What is it about?

Compassionate love for one's partner at home makes it more likely that existing resources, such as those that accrue from coworker work-family support, are shared among members of a dual-earner couple and provide partners with the necessary energetic boost to engage in resource-intensive behaviors at work such as creativity.

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Why is it important?

Dual-earner couples now make up the majority of households in high-income countries, which implies that a large proportion of employees in organizations will have a dual-earner setup. Although much research has highlighted the dark sides of a dual-earner setup in terms of increases in workload and stress, comparatively little research has looked into possible bright sides, such as whether such a contemporary setup can be leveraged to promote creativity at work. In general, our research highlights that work-related creativity is influenced by factors that reside both in the work (e.g., coworker work-family support) and home domains (e.g., compassionate love for one's partner). As a result, organizations are well-advised to invest in organizational work-family support initiatives not only to support employees' work-life balance but also to promote their workforce's creativity.

Perspectives

Creativity as the seed for innovation is crucial for organizations to maintain a competitive advantage in the knowledge economy. Our research highlights that work-related creativity can not only be thought of as something that is exclusively fostered at work but that, in part, also depends on a loving and supportive home environment. Targeted work-family initiatives will therefore increasingly become necessary for organizational survival as opposed to being a perk or a PR stunt. In fact, this insight is likely to only grow in importance post-COVID-19 when flexible working arrangements become the norm rather than the exception.

Jakob Stollberger
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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This page is a summary of: Sharing is caring: The role of compassionate love for sharing coworker work–family support at home to promote partners’ creativity at work., Journal of Applied Psychology, December 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/apl0000985.
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