To investigate the long-term relationships between work engagement, workaholism, work-to-family enrichment, and work-to-family conflict (WFC).
We used structural equation modeling and the three-wave 7-year follow-up data of 1580 Finnish dentists to test our hypotheses.
Work engagement and work-to-family enrichment mutually predicted each other, and work engagement also negatively predicted WFC. Workaholism predicted WFC, but not vice versa. Work engagement and workaholism were unrelated over time.
The results indicate that beyond its suggested benefits for organizations, work engagement may boost the positive interaction between work and family, whereas workaholism is likely to lead to WFC over time. It is valuable for organizations to distinguish work engagement from workaholism and to enhance the former while preventing the latter to have sustainably hardworking working employees with happy home lives.