Research: How Family Motivates People to Do Their Best Work

Family is one of the most important things in most people’s lives, across cultures and geographies. Yet, the idea that family can be motivational at work has been overlooked. Instead, in the past, family has been mostly seen as competing with work for an employee’s finite resources, like their time and energy. A large body of research on work-family conflict drew on this notion and illustrated how work and family domains create conflicting demands and interfere with one another. And yet, there’s another growing body of research that finds that family can play a role in motivation at work, boosting employees’ performance and inspiring them to do their best. This article focuses on that body of research, and discusses how organizations that embrace family at work stand to benefit from attracting and retaining employees who are highly motivated and engaged.

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