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In recent years, there has been increasing focus on the question of how to balance work and life commitments in both academic and political debates. Homeworking is one initiative that has been promoted as a way of improving the work–life balance. This paper examines the experience of homeworking drawing on a recently completed ESRC study on homeworkers. Using the data from 45 interviews and 3 focus groups with homeworkers from different socio-economic backgrounds, it explores the question of whether working (or not) from home improves people’s capacity to balance their work and life commitments.
Social Policy & Society 3:3, 223–233 Printed in the United Kingdom
2004 Cambridge University Press DOI:10.1017/S1474746404001733
Work–life Balance and Working from Home
Tracey Crosbie and Jeanne Moore
Psychology Section, School of Social Sciences, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA
In recent years, there has been increasing focus on the question of how to balance work
and life commitments in both academic and political debates. Homeworking is one
initiative that has been promoted as a way of improving the work–life balance. This
paper examines the experience of homeworking drawing on a recently completed ESRC
study on homeworkers. Using the data from 45 interviews and 3 focus groups with
homeworkers from different socio-economic backgrounds, it explores the question of
whether working (or not) from home improves people’s capacity to balance their work
and life commitments.
In recent years a new discourse surrounding the work–life balance has emerged replacing
family friendly policies (Bryson et al., 2000; DTI, 2001a, 2002; Duncan, 2002; Dean,
2002; Hogarth et al., 2001; Williams, 2000). According to the DTI
regardless of age, race or gender, everyone can find a rhythm to help them combine work with
their other responsibilities or aspirations, and the work–life balance involves adjusting working
patterns in ways which allow people to achieve this rhythm. (DTI, 2002)
The government has introduced funding for companies wishing to explore work–life
balance initiatives and recent legislation to facilitate flexible working for parents with
children under the age of six, on top of the family friendly policies introduced in the 1999
Employment Relations Act.
One of the ways in which the government suggests that a balance between work and
other life commitments might be achieved is by working from home (DTI, 2001a, 2002.)
This forms part of a wider trend in which homeworking is presented as an antidote to the
stresses of working life (Aldrich, 1982; Bulos and Chaker, 1991; Galinsky et al., 1993;
Mahfood, 1992; Qvortrup, 1992; Hutchinson and Brewster, 1994; Duxbury et al., 1998;
Hill et al., 1996; Mirchandani, 1998; Sullivan and Lewis, 2001). However, homeworking
is being promoted in this way without a full examination of its value or limitation as a
contributor to the work–life balance.
Homeworking research
Homeworking is an increasing phenomena, between 1981 and 1998 the number of
people in the UK working mainly from home almost doubled rising from 345,920 to
680,612 (Felstead and Jewson, 2000). More than a quarter of Britain’s labour force are
reported to work at least part of the time from home (Labour Force Survey, 2001). This
is predicted to rise to at least a third of the workforce by 2006 (Henley Centre, 1998).
Tracey Crosbie and Jeanne Moore
There is however a digital divide (Loader, 1998) which has extended to teleworking/
homeworking (Dwelly, 2002; Labour Force Survey, 2001). However traditional forms of
homeworking continue to be a low paid activity for millions in the UK (National Group
on Homeworking, 2002).
There are many definitions of homeworking (Felstead and Jewson, 2000), but our
research broadly defined it as any paid work that is carried out primarily from home (at
least 20 hours per week). This broad banner therefore includes those working at home
(e.g. employees) or working from home (e.g. self-employed) (Felstead and Jewson, 2000).
This approach allowed for a diversity of experience in homeworkers across the socio-
economic spectrum. It therefore moves beyond much of the research in this area that
tends to lend legitimacy to the experiences of one section of the homeworking population
by examining homogeneous samples of homeworkers.2
Many researchers acknowledge the differentiated nature of homeworking. Home-
workers are diverse in demographic terms and in relation to gender, skills and income.
In addition not all homeworkers successfully negotiate the social, personal, temporal
and physical transitions between the boundaries of home and work (Nippert-Eng, 1996).
