JMSB profs strike a working balance
Will present findings at Montreal Matters
When Human Resources & Employee Relations decided to make wellness the focus of a campus-wide event last spring, Management professors Tracy Hecht and Kathleen Boies saw an opportunity for collaboration.
Combining Hecht’s interest in work/life balance and Boies’ interest in leadership development, the two produced a two-part survey assessing the impact that participation in activities outside of work has on one’s current job.
The two professors will present their preliminary findings as part of Montreal Matters, which takes CBC radio and TV into the community for a month. This year’s theme, Work, mirrors the professors’ research.
Boies and Hecht asked Concordia staff and faculty members questions about their work, family, leisure and volunteer activities. They were particularly interested in the interaction between these domains and how skills transfer back and forth.
About 500 people responded to at least one version of the questionnaire, a response rate of about 15 per cent.
“We wanted to look at the good and the bad impacts. We tend to focus on the cons and don’t pay attention to the pros,” Hecht said.
“We often consider work versus family as a conflict,” Boies added.
Instead, the two professors discovered that the pros and cons do not necessarily line up as neatly as you might expect. “The interaction between work and family is complex, and each can have both positive and negative effects on the other,” Hecht said.
Boies said, “We found out people do a lot of things. No wonder they feel overwhelmed.” They will use the Montreal Matters event to present their initial findings.
They will have two guest speakers. Professor Steven Henle, of Applied Human Sciences, will speak on the subject of leisure. Linda Kislowicz, executive director of the YM-YWHA, will also discuss volunteering on behalf of an agency that depends on volunteer efforts to achieve its goals.
“These issues will be presented in a broader context, this is not just of interest to those who participated in the survey,” Hecht said.
In addition to their presentation, the two professors will launch a recruitment drive for a new phase of research. This phase will move beyond the Concordia community to anyone in Canada over 18 who works.
“We want to explore differences which might vary across age or level of education,” Boies said.
Hecht and Boies will present their findings, along with their guest speakers, from noon to 1 p.m. in the DeSève Cinema on Oct. 28. Those who wish to participate in the next phase of the survey are invited to visit: http://dbonline.concordia.ca/work-life/work-life.htm, please type in the username concordia and the password wellness.