"The boundaries between work and family are pretty permeable, and this is one more piece of evidence that people do tend to take their work home," said Judge. "The one comfort is that the effect is short-lived and gone by the next day."
The findings can give insight to employers trying to develop workplace environments that lead to enjoyment and satisfaction on the job, which boosts employee performance, said Judge, whose results are published in the August edition of the Journal of Applied Psychology .
"If employers care about the work-family balance achieved by their employees -- and there is reason to believe that they should -- they can contribute to positive moods in both work and family life by the way they treat employees," he said. "For employees, this spillover effect provides further evidence of the importance of being in a satisfying job. As far as we know, no one has ever looked at the spillover of job attitudes to mood at home that same day, and then followed it the next day (at work) as well."
Judge and Remus Ilies, a management professor at Michigan State University, in Lansing, surveyed 55 UF employees who had access to both a computer at work and at home. The participants were selected through an e-mail letter soliciting participation sent to a random sample of employees listed in the university e-mail directory. The sample included personnel with typical administrative positions, such as secretary and office manager.
The participants logged on to a Web page, and completed job satisfaction surveys and mood surveys at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. each day during working hours for two weeks, as well as once each night during the evening hours at home.
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