There are potential difficulties and tensions that come with homeworking and teleworking
(Bussing, 1998; Gurstein, 1991; Gurstein, 2001; Haddon, 1998; Huws, 1994; Moran,
1993). Homeworking can increase the permeability of the boundary between work and
family domains, causing attempts to juggle work and family schedules to become more
difficult (Bulos and Chaker, 1995; Olson and Primps, 1984; Crossen, 1990; Foegen, 1993;
Gottlieb et al., 1998; Madigan et al., 1990; Royal College of Art, 1999; Sullivan, 2000).
Defining work–life balance
The pursuit of a balance between work and the rest of our daily lives is a fairly recent con-
cern. It has emerged amid growing concerns over contemporary demographic develop-
ments that are bringing about dramatic changes in the gender and age of the work force
(European Commission, 2002; Labour Market Trends, 2001) and increased concerns
within the UK in particular over its long working hours culture (Dean, 2002; Hyman
et al., 2002). These developments have accelerated concerns over health and fitness,
occupational stress and the difficulties in combining work and childcare (DTI, 2001b).
The trends toward flexible working patterns are also influenced by technological
developments whereby business can be conducted away from the specified office
environment and often at considerably lower financial costs, making working at 3am
and on holiday de riguer (The Observer, 2002).
There is a financial incentive to encourage flexible working which has been explicit
in any material aimed at the commercial or public sector but this remains hidden where
the benefits are being sold to employees and workers in general.3It is important therefore
to challenge the current view that that their are only positive benefits to be gained by
pursuing the work–life balance (Hyman et al., 2002).
Combined with the recent interest in flexible working patterns has been an increasing
focus on the home environment as a place where we work, live, shop and seek entertain-
ment (Henley Centre, 1998; Moore, 2000). This shift to combine work and life more
effectively is part of a cyclical trend which predates the industrial revolution whereby
home and work were not viewed as separate aspects of life spatially or conceptually.
Recent work has suggested that the integration or separation of work and home spheres
Work–life Balance and Working from Home
in contemporary western societies is determined by the ways in which people negotiate
the boundary between the two and is in this sense a matter of individual preference
(Nippert-Eng, 1996). This would seem to suggest that the issue of work–life balance is a
subjective matter.
Government documents offer little explanation or detail of what the work–life balance
actually entails. As pointed out by Guest (2001: 4) this is not unusual as
[d]ebates about work–life balance often occur without any clear and consistent definition of
what we mean by work–life balance.
However there have been numerous attempts to operationalise the concept. This includes
both subjective and objective approaches; however the emphasis within research in this
area is on the latter (Guest, 2001; Hyman et al., 2002). The 2003 European working time
directive defines 48 working hours a week as an appropriate maximum. The ‘objective’
definition implied by this is that those who regularly work more than 48 hours a week
will have an imbalance between work and the rest of their life (Guest, 2001). A more
subjective approach would be when there was a perceived balance between work and
other life responsibilities. Clark (2000: 750) defines balance as ‘satisfaction and good
functioning at work and at home with a minimum of role conflict’.
Most of the work in this area makes a simplistic distinction between home life and
work–life and does not differentiate between different classifications of responsibilities
within each sphere. Williams (2000) suggests that we can map people’s work–life needs
within three different but connected areas of their lives. First, there is personal time and
space: what do we need for the care of self and maintenance of body, mind and soul.
Second, care time and space: what do we need to care properly for others. And thirdly
there is work time and space: what do we need to enable us to gain economic self-
sufficiency. According to Williams (2000) a balance between work and daily life could
be said to be achieved when each of these areas are balanced together.
Working from home and work–life balance: in harmony or out of tune?
In this paper we draw on the data from 45 interviews and three focus groups carried
out between December 2001 and June 2002 as part of a study funded by the Economic
and Social Research Council. Seventy per cent of those who took part in the interviews
and focus groups were female.4All of those selected to take part in the focus groups
and interviews carried out paid work at home for 20 hours or more per week and had
done so for over a year. Nearly all lived with a partner and or children. Of those who
took part in the interviews and focus groups 22 worked in professional occupations (e.g.
designers and managers), 20 worked in semiskilled occupations (e.g. typists and sewing
machinists) and 19 worked in unskilled occupations (e.g. tight packers). The focus on
each of these occupational types is supported by the findings of earlier work (Phizacklea
and Wolkowitz, 1995).
