Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


The combination of work and study

The combination of work and study

In our modern knowledge economy employees meet growing pressure to acquire new, work related competencies. Estimates indicate that in 2004 approximately 46% of the Dutch working population participated in education outside the organization. Furthermore, employees are confronted with increasing job demands. Studies show that work pressure is problematic for 32% of the Dutch employees, or 2,2 million people (Houtman, Smulders, & Van den Bossche, 2005). For this group of workers, the combination of work with study might become an exhausting challenge. Using data from 219 employed psychology students of the Dutch Open University, we explore whether too high job demands promote interference problems between work and study (WLI). Also, we investigate to what extent WLI influences personal well-being. Tests of a structural equation model indicated that job demands, i.c. workload, are positively associated with interference problems between work and study (WLI). WLI was positively related to emotional exhaustion and fully mediated the relation between workload and emotional exhaustion. From a policy point of view, these results suggest that employees' well-being might benefit from policy interventions targeted at the facilitation of the combination of work and study (e.g. study leave). At the same time, these interventions might promote the participation of employees in long life learning-activities.


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