A positive attitude towards housework has a positive influence on parents’ relationship with their children

  • Men’s attitude towards housework is different from women’s and changes throughout life
  • Men have a greater interest in housework after 35, women between 20 and 35
  • Between 35 and 50 there is greater similarity in interest and time spent on daily cleaning and cooking

 

London, January 23, 2023. According to the first study carried out by IESE Business School’s International Center for Work and Family and the London-based international think tank, Home Renaissance Foundation, those parents who are more involved in the work of the home are those who also spend more time with their children and show more interest in their daily tasks and relationships. Those with more interest in housework are more involved in their children’s plans (under 14), talk more with them about their friendships and homework, and play more with them. (See infographics).

When the mother’s attitude towards housework is VERY positive, the number of days per week she spends with her children in various activities is 6 days. This is very similar to the amount of time the father spends with his children when the father’s attitude towards housework is also very positive.

Attitudes towards housework are different for men and women and change with age. Interestingly, attitudes evolve in the opposite direction: while men are more interested in housework from the age of 35 onwards, women are less interested in housework from that age onwards.

Two practical examples:

Cleanliness and tidiness: The need for a clean and tidy home increases with age for men, while women become slightly less demanding with age.

Cooking: The biggest difference between men and women is between the ages of 20 and 35. In this age group, women are 60% more likely to agree that daily cooking is a must. Between the ages of 35 and 50, the difference narrows to 6%, and between the ages of 51 and 65, men agree 18% more strongly that daily cooking is essential.

Is it possible to enjoy housework?

Men and women do not differ substantially (less than 10% difference) in their perception of housework as enjoyable. The biggest difference is in the under 35 age group, where women are 15% more inclined to enjoy housework than men. The most similar age group is the 35-50 age group.

The academics who carried out this study recommend:

–  the media and public campaigns encourage better attitudes towards housework, which in turn will encourage involvement in children’s lives and development.

– couples try to share their responsibilities in the home, understanding that domestic tasks require both planning and carrying them out.

– companies and educational programmes encourage the co-responsibility of men and women in the home, so that fathers and mothers are equally and more involved in their children’s lives.

 

Other conclusions of this study are:

  1. Phubbing threatens our mental health and family well-being (See infographics | Read press release).
  2. The work of the home is the new ally in achieving better levels of employee wellbeing (See infographics | Read press release).

The work of the home, a new ally in achieving higher levels of employee wellbeing

Psychological empowerment, job satisfaction, greater professional commitment or job crafting are some of the benefits of having a positive attitude towards housework.

  • Psychological empowerment predicts job innovation and satisfaction, as well as work-life balance, and the higher it is, the lower the emotional exhaustion
  • Job satisfaction and work engagement respond to the desire to stay at work, so higher levels of job satisfaction lead to lower absenteeism, higher levels of job performance and lower intentions to leave the organization
  • Job crafting predicts work meaningfulness and safety behaviours (in jobs that involve risks to oneself or others), and organisational commitment. Higher levels reduce risk of workaholism.

London, January 23, 2023. According to the first study carried out by IESE Business School’s International Center for Work and Family and the London-based international think tank, Home Renaissance Foundation, people who have a positive attitude towards housework have higher levels of employee wellbeing.

So what are all these terms and how do they relate to housework? Psychological empowerment, or in other words, a sense of self-control in relation to one’s own work and active engagement in one’s own role, is a skill that increases by 9% if one has a positive attitude towards housework. (See infographics).

Job satisfaction increases by 20% and Work engagement also increases by 26%, which means that the employee feels involved and an active part of his or her company, making it difficult to disengage and feeling that time passes quickly.

Job crafting, on the other hand, improves by 18%. Job crafting refers to proactive behaviour aimed at adapting work to one’s needs and preferences, rather than reactively performing work that the organisation has created.

ICWF/IESE and HRF,

– recommend that public campaigns encourage better attitudes towards housework, which in turn will increase well-being at work.

– encourage couples to share domestic responsibilities, not seeing housework as a duty, but as an opportunity to serve others and develop their own skills.

– suggest further training on planning and fulfilling household tasks as a means to improve individual and family well-being.