All but six of the interviews took place in the participants’ homes, while the focus
groups discussions were held in surroundings familiar to the participants. The interviews
were semi-structured and lasted an hour, on average. The focus groups’ schedules were
designed around similar questions to those used in the interviews and lasted between
one and a half and two and a half hours. A thematic approach was used to analyse the
material with the support of NUD*IST software.5
Tracey Crosbie and Jeanne Moore
When selecting individuals to be interviewed or to take part in the group discussions,
three types of workers were targeted: professional workers (e.g. designers, managers)
semi-skilled (typists, sewing machinists) and unskilled (e.g. assembly piece work).6The
focus on each of these types is supported by the findings of Phizacklea and Wolkowitz
(1995) who demonstrated the diversity of experience between low-skilled and high-
skilled homework. Of those who participated in interviews or focus groups, 19 worked in
unskilled or semi-skilled occupations, 20 worked in skilled occupations and 22 worked
in professional occupations. While every effort was made to encourage men to take part
in the research the numbers of men (17) and women (44) that took part in focus groups
and interviews offer further evidence that there are more women than men working from
home in general terms.
Differences and experiences: homeworkers’ lives
The participants in this research shared some of the benefits and difficulties in bringing
work inside the home. A key theme, which emerged from the interview and focus group
data, was that there were common supports and barriers to successful homeworking across
the sample. For every positive support, there was a set of negative barriers. However for
the most part the difference in experience was due to differing skill levels, income or
space levels, as well as gender.7This support and barrier theme is organised into three
sections to illustrate each of Williams’ areas of life necessary for work–life balance. The
differences and shared experiences across the sample are highlighted.
Personal time and space
There are personal and psychological consequences of home-based work (Ahrentzen,
1992; Gurstein, 1991) which include personality as well as developed strategies for
working from home (Anderson, 1998; Gurstein, 1991; Lamond, 2000). The current study
found that many of those who took part in the research had developed numerous strategies
for coping with motivation isolation and stress. These included: developing support
networks with colleagues; setting personal targets for the completion of work; making
appointments to socialise with friends or relatives; taking part in regular social activities
outside of the home and developing daily and/or weekly work timetables or schedules.
However many found there were personal implications of homeworking through either
reduced social contact, loneliness, lack of self esteem and motivation. A professional
mother employed by an international organisation said: ‘It’s easy to sit in your office and
be de-motivated and have no one there to gee you up and that kind of thing’ (Female
executive: Interview 22).
Personal time became fragmented for some homeworkers. During a discussion group
with five Asian women who worked as machinists, one the women asked her colleagues
‘When you work outside of the home you come home to relax. Where do you go when
you want to relax when you work at home?’ Their reply to this was laughter and calls of
‘Nowhere. Nowhere at all’ (Female sewing machinist: Focus Group 1). However, others
found that they had more personal time when working from home. In the main part those
with more personal time tended to be either professional men or professional women
without young children.
Work–life Balance and Working from Home
Much of the research on homeworking has found that homeworking is diversified by
gender (Olson and Primps, 1984; Gurstein, 1991; Gunnarsson and Huws, 1997).8The
indication from the current study is that because men define themselves primarily as wage
earners, they have fewer personal conflicts when combining home and work than women.
However, traditional male homeworkers suffer increased tensions because they tend to
earn very little. This stratification of gender differences according to occupation was also
found amongst women. Professional women suffered the most personal conflict between
their roles as homemakers and workers, as they tended to see these roles as equal.
This role conflict was most problematic for professional mothers with young children.
Traditional female homeworkers on the other hand tended to define themselves primarily
as homemakers and carers and therefor found prioritising their roles as mothers and
workers much less problematic.
