Work and family are the two most important domains of adult life. Technological advances have changed an individual’s daily life bringing some advantages such as disadvantages. The latter most often refers to the blurring of the boundaries of the main domain, mostly family. Changes in society have led to an increase in perceived conflict between private and work. This conflict refers to a conflict between roles in which the pressures of roles from work and family are mutually incompatible in some respects.

In the following, we will explain antecedents and outcomes of work-family conflict.

Factors that precede conflict between private and work

Although conflicting results, most of the following personality traits have been shown to be positively associated with conflict between private and work: neuroticism, type A personality, negative affect, low self-control, low self-esteem, and self-efficacy. It is specific to type A personality, which characterizes a person as persistent, impatient, ambitious, and preoccupied, that it hinders the balance between roles, and thus between family and business. Negative affect is interpreted as the tendency of an individual to report discomfort and dissatisfaction regardless of the situation and ultimately in the business situation.

Job characteristics such as stressors, involvement in work and schedules, and unsatisfying support at work can lead to conflict. An organizational culture where employees feel “at home” provides greater efficiency in combining tasks at work and in the family.

Family characteristics such as parenting, higher number of children (younger) and lack of support are positively associated with conflict. Specifically, if people are parents, if they have a larger number of younger children and less support, it is more likely that they will have a more pronounced conflict between private and work.

Outcomes of conflict between private and work

Individual well-being is impaired in the context of physical and mental health. Some of the more common diseases that occur are hypertension, obesity, chest pain, as well as depression, emotional exhaustion, mood swings, anxiety, and the use of psychoactive substances.

Conflicts between private and work can change the attitudes and beliefs that an individual has at work and in the family. It has been shown that changes in attitudes can lead to low job satisfaction and low commitment to the organization. The latter is important because it involves the identification of the person with the organization in which he is employed and thus increases, ie reduces, employee engagement. It is interesting that after the conflict, attitudes that are not related to work also change, so the individual experiences low satisfaction in the family as well as in life in general (Mihelič and Tekavčič, 2014).

Of the behavioral outcomes, the most important is the decline in work efficiency that ultimately costs the organization.

How to reduce conflict between private and work?

  • Changing unrealistic expectations based on irrational beliefs. – Creating a plan of activities at work, setting goals, listening to your primary needs, allowing exceptions (treat yourself to a break after work, going to nature).
  • Reducing social undermining. – This term contains characteristics such as negative affect (looking “black” at any situation) and negative evaluation.
  • Shared decision control. – A high level of self-control is associated with a high responsibility for making decisions which can be a burden. For this reason, equality in decision-making is associated with better coping and greater marital satisfaction (Kushnir et al., 1996).
  • Social support. Both at work and in the family.

Have you found yourself in any of the characteristics that precede a conflict between privat and work or that are a potential outcome of that conflict? How do you feel about applying some of the techniques that could diminish the perception of this conflict? The first step would be to make yourself aware in the role of employee and in the family role. It can be difficult to stay sober in a situation where the job requires more than usual, or when the family needs more time. The purpose is not to make everything perfect, but it is useful to keep in mind what can help in certain situations. For more concrete help, the NAOMI application offers a number of techniques of which the most commonly used are techniques for recognizing harmful thoughts, balance your thinking and identify wrong beliefs. Let us know which technique helps you the most!


Mihelič, K. K., & Tekavčič, M. (2013). Work-Family Conflict: A Review Of Antecedents And Outcomes. International Journal of Management & Information Systems (IJMIS), 18(1), 15-26.

Kushnir, T., Malksinson, R. & Kasan, R. (1996). Reducing work/home conflicts in employed couples: A proposed program to balance job and family demands. Contemporary Family Therapy, 18(1), 147-159. DOI:10.1007/BF02196856

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