– And finally, we recommend that companies facilitate co-responsibility for their employees, as this will improve their well-being at work.

 

Other conclusions of this study are:

  1. Phubbing threatens our mental health and family well-being (See infographics | Read press release).
  2. A positive attitude towards housework has a positive influence on parents’ relationship with their children (See infographics | Read press release).

Phubbing threatens our mental health and family wellbeing

Almost 50% of the men surveyed are at risk of phubbing because they perceive that their employers expect them to be highly available for work at any time. For women it is 33%.

London, January 23, 2023. According to the first study by IESE Business School’s International Center for Work and Family and the London-based international think tank, Home Renaissance Foundation, mental health, self-esteem or well-being could be threatened by phubbing because parents perceive that they must be highly available for work at any time of the day.

What is phubbing? Ignoring others by being on your phone or electronic devices. A practice that not only does not serve as an example for children at home (lack of technological reference) but also causes social isolation and problems in relationships, since the times when phubbing occurs most often are at mealtimes or when they spend time together. Those who are neglected are at risk of feeling unimportant, excluded or rejected.

Phubbing is intensified in cases where the family lives under financial pressure, i.e., when the health of the household economy feels threatened. In such cases, parents’ neglect of their children is 70% higher for men and 50% higher for women. (See infographics).

This financial pressure also affects “technoference”, i.e., the number of times children interrupt their interaction with their parents to pay attention to different screens. The greater the financial pressure, the more children interrupt activities with their parents to turn to digital devices.

The health of family relationships is important for later performance in the workplace, so this study recommends:

To companies: encourage their employees to disconnect from work to promote good use of technology at home and a healthy enjoyment of free time.

To families: establish rules at home regarding the use of technology and encourage healthier communication between household members, especially when eating together, travelling or enjoying leisure time.

And for schools: develop screen-free initiatives to raise awareness of the excessive use of technology and the benefits of interpersonal relationships not mediated by screens.

 

Other conclusions of this study are:

  1. The work of the home is the new ally for achieving better levels of employee wellbeing (See infographics | Read the press release).
  2. A positive attitude towards housework has a positive influence on parents’ relationship with their children (See infographics | Read the press release).

Newsletter December 2022

Dear friend,

 
As the year comes to an end we are grateful that although economically there is still a long way to go, 2022 has allowed us to get our lives back on track. We have seen each other’s faces again, we have been able to meet again, trust and renew connections.
 
Our Christmas newsletter is always a summary of the year, a time to look back and remember what we have achieved. We are grateful and pleased to report that as the activity of HRF is progressing, credibility is growing and we see daily the enormous interest and commitment shown towards our topic: HOME.

 
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is one which, of course, stays in our news and in our thoughts at this time. In September our Experts Meeting in Washington, ‘The Home and Displaced People’, was timely as it addressed a new topic for HRF: the migration crises and the impact of displacement. It proved a very enriching meeting that opened the doors to a new group of highly prestigious experts with whom we are already working on a future publication.

 
In addition, we have had the opportunity to reinforce earlier topics with the publication of ‘Happiness and Domestic Life’, which we have already presented in Argentina and Italy. Here you can learn more about our event at Roma Tre University. In the first quarter of 2023, there are plans for launches in the UK, Poland and Spain. At the same time our research on digital homes, the Communication Project ‘The Impact of Technology in the Home’ which has prompted 5,000 downloads, continues to leave its mark.

 
We are delighted that you find our work helpful, and it is good to see how many of you also consult our experts’ working papers published on the website. We are committed to providing new content and fresh approaches to the study of the work of the home. In this context, we shall be soon releasing details of the first tranche of research carried out in partnership with the International Centre for Work and Family at IESE Business School.

 
Before I end this newsletter, I would like to announce an agreement we have recently reached with NTU and the UN to investigate the impact of climate emergencies on homes and vice versa. We want to find out how homes and families can be great allies of public policies to curb climate impacts. The Expert Meeting is planned for late summer 2023, and we shall send more details soon for how to contribute to this work.

 
My thanks on behalf of us all at HRF to everyone we have had the pleasure and privilege of working with this year.  It only remains for me to wish you a very Happy Christmas and that 2023 will be full of good news for homes, which will mean a better future for everyone.