There were also other differences between the self-perception of traditional and
professional homeworkers that were not differentiated by gender. Most of those in
traditional homeworking occupations said that homeworking needed no special skills.
Those in professional homeworking occupations on the other hand were much more
likely to value their abilities to motivate themselves to organize their work loads and their
abilities to cope with the blurring of the boundaries between their work lives and their
home lives. A professional woman when asked if they thought everyone was suited to
homeworking said: ‘I would very much doubt it. I think you have to have fairly robust
sense of yourself and what you’re doing’ (Female organisational consultant: Interview
42). A female traditional homeworker replied to the same question ‘I wasn’t trained to do
anything because I stayed at home to look after my family and I think I lacked confidence
back then and now it is too late to do anything else’ (Female audio typist: Interview 5).
Care time and space
Some advantages of homeworking recently cited include familiarity and comfort,
flexibility, self management, quiet and working undisturbed, no travel, being with the
children (Daniels et al., 2000; Royal College of Art, 1999). All of these were echoed
by our sample. This study found that most homeworkers felt that homeworking afforded
them some level of flexibility in how they used their time, which allowed them to balance
the responsibilities of their paid work with their responsibilities of care for others. The
responsibilities homeworkers said they could manage more easily included the care of
spouses, children, older people or disabled relatives as well household tasks, such as
cleaning, washing, shopping, gardening and paying bills. However, there are tensions
inherent in these advantages, as being with the children does not support working
undisturbed. Furthermore, traditional homeworkers, doing low-skilled work for low pay,
tended to mind their children while they were working, in contrast to most professional
Those with children over the age of 12 gave very positive accounts of how working
at home improved their relationships with their children and their ability to care for them.
One of the professional mothers interviewed said that despite working longer hours she
spent more time with her children. ‘I tend to play more with the kids, whether it’s because
I’m here and they’re in the house, and I feel guilty because I’m not with them. So I do think
although I work longer hours I spend more time with them’ (Female office administrator:
Interview 35).
Tracey Crosbie and Jeanne Moore
Different ethnic groups would seem to have particular homeworking practices. Asian
women in the focus group and interview sample reported the strength of their family
support structures which allowed them to combine paid work with domestic work. For
example a young mother was able to work and look after her baby at the same time
because she lived with her mother in law. She said: ‘The baby needs me sometimes.
If he is being really difficult my mother in law looks after him for a little time’ (Female
sewing machinist: Interview 11). However, many commented on the lack of differentiation
between their paid work and domestic chores, highlighting the cultural differences in the
distinction between home and work (Nippert-Eng, 1996).
Work time and space
Earlier research has shown that support and tension within the homeworking experience
are shaped by the use and sharing of spatial resources (Bulos and Chaker, 1991 and
1995; Ahrentzen, 1990; Gurstein, 1991). The current study found that having a dedicated
workspace was emphasised as a necessity by many of the professional homeworkers,
whereas homeworkers in traditional homeworking occupations viewed it as desirable
rather than essential. Some homeworkers moved their offices to an outside shed or to the
attic to try and increase the boundary between home and work. For others the intrusion
of public working life through phone calls and post created tensions with others in the
family. For some especially those in traditional homeworking many of the tensions within
the homeworking experience were related to a lack of space. For example when asked
if the building he lived in felt like home a young father replied: ‘Sometimes I feel like
throwing all my work things out of the window. When the room is full of cartons and
work things it is not my home it is my factory but my family have to live in my factory’
(Male electrical assembly worker: Interview 6).
Many homeworkers said that they had problems with the amount of time they spent
on their paid work. These problems included working longer hours than they are paid
for and working longer hours than someone who did a similar job to them outside of the
home. This tendency to work long hours caused problems in people’s family relationships.
Almost half of those interviewed said that their partners/spouses complained because
they worked too much. The reasons given by traditional and professional homeworkers
for working long hours reflected the differentiation in their incomes. Many of those in
traditional homeworking occupations found that they had to work very long hours due
to their low rates of pay. Professional homeworkers gave other reasons for the extra time
they devoted to work, such as professional pride, they were starting their own business,
or they felt their job was a vocation.
