Publications by subject - Work-life balance - 2012
| || Sustainable work and the ageing workforce - Executive summary |
What are the conditions that make work sustainable over a lifetime and are therefore likely to promote a longer working life? The concept of work sustainability takes into account the simultaneous – and partly contradictory – evolution of working conditions and of the demography of the active population. It builds not only on research on job quality for older workers, but also on research examining how job quality affects all age groups. This study is based on a secondary analysis of the fifth European Working Conditions Survey. Read more in the report.
| || Sustainable work and the ageing workforce |
Achieving work environments that make work sustainable over a lifetime is a key facet of the promotion of longer working lives. This study - based on the fifth European Working Conditions Survey - considers the dimensions of work that have proved essential to the understanding of work sustainability: working conditions; physical and psychological health; the expressive dimension of work; reconciliation of working and non-working time; and socioeconomic conditions. It examines the influence of these factors on how older workers perceive the sustainability of their work, taking account of differences between workers in terms of age, occupation and gender. In addition, the working conditions of the ageing workforce across Member States of the European Union are compared. An executive summary is also available.
| || Foundation findings - Intergenerational solidarity |
The proportion of people aged 65 and over will rise from 17% to 30% of the EU population by 2060, while at the same time the working age population will decline. The European Commission estimates that most of the increase in public spending in the EU over the next 50 years will be on pensions, long-term care and healthcare. Foundation Findings provide pertinent background information and policy pointers for all actors and interested parties engaged in the current European debate on the future of social policy. The contents are based on Foundation research and reflect its autonomous and tripartite structure.
| || Third European Quality of Life Survey - Quality of life in Europe: Impacts of the crisis |
What determines life satisfaction and happiness? How do we value our social situation and immediate surroundings? How has this changed with the economic crisis? For the third wave of the European Quality of Life survey, 35,500 Europeans in all EU Member States were interviewed, in an effort to gain insights to these questions. This overview report presents findings and trends and shows that the impacts of the recession are indeed noticeable and measurable in some areas, while in others there are more long-term developments to be observed. While overall life satisfaction levels have not changed much, optimism about the future and trust in institutions have declined markedly in those countries most affected by the downturn. And groups that were already vulnerable – the long-term unemployed, older people in central and eastern Europe and single parents – report the highest levels of material deprivation and dissatisfaction with their life situation. An executive summary is also available.
| || Third European Quality of Life Survey - Quality of life in Europe: Impacts of the crisis - Executive summary |
The third European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) carried out in 2011 gives an authentic picture of living conditions and the social situation in the EU, enabling a comparison of experiences and conditions across Member States. The profound economic and social changes occurring in Europe between the second EQLS in 2007 and the third EQLS have also been reflected in the later survey, enabling Eurofound to reveal some preliminary indications of key changes in the overview report. The EQLS not only contributes to monitoring the changes in society but can also pinpoint emerging trends and concerns for the future. Read more in the report.
| || Quality of work and employment: A policy tool towards inclusive and sustainable growth - Conference report |
On 12 April 2012, a conference on 'Quality of work and Employment: A policy tool towards inclusive and sustainable growth' was jointly organised by the European Parliament and Eurofound, with the participation of Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and with the support of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The main findings of the series of European Working Conditions Surveys (EWCS), which have been conducted by Eurofound for more than 20 years now, were discussed, focusing on the current challenges for quality of work and employment and the need for a broader approach to sustainable and inclusive work when employment policies are designed. The overview report of the latest 5th wave of the EWCS was launched at the conference.
| || Industrial relations and working conditions developments in Europe 2011 |
This annual review describes the developments in industrial relations and working conditions in 2011 in the EU Member States and Norway, at both national and EU level, with a focus on the economic situation and responses to it. The report describes the current economic situation in EU Member States and highlights relevant political and legislative developments in individual countries. It describes labour market trends in Europe and developments in career and employment security, health and well-being at work, skills development and work–life balance. It also examines changes in the organisation and role of social partners, developments in collective bargaining (at cross-sectoral, sectoral and company levels), working time, pay developments, social dialogue developments, industrial conflicts and company restructuring in 2011. At European level, the report summarises the main events over the course of 2011, charting trends in European social policy, employment legislation and social dialogue.
| || Third European Quality of Life Survey: Questionnaire |
English language version of the questionnaire for the 3rd European Quality of Life Survey which was carried out in 2011-2012. It was used as the source questionnaire for the translation of the 38 language versions for the 34 countries where the survey took place.