 

Bryan K. Sanderson CBE

 

The Home: the cradle of Happiness | Book Launch in Italy

Addressing happiness is always a difficult challenge. The experts who took part in our event last Thursday at the Roma Tre University were faced with the complexity of defining the term because it is ambiguous, broad, and often even paradoxical.

Professor Antonio Petagine (Università Roma Tre) said that we all want happiness, we all seek it, and we all long for it, but we do not always obtain it, and on many occasions, this impossibility of finding it is due to the fact that we fall into the error of giving it a hedonistic meaning, seeking our own satisfaction. But this attitude leaves an emptiness that rarely makes us happy.

Given the thousands of suicides and the high consumption of antidepressants, Professor Vinicio Busacchi (Università de Cagliari) suggested turning to philosophical reflection to discover those situations that make our lives unhappy and try to improve them. “Philosophy can help us understand the meaning of life and become a school of life,” said Busacchi, recalling the title of a famous essay by Lou Marinoff entitled “More Plato and less Prozac.”

And then, the concept of relational happiness came up, when Professor Nicola di Stefano (CNR Roma) explained that Aristotle said that, among other things, happiness depends on the number of friends one has and the quality of that friendship. Can our happiness depend on the environment around us? Is the home the first place to find happiness because it is the first place where we relate to others? The home is a test bed, a private place, where we feel protected, it is a nest,” Di Stefano stressed.

Ambassador Roberto Rossi, author of “Aristotele: l’arte di vivere. Fondamenti e pratica dell’etica aristotelica come via alla felicità” (FrancoAngeli, 2018), recalled that happiness is not a moment in life, but a constant state of the soul, a concatenation of actions that help us to find the ultimate goal of life, happiness. Aristotle insisted that happiness is identified with the good life, i.e. the virtuous life. The “recipe” is therefore to try to seek the best possible good in everything we do, unselfishly.

As the editor of the book ‘Happiness and Domestic Life‘, Professor and Philosopher Maria Teresa Russo, explained, the question we have to ask ourselves is: what home for what happiness? Because we can understand the home as a refuge or, conversely, as a place of conflict and happiness as well-being in a material sense. On the other hand, the home is that physical place where we live, think and love: where we guard our own intimacy and define our identity. A complex but unitary system, where happiness is taking care of each other, disinterestedly.

Press Release | The Home in the Digital Age

“The levels of mental disorders, depression and even suicide have increased among the new generations of university students. It is an epidemic that has to do with the impact of technology on our way of life”, Ignacio Aizpún, director general of ATAM.

Madrid | 5 Nov 2021. On the occasion of the presentation of the book The Home in the Digital Age by the international think tank Home Renaissance Foundation, a round table discussion with experts took place last week at Telefónica Foundation to analyse the impact of technology in the home.

The impact of technology on homes and society as a whole is evident, “it is even transforming the way our minds communicate. This has consequences and is causing new diseases due to maladjustment,” explained Ignacio Aizpún, director general of ATAM.

The sociologist and member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts, Julio Díez Nicolás, stated that technology has been with us since the Stone Age, because human beings must survive. Thanks to human intelligence and life in society, people are adapting. “Technology has always been the fundamental factor of social change because it provides us with a different future. Today there are five inventions that will change our lives: artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, holograms and virtual reality,” said Díaz.

But what is Artificial Intelligence and how does it affect our daily lives? María José Monferrer, an engineer and founder of AI-verse, tried to answer this question. She defined AI as a “multidisciplinary field of science and engineering whose aim is to create intelligent machines that emulate human intelligence and, eventually, surpass that intelligence. Therein lies the risk.

Monferrer warned that we have implemented some technologies in the home, but we are only at the beginning of the uses we will be able to make of AI. So it’s a good time to stop and assess the risks. It is important to think about how we can apply the rules to protect the fundamental rights at stake: personal data protection, privacy and non-discrimination.

ATAM is clear about the use of AI, as Aizpún stated, “we need to be able to process the information that AI provides us with in the form of data to learn more about the person, their situation, their health variables, their activity, their functioning, their context. Only by transmitting, governing and activating this data in a secure way will we be able to generate responses and solutions that allow the disabled or dependent person to continue living at home in optimal conditions of safety, health and integrity”.

