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  • Alice Lira, Danilo Gardin, Letícia Braga

How does quality of life at work influences nonwork environments?

In the past century, the studies about quality of life had a great increase in numbers of publications and begun a new perspective to be analysed, which is quality of life at organizational work. According to this review, it examines what has to be put in the spectrum to properly measure the quality of life at work.

Firstly, organization work does not only influence the perceive of quality of life but also the objectives. Things that individuals longing have in a work and nonwork environment can be stablished by the organizational work.

Some of the determinants of human action which will directly impact on the productivity of the employee can be explained as two main concepts: the properties of work or nonwork environment and also the person’s characteristics. Those two aspects are a fundamental premise in relation to people’s behaviour at the organizations.

It is really important to emphasise that every person brings their own abilities and demands to the work place. Therefore, every single person has different personal needs to be satisfied by the company or the perks available in that environment. That social exchange process was defined by French, Caplan & Harrison, 1982.

On the one hand, people are motivated to act in ways that will anticipate the results, either good or bad ones, especially when it comes to a good fit between themselves and their environment. On the other hand, the perception of quality of life is the most fundamental concept stablished by Campbell et. Al. 1976, which was defined as “The perceived quality of life is a set of affective beliefs directed toward the totality of one’s life or toward specific domains of life, such as quality of work life and perceived quality of family life.”

From the work environment’s perspective, to stablish a good social relation with the co-workers, colleagues and bosses is indispensable to achieve the feeling of belonging to the organization, which can also indicate the perceived quality of life. In most cases where the employee does not evolve its interpersonal skills, it is more likely that the organizational culture does not embrace the employee’s personality. As long as the core values are matching, it is possible to unite both company and employee expectations. If not, they will probably face some challenges along the way.

The most common domains to compare quality of life are components of life associated with particular places, things, activities, people, social roles or elements of the self-concept. Some of the surveys often analysed are: family, work, friendships, job satisfaction, housing, transportation, religion, self-esteem, free time, financial security and neighbourhood.

There are other approaches on this relation of work and nonwork environment, for an example how the organization work can be influenced by changes on the nonwork aspects, like an individual with problems at home, such as diseases or economic issues, will have side effects on his performance at work, as well if this person is stressed and overwhelmed, he will take this stress to a nonwork environmental, as his family, friends, spouse. In a matter of behaviour and attitude, it can completely change either aspects of the person’s life.

In order to simplify our perception of quality of life, we found a really nice website from OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) which shows an interactive index where any person can choose the importance of every aspect analyzed and use it to measure and to compare countries according to those aspects. The website is and there are also many other reviews and interesting facts about quality of life.

Last but not least, there is a rank of the most stressful and least stressful jobs in the USA, according to the website Career Cast. Both spreadsheets have the same methodology and evaluates stress through 11 core factors, which are: Travel, Career Growth Potential, Physical Demands, Environmental Conditions, Hazards Encountered, Meeting the Public, Competition, Risk of Death or Grievous Injury, Immediate Risk of Another's Life, Deadlines and Working in the Public Eye.

Most stressful jobs:

Least stressful jobs:

Therefore, to understand all the different types of work-related effects on the quality of life, it must consider work as part of a whole context, including the person and all its environmental condition. The text also brings a vision that considers the most aspects possible in the analysis of work and quality of life. The main argument, in which we agree is: the person may be partially included in a work role, but is a whole person who perform that role every single day, so as a consequence the analysis of quality of life can't be limited to the work role and the workplace environment.


Rice, R. W., McFarlin, D. B., Hunt, R. G., & Near, J. P. Academy of Management Review: Organizational Work and the Perceived Quality of Life: Toward a Conceptual Model, 1985, Vol 10, No. 2, 296-310.,19.htm?utm_content=awards&utm_medium=social&utm_source=youtube&utm_campaign=BPTW18

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