What I try to do is, is try to make a distinction between work days and non-work days. . . If I
don’t make that distinction . . . I’ll be back to doing a 40/50 hour week and I’ll just be getting
paid for 30 hour week. (Female policy officer: Interview 18)
How ‘balanced’ is homeworking?
Applying Williams’ broad framework to the experience of homeworkers has allowed us to
explore different aspects of daily life with regard to time and space. Williams’ framework
is useful as an objective lens with which to view working from home and other flexible
Work–life Balance and Working from Home
working practices. However in doing so, two issues emerge. First, as Williams would no
doubt agree, understanding home, work and family life in terms of these three areas alone
does not reveal how balanced they are for the people concerned. The homeworkers in
our sample reported mixed feelings about working from home, representing the practice
as a double-edged sword (see also Tietze, 2002). Williams’ model, although allowing
for increased focus on different aspects of home and work, does not offer us a way of
evaluating their impact, assessing which elements feel more pressurising or liberating,
regardless of how they seem to outsiders looking in. Objective criteria will always be
inadequate in isolation.
Secondly, exploring the experiences of even a small number of participants, in this
case homeworkers, leads to greater insight as to the tensions and differences among them,
than to an overall conclusion about work–life balance. In this way, this paper suggests that
adopting a model such as that proposed by Williams allows the work–life balance to be
evaluated and monitored for specific groups of people. Home-based work in itself does
not facilitate the breakdown of traditional gender roles (Sullivan and Lewis, 2001: 141)
nor does it smooth out the inequalities that education and income bring. As Phillips et al.
(2002) recently argued a ‘one size fits all’ policy on flexible working is inappropriate.
The model does not take into account the expectations, motivations and experiences of
homeworkers which shape their overall satisfaction with homeworking. Our experiential
approach would suggest there is further merit in exploring the work–life balance from
the perspective of those trying to work flexibly, as important factors such as gender, skills
and income shape the whole experience of working life (LaValle, 2002). In particular the
inequality that underpins homeworkers needs to be taken into account.
Furthermore, home life is not necessarily rosy for all, and the home, despite its
continued stereotypical representation as our castle, safe haven and respite, is fraught
with tensions for many (Moore, 2000). Until the work–life balance debate includes a
realistic appraisal of home life, acknowledging inherent tensions, it will remain generic
and removed from most people’s experience.
In conclusion, the current emphasis on work–life balance should be welcomed, as
for those companies which take it seriously, it offers the potential for greater flexibility
and choice for a broad range of workers. Little progress can be made in the development
of policy in this area if the term remains ambiguous and ill-defined. However a more
cautious approach to homeworking would be wise given that so little is known about its
effects on home and family life. As Dwelly and Bennion (2003) have recently concluded,
many organisations are considering adopting homeworking policies, but there is some
uncertainty as to how to proceed and a lack of agreed guidelines. Creating a balance
between work and home life is certainly a goal worth pursuing. However for many
homeworkers this harmony is out of reach due to the poor pay and long hours that
sewing, packing and assembling outwork involves. There are many difficulties remaining
in the enforcement of the minimum wage for homeworkers which merits additional effort.
For professional women, especially those with small children, the problem is more
personal in nature. One suggestion is to offer semi-career breaks, where those with young
children are offered part-time employment while they prioritize caring for their children.
If the same type of semi-career break was offered to mothers and fathers, this might help
in some small way to closing the gender divisions in childcare and therefore contribute to
a shift in the work–life balance for many. However, as research in Sweden suggests, there
are many factors which shape the uptake levels of available parental leave, including
Tracey Crosbie and Jeanne Moore
individual attitudes, family negotiations as well as workplace culture (Haas, Allard and
Hwang, 2002). This would suggest that one direction for future research is the way the
work–life balance is negotiated within the family (cf. Jarvis, 1999).
