The paper describes the state of the art of the quality of work life (QWL) in the Slovak academic and practice environment. It was found that until now only a little effort has been devoted to this issue within the academic sphere. Definitions of QWL were critically reviewed and a new definition based on ISO 9000 definition has been proposed. On the basis of the research conducted on the sample of 721 respondents, ten QWL characteristics were selected that are relevant to the Slovak economic environment. A typology of QWL characteristics and methods of QWL calculation are also presented.