Revision with unchanged content. Unsatisfactory working conditions and job stress may be indicative of working in a society where work-life balance is a desired, but often elusive, goal. Working conditions in the healthcare sector are reported to be particularly problematic and stress inducing compared to other work sectors. This study examines quality of work life (QOWL) from the perspective of healthcare staff. A particular focus is on how initiatives aimed at improving QOWL affect staff perceptions of the care they provide. The analysis should help answer the questions: How do staff members experience their work environment in terms of stress, work load, time pressure, and work-life balance? What is the experience of staff relative to QOWL initiatives? How do staff members perceive their managers in relation to supporting their involvement in QOWL initiatives? What role can leisure play in helping to shape QOWL initiatives that aim to reduce work related stress and promote work-life balance? What is the perception of staff regarding the quality of care they provide and to what extent do they feel it is influenced by QOWL initiatives?