Finally, homeworking is not the panacea for modern working life (Moore and Crosbie,
2002; The Independent on Sunday, 2003). Those who are thinking of working from home
should give careful consideration to their personality, skills and aspirations. For example,
those who have a tendency to work long hours outside of the home, might find that
home life is even further marginalised by work life. Due to the size of our sample many
of the conclusions drawn in this paper have to be tentative in nature. If we are to fully
understand the effects of homeworking on home and family life more research is needed
from the perspective of homeworkers.
1 We are grateful to the Economic and Social Research Council (R000223592) for funding this
2 For example see Duxbury et al., 1998.
3 It is questionable that the new working arrangements introduced by organisations in recent years
are in the interests of employees (see Purcell et al., 1999).
4 With efforts made to include male homeworkers this proportion offers further evidence to suggest
that more women than men do paid work from home (Felstead et al., 1996, Felstead and Jewson, 2000).
5 This was NUD*IST software by QSR International Pty Ltd., a qualitative data analysis software
package designed for handling non-numerical unstructured data by techniques of indexing, searching and
6 The difficulties involved in gaining access to homeworkers in traditional occupations are well
documented (Felstead and Jewson, 2000). Here let it suffice to say that, without the help of the National
Group on Homeworking and others working in the community, it would have been impossible to conduct
this research.
7 On the whole traditional homeworkers have what are conventionally described as skilled semi-
skilled or unskilled occupations which are predominantly low discretion forms of employment in that
they are predictable, routine, standardised and rule dominated (Felstead and Jewson, 2000). Professional
homeworkers, on the other hand, have high discretion professional or managerial occupations that tend
to be variable, complex and choice dominated forms of employment (Felstead and Jewson, 2000).
8 A recent survey by the Department for Education and Employment suggests that men are
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... Similarly, according to the Tiwari (2017) study 56.67% workers said their business culture and advisers were not encouraging to support employees in balancing their personal and professional lives, with 83.32% of employees receiving complete family support in pursuing a job and relinquishing personal obligations. In line with Crosbie et al., 2004, most organizations requested WFH concept for their organizations and most employees encountered WLB challenge due to COVID-19 pandemic. Some workers are easily faced with that challenge, and some are miscarried. ...
... His study stated that, IT transformation not merely expand employment chances and the nation's GDP, but it also leads to cultural reform & societal upheaval. As the Crosbie et al., (2004) said, Worldwide labour market gives expanded career opportunities for IT experts who have great inclinations to leave their organizations. Therefore, IT professionals are viewed as essential knowledge workers who have specific expertise and talents that are tough to switch (Manju et al., 2007). ...
... Namun begitu, [9] pula berpendapat bekerja dari rumah adalah satu strategi pekerjaan yang menawarkan kebebasan waktu bekerja di samping dapat menghasilkan atribut kerja yang baik yang seterusnya memberikan fleksibiliti untuk menyeimbangkan kerja dan bukan kerja. Justeru itu, keseimbangan kerja dan kehidupan dapat tingkatkan apabila bekerja dari rumah menjadi strategi cara masyarakat bekerja [10] kerana ia dilihat dapat membantu merapatkan hubungan mesra dalam kekeluargaan [11]. Selaras dengan teori boundary di mana "seorang individu dapat menguruskan di antara kerja dan kehidupan peribadi melalui proses pembahagian segmen dan/atau pengintegrasian bidang kuasa" [12], keseimbangan kerja dan kehidupan dilihat dapat meminimumkan konflik peranan individu serta mendatangkan rasa bahagia di tempat kerja di samping dapat bekerja dengan cekap [13]. ...
