The meaning of work and home

A.J. Montgomery, E.P. Panagopoulou, M.C.W. Peeters, W.B. Schaufeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In contemporary society, work and home represent the two most significant domains in the life of a working individual. Changes in family structures and technological changes (e.g. mobile phones and portable computers) that enable job tasks to be performed in a variety of locations have blurred the boundaries between work and home. This all suggests that the meaning that people may have attached to these domains has changed also. The present research uses in-depth qualitative interviews with 10 employees from an Information Technology company to explore the meaning of each persons work and home domain, and the ways in which they interact. Interviews were transcribed into text documents and analysed. Frequency of word use provided a socio-linguistic profile of the words that participants used when asked to talk about their work and home domains. Content analysis of the sentences relating to work and home provided a measure of how frequently respondents talked about their home-life when asked about work, and vice versa. In addition, each participant filled out an adapted version of the PANAS, which assessed affective state in both the work and home domains specifically. Results are discussed in relation to the generation of future hypotheses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-161
Number of pages21
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2005
Externally publishedYes


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