Life Balance, Stress, and Boreout

As the boundaries between professional and private life are becoming increasingly blurred due to flexibilization and technological developments in the working world, our research field "Life Balance of Knowledge Workers and Top Managers" examines what people today understand by a balanced life balance, how they achieve it and how companies can support them in this. We are particularly interested in the role that information and communication technologies play in shaping the interfaces between work and private life. Together with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, we have developed recommendations for the use of mobile information and communication technologies within LOEWE's focus on Social Link and developed technical solutions that help to implement these recommendations in the everyday life of knowledge workers. The findings from LOEWE's Social Link research area can be expanded and deepened in the BMBF-funded SANDRA project (Shaping the Working World of the Future through Accessibility Management). With increasing digitalization, the probability of underchallenge also increases. The development of boreout as a disease of the future is therefore becoming more and more important. To be able to deal with these challenges and maintain the mental health of employees, the phenomenon of boreout must therefore be understood.

Sample Research Questions

  • To what extent has the individual understanding and management of Life Balance changed in recent years?
  • What role do information and communication technologies play in the successful, individual management of Life Balance and availability?
  • How do individual situations and the emotions they trigger contribute to a basic feeling of (in)balance in Life Balance and how do they affect well-being and stress levels?
  • How do extreme forms of boredom (referred to as boreout) of service employees affect the treatment with customers?
  • How does mobile work in the COVID-19 affect the emergence and the outcomes of knowledge workers’ boreout?
  • How do digital readiness and digital resilience affect employee boreout?

Sample Publications

  • Schneider, Katharina/Reinke, Kathrin/Gerlach, Gisela/Anderson, Christoph/Wojtek, Sebastian/Neitzel, Svenja/Dwarakanath, Rahul/Boehnstedt, Doreen/Stock, Ruth (2017), Aligning ICT-enabled Availability and Individual Availability Preferences: Design and Evaluation of Availability Management Applications, International Conference on Information Systems 2017, Seoul, South Korea.
  • Stock, Ruth Maria/Strecker, Marina Melanie/Bieling, Gisela (2016), Organizational Work–Family Support as Universal Remedy? A Cross-CulturalComparison of China, India and the United States, International Journal of Human Resource Management (IJHRM), 27, 11, 1192-1216.
  • Reinke, Kathrin/Gerlach, Gisela/Tarafdar, Monideepa/Stock, Ruth M. (2016), ICT-Based Communication Events as Triggers of Stress: A Mixed Methods Study, International Conference on Information Systems 2016, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Stock/Ruth (2016), Understanding the Relationship between Frontline Employee Boreout and Customer Orientation, Journal of Business Research (JBR), 69, 10, 4259-4268.
  • Stock, Ruth (2015), Is Boreout a Threat to Frontline Employees’ Innovative Work Behavior?, Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM), 32, 4, 574-592.
  • Stock, Ruth/Bauer, Eva-Maria/Bieling, Gisela (2014), How Do Top Executives Handle Their Work and Family Life? A Taxonomy of Top Executives’ Work–Family Balance, International Journal of Human Resource Management (IJHRM), 25, 13, 1815-1840.
  • Stock, Ruth/Bauer, Eva-Maria (2011), Typology and Performance Outcomes of Executives' Relationship with Work: Evidence from Executive and Life Partner Data, Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), 63, 3, 252-286.
  • Stock-Homburg, Ruth (2010), Work-Life Balance Coaching im Topmanagement, in: Stock-Homburg, Ruth/Wolff, Birgitta (Hrsg.), Handbuch Strategisches Personalmanagement, 1. Auflage, Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden, 539-564.
  • Homburg, Christian/Stock, Ruth (2001), Burnout von Mitarbeitern im Dienstleistungsbereich: Ansatzpunkte zur Vermeidung durch persönliches Ressourcen-Management, in: Bruhn, Manfred/Stauss, Bernd (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch Dienstleistungsmanagement 2001, Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden, 479-500.

This research area is financially supported by a number of projects: