Compensating need satisfaction across life boundaries: A daily diary study

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Rebecca Hewett, Verena Haun, Evangelia Demerouti, Alma María Rodríguez Sánchez , Janne Skakon, Sara De Gieter

Self-determination theory suggests that satisfaction of an individual's basic psychological needs (for competence, autonomy, and relatedness) is a key for well-being. This has gained empirical support in multiple life domains, but little is known about the way that need satisfaction interacts between work and home. Drawing from ideas of work–home compensation, we expect that the benefits of need satisfaction in the home domain are reduced when needs are satisfied in the work domain. We tested this hypothesis with a daily diary study involving 91 workers. Results showed that individuals particularly benefit from satisfaction of their need for competence in the home domain when it is not satisfied during the working day. No such interactions were found between the needs for autonomy or relatedness. Our study highlights that the interaction of need satisfaction across domains represents a boundary condition for the beneficial effects of need satisfaction.

Practitioner points

* The study examines the interplay between daily need satisfaction at work and at home and its relation to employee well-being at bedtime.
* Employees particularly benefit from competence need satisfaction at home (e.g., doing a hobby which challenges them) on days when they do not get a sense of competence from their job (e.g., if the tasks are not particularly challenging, or they are underperforming).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume90
Pages (from-to)270-279
ISSN0963-1798
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - basic psychological need satisfaction, work-family interface, self-determination theory

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