TRS.20.017 – Life-long Working, Life-long Caring

Route: Towards resilient societies

Cluster question: 049 How can we ensure that our labour force and labour-market organisations remain robust and resilient as they face the challenges of the 21st century?

Main Research Question: How can a healthy and sustainable work-life balance be fostered between work and care at different stages in life?
Description: To create and maintain a healthy society with resilient citizens, it is important for people to develop opportunities to combine work and care throughout their life-course. Given the increasing female participation in the labor market and a retracting welfare state, obtaining a healthy work-life balance increasingly turns out to be a challenge, not only for parents, but also for the growing group of workers who have to combine work with informal care. Less balance between work and life brings with it physical and mental health risks detrimental to healthy living and sustainable employability.
Approach: We aim to address these risks from a multidisciplinary perspective, in which we combine knowledge from different academic disciplines and views of societal stakeholders, to reach innovative solutions at different levels of intervention. At the individual level, we use knowledge from psychology and medical sciences (e.g. positive psychology, occupational health); at the meso-level, we use family sociology to research households (e.g. relative resource theory) and insights from business administration to research organizations (e.g. strategic HRM); and at the national level, we use insights from public administration (e.g. policy as a socializing factor). We aim for a comprehensive approach by co-creating knowledge with relevant stakeholders and by developing tools and interventions that have a positive impact on work-life balance throughout the lifespan.
Novelty: Research in this area tends to focus on a singular domain of work-life balance only, such as work practices or household characteristics. By combining insights from all of these fields and by using a systemic approach, incorporating all relevant stakeholders, we aim to provide integrated solutions which can improve people’s wellbeing, sustainable employability, inclusion, gender equality and organizational and societal resilience.


(informal) care, employability, inclusion, resilience, sustainable careers, vital living, wellbeing, work, work-life balance


Organisation Radboud University Nijmegen (RU)
Name dr. S. (Stéfanie) André