The three speakers and the Director-General of Childhood, Family and Birth Promotion, Alberto San Juan, who closed the event, agreed on the importance of putting the person at the centre of this technological transformation and on continuous, personal and family training as a solution to many of the challenges presented by technologies in the home. “The family must be cared for as the most precious asset and this is done with love, patience and training. The lifelong School for Parents is still essential and necessary. In the Community of Madrid we are facing real dramas due to the misuse of technology among young people,” warned San Juan.

In 2008, the Community of Madrid created a service to help families, inviting them to discuss their concerns about the misuse of technology in the home.  Alberto San Juan explained “we attend to families with children between 10 and 18 years old. Families come when they suspect that their children’s relationship with technology is not good and is not helping family coexistence. Young people are sometimes betting on each other having a 24, 48, which means spending two days in a row playing games and connected to the Internet”.

Despite the risks that technology can pose for households, it was clear that technology is neutral, it is neither good nor bad, in itself, it depends on the use that people make of it, although Aizpún wanted to stress that we have an important mission, “we must create new social institutions, new models of social organisation that allow human beings to adapt to these new environmental conditions that technology is creating”.

The event can be watched again here.

Worldwide launch of the book “People, Care and Work in the Home”

In 2020 we published our second book “People, Care and Work in the Home”. It would be hard to find a more important time for its publication. Covid19 brought to the forefront of all our lives the importance of the home and the people, work and care that happens within them.

We launched the book worldwide via Zoom on Thursday, January 21 in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University. The editors and some of the authors participated and the whole event is now available on our youtube chanel. Click here. 

The book, published with Routledge, brings together academic and professional expertise in these fields, first gathered at the 2017 4th International HRF Conference: “A Home, a place of growth, care and wellbeing.”

What was clear at the conference was that these vital things – growth and wellbeing – do not just “happen.” For strong, healthy individuals, families, and communities there needs to be attention paid and support given to the frontline of where these patterns begin – at home.

Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem, Professor and Chair in Architecture at Nottingham Trent University, and Professor Antonio Argandoña, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Business Ethics at IESE Business School, editors of People, Care and Work in the Home worked with contributors to bring to wider attention this multidisciplinary approach to society’s key building blocks.

Lord Best, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People, stresses the need for “right-sizing” in homes for later life. Baroness Hollins, Emeritus Professor of the Psychiatry and Disability,  speaks from the personal and professional experience of the value of homes for those with intellectual disabilities: My home, my life.

This recent pandemic, the lockdown and enforced time at home together have given new energy to those determined to champion the unique and priceless role it plays in our lives and the work involved in making it happen. In the words of Professor Argandoña:

“The home grows with solidarity, sharing everything. And the most complete way of sharing is love, that is, to take care of others. That is what we learn at home throughout our lives, although in a different way at each stage of that life. In this period of confinement, we have learned to live together, ignoring the deficiencies of others; to share, that is, to give and give ourselves.”

People, Care and Work in the Home is a very important articulation of that insight to inform both research and policy in how we value what is given and what is received at home.

Press Release | 5th Academic Conference “Happy Homes, Happy Society?”

We can be happy, despite everything we are experiencing

 

  • Homes are the fundamental basis as a source of security in our lives
  • Happiness = Care + Empathy + Home
  • Happiness in our homes is being greatly influenced by digital media and technologies
  • Classical model allows us to analyse the impact of households in the public sphere
  • The neighbourhood is the right community for home-society relationships
  • Different ideologies have been modifying the structure of our homes

 

London Nov 13. We can be happy, despite everything we are experiencing. This is the first big conclusion we reached after two days talking about happiness in the home and how domestic life contributes to the happiness of society. The topic was chosen before the pandemic hit, but it has only reinforced the importance of research in this area. “To a great extent our happiness depends on our attitude towards life, on how we face, take care of and work on our personal relationships at home. A place that constitutes the fundamental base as a source of security in our lives”, according to Lord Layard and Prof. Chirinos, who also drew strong connections between the home, work and care as key to human flourishing. Outlining the specific contribution of these areas, she sees the home as the place where both work ethics and the empathy for care are learnt and developed.

