chapter  11
Work–Family Balance in the Era of Intensive Work
Pages 24

The last three decades have witnessed important changes in the world of work, which have affected the ways individuals and families organize their time schedules: changes in the organization of work, due to technological changes and the growth of knowledge-based industries; increasing competition, with the development of globalized markets; and economic instability accompanied by an erosion of labor power, which has changed employment contracts and created new sources of stress to individuals and their families. In many labor markets, work schedules have changed from more rigid to non-conventional, fl exible, and diverse hours of work (Brannen, 2005; Perrons, Fagan, McDowell, Ray, & Ward, 2005). The postindustrial work schedules offer more opportunities for individual schedules (and, therefore, for combining work and family), but also introduce more tension between the two domains (Jacobs & Gerson, 2004).