| || Organisation of working time: implications for productivity and working conditions - Executive summary |
Working time flexibility is one of the many different forms of flexibility. A key characteristic of working time flexibility is the ability to modify working hours by either the employer or the employee or both. Working time flexibility can be seen from the perspective of the employer or the perspective of the employee. The Europe 2020 initiative recognised that organisation of working time can help workers combine work and other commitments, and employers adjust labour input. Read more in the report.
| || Organisation of working time: Implications for productivity and working conditions – Overview Report |
The report examines working time flexible arrangements implemented in five companies of the retail and automotive sector in Hungary and Belgium and the Netherlands using the case study methodology. The main aim of this research was to explore and show whether and under what conditions working time flexible arrangements in companies are implemented and can increase productivity and at the same time preserve or improve quality of work in general and especially with regard to work–life balance. An executive summary is also available.
| || Trends in job quality in Europe - Executive summary |
Using data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), this study measures job quality in the 27 countries of the European Union, as well as the seven additional countries in Europe that participated in the survey. The intention was to find an objective means of assessing the principle established in a number of EU directives that work should adapt to the workers. Increased understanding of the social costs of poor job quality has focused attention on physical and social environments at work. Prolonged life expectancy and the ageing of the population suggest jobs will have to be of good quality if more workers are to be persuaded to work longer. Read more in the report.
| || Trends in job quality in Europe |
Using data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), this study measures job quality in the 27 countries of the European Union, as well as seven additional countries in Europe that participated in the survey. The intention was to find an objective means of assessing the principle established in a number of EU directives that work should adapt to the workers. Increased understanding of the social costs of poor job quality has focused attention on physical and social environments at work. Prolonged life expectancy and the ageing of the population suggest that jobs will have to be of good quality if more workers are to be persuaded to work longer. The indices constructed for this study do not rely on subjective measurement such as preferences and attitudes, but are built on the self-reported features of jobs that are associated with workers’ well-being. An executive summary is available.
| || Working conditions in the retail sector - Executive summary |
This report examines trends in working conditions and employment status in the retail sector in the EU27 countries and Norway between 2001 and 2010. The considerable expansion of the sector over the past 20 years or so is associated with a transformation in its competitive structure, greater use of technology and changes in the regulatory framework. Large companies now dominate at the expense of the numerous small and micro businesses that once characterised the sector in most countries. One result is a significant decline in the number of self-employed workers and a substantial increase in the number of part-time jobs (many held by women) and non-permanent contracts. These changes have affected career patterns and introduced new risks to employees’ health, especially psychosocial ones. Recent initiatives by the social partners have aimed above all to regulate flexibility and working time arrangements, promote training, reduce the risk of robbery and enhance employee well-being. Read more in the report.
| || Fifth European Working Conditions Survey - Overview report |
Work plays a significant role in the lives of people, companies and society at large. Since its inception, the European Union has paid considerable attention to work, and improving working conditions is one of its key policy goals. The European Working Conditions Survey series (the ‘EWCS’) aims to: Measure working conditions across European countries on a harmonised basis; analyse relationships between different aspects of working conditions; identify groups at risks and issues of concern, as well as areas of progress; monitor trends over time; and contribute to European policy development, in particular on quality of work and employment issues. An executive summary is available.
| || Fifth European Working Conditions Survey - Executive summary |
Work plays a pivotal role in people’s lives, in the functioning of companies and in society at large. Improving the quality of work and working conditions has long been at the forefront of EU policy, most recently in the Europe 2020 Strategy towards ‘Smart, inclusive and cohesive growth’. The fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) explores topics as diverse as physical risks, working time, gender segregation,work–life balance, employee representation, work organisation, stress at work, skills development and pay, as well as health and well-being. The survey charts trends in working conditions, identifies major risk factors and highlights issues meriting policy attention. Based on interviews with 44,000 workers across 34 European countries, the fifth EWCS represents a rich store of information and analysis on work in all its dimensions in Europe today.
| || Flexibility in European companies |
Companies need flexibility to respond to changing consumer demand, or to a new regulatory or competitive environment. This can often be controversial, especially when it involves flexibility in relation to such matters as pay, working time arrangements, contractual status and the organisation of work. This fact sheet forms part of the Eurofound resource pack 'Unleashing the potential – Flexibility in European companies'. The pack explores the flexibility strategies used at national and company level and their impact on employees.
| || Foundation Findings - Working time in the EU |
The number of hours worked per week continues to drift downwards, on average – the result of more people working part time, fewer people working long hours, and a fall in the collectively agreed working hours in many countries. Foundation Findings provide pertinent background information and policy pointers for all actors and interested parties engaged in the current European debate on the future of social policy. The contents are based on Foundation research and reflect its autonomous and tripartite structure.