Newsnov16 Eurofound

Changing working conditions in Europe: debate of reconciling work and family life

On 17 November Eurofound, jointly with the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, presented the results of its sixth European Working Conditions Survey. The findings cover a large number of issues, including work organisation, work-life balance, health and well-being and they are based on interviews of around 44.000 workers in 35 countries.

COFACE was present to bring the family perspective within the debate of reconciling work and family life and presented some of the factors that are necessary to ensure that families are able to properly reconcile their work and their family and care responsibilities. In particular, it has been reminded that work-life balance can be achieved only through a policy mix, comprising resources, service provision and flexible working arrangements. On this last point, considering the findings of the survey that show that one worker in five works in their free time to meet work demands several times a month, COFACE underlined the importance of job quality, which is closely linked to work-life balance. Furthermore, we recalled the role of technologies that are more and more used on the workfloor. However, while technologies can be very helpful, it is of a primary importance to avoid a shift from the culture of presence at work to a culture of total availability of employees to meet the work demand.

For more information on the survey, see here