The 2001 ENOP Symposium

Work-Life Balance









The aims of the symposium are to:


1. Analyse why work-life balance has become a contemporary policy issue in different countries, identify the key components of the policy debate and determine its relevance  for w/o psychology

2. Consider frameworks for analysing work-life balance at different levels from the individual to the national, including cross-national comparisons

3. Understand how w/o psychology has contributed to our understanding of work-life balance and how it can contribute more fully

4. Identify research priorities and in particular comparative research issues

5. Explore in more detail the meaning of “balance” in work-life balance






Thursday 29 March


1.30: Welcome to Workshop


2.00: Exploring theory and research issues in work-life balance.  

                   Presentation by David Guest and discussion

(This presentation will introduce the issues and concepts in work-life balance, summarise core aspects of theory and research and set out some of the themes for the symposium.  It will be built around a review paper which will be distributed in advance of the symposium)




3.15: Policy issues in work-life balance

Presentation by Nick Burkitt, Research Fellow, Institute for Public Policy Research, London

(The Institute of Public Policy Research is the leading “think tank” in the UK and has a strong influence on UK government policy development.  Nick Burkitt has been leading a project on The Future of Work in which issues of work-life balance feature prominently.  He will be discussing these policy issues, identifying why they are currently important and highlighting areas where research by w/o psychologists and others could help to improve policy).


5.00:  Finish for the day



Friday 30 March.


Morning: National Perspectives on Work-Life Balance

The morning will consist of two or three national inputs on work-life balance highlighting current policy priorities and research by w/o psychologists.  One of the aims will be to assess the policy-relevance of the research.  Another will be to identify differences in concerns and priorities in different European countries.


9.00 – 10.15:         Gunn Johansson:  The Case of Sweden (presentation and preliminary   discussion)


10.15 – 11.30:        Branimir Sverko and Dr Lidija Arambasic  : The Case of Croatia (presentation and preliminary discussion)



Participants will be invited to offer contributions on research in their countries.


1.00:            Lunch


Afternoon: Identifying a Comparative Research agenda


2.00 – 4.00:  Group discussions and Feedback.

Group discussions will provide an opportunity to discuss how the issue of work-life balance could usefully be researched on a comparative basis across European countries.  Feedback and plenary discussion will seek to identify any common agenda and shared recognition of the difficulties of such research.



4.30 – 5.30: Personal Reflections on Work-Life Balance.

Short contributions from founder members of ENOP about the challenges and means of establishing work-life balance


8.00:            Dinner (location to be specified)


Saturday 31 March


9.30 – 12.00                      Business Meeting

12.00:                                       Close