”

Some interesting tidbits from the study:

“Not working‟ does not mean that you are not linked to the labour market. Firstly, people currently not in  paid work – for example, new mothers, full-time students or retired grandparents – are in close relationship to people who are in work: their partners, friends and adult children”

Work affects life through more than just having a job‟. For good work, home and community outcomes, people need access to a labour market that has depth: that is, offers a variety of job choices, and preferably some occupational depth and breadth.

The growth in participation in paid work is – by definition – accompanied by growth in commuting. Patterns of travel, concern about time wasted in commuting, the cost, quality and accessibility of public transport, not surprisingly, emerge as important concerns.

What makes a good job?
The report also looked at what makes a good job. 

  • A good boss: who listens and responds to request for flexibility;
  • Working conditions and policies that make flexibility accessible to workers;
  • Good leave arrangements;
  • Support for learning and education;
  • Work arrangements that fit well with care options;
  • Jobs that do not demand long hours, and do not overload workers;
  • Partners who do not work long hours;
  • Partners who share domestic work and care;
  • Being married to a tradesman (who has contained hours) rather than a chef, engineer, manager or IT professional;
  • Travelling to work with kids or partner;
  • Jobs that do not involve long commutes.

The study is rich in data and offer lot of insights into how decisions about a job is shaped.

Dr. Pip Williams interview on ABC (Podcast)

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