Prof. Wessels and Prof. Bakardjieva also agree on this, they are clear that the entry of new technologies into the home has eroded our family lives, has caused inequalities and what seem to be connected homes could well be the opposite. The use that we make of these digital media and on how we understand that connectivity, our happiness will depend.

From a philosophical point of view and taking into account the contributions of Prof. Nogal and Dr. Thunder, the influence of our private lives in the public sphere can be seen. She argues that we have to return to classical model to find that relationship, for without a doubt the part individuals play in society depends upon the early formative influences of home. According to Dr. Thunder, the way in which the person is incorporated into society and establishes ties with the outside world is very well articulated through an intermediate community – the neighbourhood.

But none of this would make sense if we did not also understand how our homes are structured and why spaces are distributed as we now know them. A historical and sociological review by Dr. Davies analysed how our houses have been built throughout history based on the dominant ideologies in each era.

Academics and experts from different perspectives presented their research through video accessible on our website and social networks. The next steps of this Conference will be workshops and a new publication as the fruit of this research. Paper givers from nine different countries will participate in the online workshops to be held in 2021 in which they will share their studies. The Scientific Committee will select papers to contribute to future publication.

To date, Home Renaissance Foundation has published numerous working papers available on our website and two books:
The Home: Multidisciplinary Reflections by Edgar Publishing
People, Care and Work in the Home by Routledge Publishing
A third. The Home in the Digital Age is currently being prepared for publication.

Any queries, please contact: Ángela de Miguel Press@homerenaissancefoundation.org

Press Call | 5th Academic Conference “Happy Homes, Happy Society?”

On November 12th and 13th, the international think tank Home Renaissance Foundation, supported by the Social Trends Institute, will hold its 5th Academic and Interdisciplinary Conference “Happy Homes, Happy Society? The contribution of domestic life in a time of social changes.”

AGENDA CONFERENCE

Academics and experts from different perspectives will present their research through video accessible on our website and social networks. The renowned economist Lord Layard, as a part of his contribution, will highlight the need for policies to support parents and children as these are the key relationships in promoting happiness and well-being in the home for individuals, families and wider society.

From the point of view of Communication and new technologies, Prof. Bakardjieva will analyse to what extent digital media have invaded and eroded our private sphere and how they have changed our relationships and even our domestic activity. Prof. Wessels will focus on the ways in which the increasing use and reliance on digital connectivity and data-driven services is underpinning developments of ‘connected homes’. ‘Feeling at home’ summarises the multidimensionality of wellbeing. It conveys how material living standards, services, information, security, communication, relationships and companionship create homes.

The philosopher Maria Pia Chirinos will delve into the importance of the recognition of care by citizens to achieve a more humanised society. We come from the era described as “the civilization of work” and according to Chirinos care should be recognised as a property of all human work, and as a key to humanising a civilization that has made technology and environment into its gods.

Dr. Thunder reflects on the role of the neighbourhood as a specific dimension for a healthy relationship between the home and its members and society at large. The differences between the terms family, home, community and society will be exposed.

Dr. Davies will put the historical point of view in this conference with an analysis of the structure of homes and why. He assures that there is evidence that shows that happy homes make for a happy society but that even in the way houses are designed there are economic, social, political, or ideological influences. It states that the design of a home is derived from pre-established ideas about how people should live and what the nature of their family should be.

Finally, Prof. Agnieszka Nogal from Political Philosophy suggests turning to the classical model of thought to find a relationship between households and the public sphere since liberal theory does not conceptualize this relationship. Prof. Nogal affirms that homes are essential for public space since they are the place where not only children, but every citizen grows and develops.

Researchers from 9 different countries have sent their papers and will participate in the online workshops to be held in 2021 in which they will share their studies.

As a result of the work of the contributing academics and a selection of papers by the Scientific Committee, a new publication will be worked on. To date, Home Renaissance Foundation has published numerous working papers available on our website and two books:

The Home: Multidisciplinary Reflections by Edgar Publishing

People, Care and Work in the Home by Routledge Publishing

The third will be published soon.

For any additional information or possible interview with speakers or HRF members, you can contact us at press@homerenaissancefoundation.org

Directors´ Report