Work-(Self-)Care Reconciliation

All university members have to juggle many different aspects of their life together every day. That is, they have to reconcile them. This balancing act is not always easy. There are stages of life that are more challenging than others. There are life paths that contain less hurdles and more social privileges than others. As one of the biggest employers in Vienna, the University of Vienna takes its social responsibility seriously to also consider its employees' care work and self care, and to make overlaps easier.

Event

Work - Care - Wellbeing Days 2022

A family friendly career in academia - is that possible? What conditions are necessary to stay healthy when working flexibly and digitally? How can team leaders support their teams when somebody is strained by care responsibilities? During the Work - Care - Wellbeing Days, you can expect an extensive programme on these topics with talks and discussions with employees and experts.

The event will be entirely in German.

Information on the program and the registration.

The path to a university that is aware of reconciliation issues can not be walked in a day. Cultural change in our heads and our actions is necessary. Supporting reconciliability as a ressource for motivation and satisfaction at work is an important aspect of leadership. Executives shape the cultural conditions in an organisation that make reconciliation possible. In ideal cases, they are role models themselves for lived reconcilability and change the culture themselves, too.

Definition

What is care work?

In private life, care work is a large (unpaid) part in the life of all people. We differentiate between direct care work for other people in our families or our social proxmity - especially taking care of children or caring for relatives - and supportive care work - taking care of the household (food shopping, cooking, cleaning, tidying etc.) or voluntary (community) work.

What is self care?

On the one hand, self care means aspects of life and space in private life for oneself (like hobbies, sport, social contacts, religion/spirituality or education). On the other hand, working conditions are also essential for it. Self care is a decisive factor for remaining mentally and physically healthy and content with life.

The University of Vienna wants to facilitate the reconciliation of the overlap between gainful employment - care work and gainful employment - self care.

 

Image by Marion Wotruba: www.m-wotruba.at

Gainful employment, care work and self care are aspects of life that take place in a social and academic context. Those contexts influence how reconiliation is and can be lived at the University of Vienna.

Explanation

Society

Society or the social context shapes how gainful employment, care work and self care is distributed - between genders but also between other dimensions of diversity, like people with or without migration biographies. Who bears the brunt of unpaid care work? To whom is (badly) paid care work outsourced so that people can be gainfully employed themselves? Who can afford the personal spaces for self care because gainful employment and self care do not dominate everything? This social distribution has grown over time and is rife with inequalities.

Scientific Community

The scientific community is a sector with its own written and unwritten rules that have a big influence on academics' reconcilability. Research and teaching are often less seen as "jobs" and rather as "callings". Those who live for science put a lot of weight on gainful employment. The special working conditions and requirements, e.g. mobility, also mean less personal freedom for care work and self care. Even though many researchers are willing to give their work high priority, and that is a great value of the academia as a field of employment, it should become more open and inclusive for career paths that also enable care work and self care.