What is Work-Related Quality of Life?

Quality of Working Life

Your Quality of Working Life (QoWL) is affected by the complex interaction of many factors such as your personality, your home life, how well you are able to do your job, the support you get from colleagues and managers and they way in which you are asked to do your job.

The full context of what affects your QoWL can be seen in our here

Work-Related Quality of Life

The Work-Related Quality of Life (QoWL) scale has been developed by surveying over 15000 working people. A psychometric analysis of the scale was undertaken, and six factors were found to underpin people's quality of Working life:

  1. Job and Career Satisfaction (JCS),
  2. General Well-Being (GWB),
  3. Stress at Work (SAW),
  4. Control at Work (CAW),
  5. Home-Work Interface (HWI),
  6. Working Conditions (WCS).

In addition a summary QoWL value can be generated and used to predict overall QoWL

Want to know more? Below is an extract from our research paper recently submitted to the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology:

Based on the data from over 15,000 public sector workers in the UK, we have developed a theory which predicts stress, work productivity and job satisfaction which links to the wider theory of the Quality of Working life.

Worrall and Cooper (2006) recently reported that a low level of well-being at work is estimated to cost about 5-10% of Gross National Product per annum, yet Quality of Working Life (QoWL) as a theoretical construct remains relatively unexplored and unexplained within the organisational psychology research literature.  Where it has been considered, authors differ in their views on the core constituents of QoWL (e.g. Sirgy, Efraty, Siegel & Lee, 2001; Warr, Cook and Wall, 1979).  It has generally been agreed that QoWL is conceptually similar to general well-being but differs from job satisfaction which solely represents the workplace domain (Lawler, 1982).  QoWL has been seen as incorporating a hierarchy of concepts that not only include work-based factors such as job satisfaction, satisfaction with pay and relationships with work colleagues, but also factors that broadly reflect life satisfaction and general feelings of well being (Danna & Griffin, 1999). 

There appears to be no widely accepted definition of QoWL However, authors have considered a range of relevant indicators.  Baba & Jamal (1991), for example, included routinisation of job context and job content in relation to QoWL, and Warr et al.’s (1979) model incorporated work-related psychological well-being.  More recently, Sirgy et al. (2001) reported, in a thorough psychometric examination of QoWL based on the theory of need satisfaction, that the key factors are satisfaction based on: job requirements, work environment, supervisory behaviour, ancillary programmes and organisational commitment.  However, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) failed to produce a good fitting model for Sirgy et al. (2001).

This lack of clarity of definition of QoWL is further highlighted by authors who have identified other factors that they consider essential to the overall QoWL concept, including a safe work environment and the home-work interface (Loscocco & Roschelle, 1999, Mirvis & Lawler, 1984, Worrall & Cooper, 2006 and Zedeck & Mosier, 1990).  The important relationship between work-related stress and the broader concept of QoWL has also been explored in a review of QoWL by Killian (1997), who highlighted the link between job stress and burn-out as major negative aspects of general quality of life, and hence QoWL  Killian’s research emphasised that stress cannot be viewed in isolation from the other factors influencing people at work.  Importantly, from the employer’s viewpoint, QoWL appears to have a potentially significant influence upon important outcome measures such as employee performance and organisational turnover (Efraty, Sirgy, & Claiborne, 1991).

It would seem apparent from the literature that further measurement and analysis of the multidimensional factor structure of QoWL is required.  Authors within the field have suggested that robust measurement tools are required if QoWL instruments are to fulfil their potential as a means of understanding the workplace (Mirvis and Lawler, 1984, Sirgy et al., 2001 and Warr et al., 1979).  However, there would seem to be substantial weaknesses and inconsistencies in the psychometric properties and factor structures of many existing QoWL instruments (Sirgy et al., 2001 and Warr et al., 1979). 

We have developed the Work-Related Quality of Life (QoWL), in which a broad range of QoWL related constructs were item reduced to a psychometrically robust 23 item scale, which exhibits a solid factor structure.  The resulting QoWL instrument encapsulates both work and non-work aspects of life which will enable employers to support and evaluate their workforce more effectively.

Please contact us for more information.