Conference Paper
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The COVID-19 pandemic has given a huge impact and immediately changed the landscape of the lecturers’ life who currently serving at Ungku Omar Polytechnic (PUO), Ipoh. They are still holding their responsibilities as lecturers despite having to work from home. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify whether the impact of working from home strategy and work-life balance during the COVID-19 pandemic affects the job performance among the PUO lecturers. Boundary theory is used as the grand theory in this study. A pilot study involving the total of 30 lecturers from 8 academic departments at PUO was conducted to determine the reliability of the instrument. The instrument consists of three (3) constructs, namely i) aspects of working from home ii) aspects of work-life balance and iii) aspects of job performance that have been distributed online by google form. Data were processed and analyzed through Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS) software which involved reliability testing using Cronbach's Alpha values. The findings of the analysis obtained from the three constructs is above value of 0.70 that showed it is good and acceptable. The pilot study found that the majority of lecturers described the challenges of working during the COVID-19 pandemic to be the same scenario as when before the pandemic struck. The studies also show that there is a significant influence between working from home and work-life balance on the job performance of lecturers. Thus, in conclusion the instrument items used in this pilot study can be applied for the purpose of the actual study.
... Řada autorů vidí flexibilní práci jako pozitivní jev, který umožňuje zaměstnancům (zejména ženám) uzpůsobit zaměstnání nárokům rodiny [Crosbie, Moore 2004;Powell, Craig 2015;Singley, Hynes 2005]. Existuje obsáhlá empirická evidence dokládající, že flexibilní práce např. ...
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During the Covid-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic, there was a sharp increase in the share of people working from home. It is predicted that working from home will continue to be a common form of work after the crisis. In this article, we investigate whether and how working frequently from home during the pandemic was associated with work–family conflict and how the strength of the association varied between different groups of people depending on gender, education, employment, and the presence of children in the household. We also examine what connection existed between role conflicts and the quality of a partnership. To answer these questions we analysed data from the ‘Czech GGS Covid Pilot Study’ from December 2020 and found that working frequently from home was associated with more frequent work–family conflict. Respondents experienced more problems performing their family role (e.g. they were too tired to do housework) than their role as an employee. As the intensity of work from home increased, however, respondents tended to report more frequent problems performing their role as an employee (e.g. family responsibilities made it difficult for them to concentrate on work). The association between working from home and work–family conflict differed significantly depending on the gender and the presence of children in the household. For men and parents of children under the age of 15, working from home was more significantly associated with work–family conflict. People who often experienced work–family conflict also more often considered breaking up with their partner. Working from home thus became a significant stressor for family life during the pandemics.
... So workers do not need to come to the office and meet face to face with other workers. Crosbie & Moore (2004) describe WFH as paid work done primarily from home (minimum 20 hours per week). WFH will provide flexible time for workers to provide a balance of life for employees. ...
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The purpose of this study was to analyze and prove the effect of WFH, organizational culture and work motivation on employee organizational commitment. This research was carried out for 5 months (January-May 2022) at the Office of the Badan Keuangan and Aset Daerah Kota Kupang. This research is classified as a quantitative study using a confirmative verification (associative) survey method. The research population was 103 employees whose sample was determined based on the census technique (saturated sample) so the sample was 103 respondents. The type of research data consists of primary data and secondary data. Techniques to obtain data using questionnaires (Likert scale), interviews, and documentation. Data analysis used multiple linear regression analysis (partial test and simultaneous test). The results showed that the variables of WFH, organizational culture, and work motivation had a positive and significant effect on organizational commitment, either partially or simultaneously. This is because the entire t-count value obtained by each variable is greater than the t-table and also the F-count is greater than the F-table with a significance value less than 0.05. The results of this study also show the contribution of the WFH variable to an organizational commitment by 82.1%, organizational culture to an organizational commitment by 33.0%, and work motivation to an organizational commitment by 66.1%. Simultaneously, the contribution of WFH, organizational culture, and work motivation to organizational commitment is 83.3%.
... Value creation for capital is possible through the taxonomy of virtual work as observed. Crosbie & Moore (2004) found WFH an effective strategy to improve the flexibility of working hours. Bellmann & Hübler, (2020) have opined that WFH is a challenge for employees to maintain job satisfaction and WLB. ...
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We have investigated 200 IT employees who were in full-time employment at two popular IT parks in India – Technopark, and Infopark. We considered the significance of gender influence on the work-life balance (WLB) and job satisfaction on work-from-home (WFH). The research found a significant positive effect of WFH on the WLB and a positive relationship of WFH employees with work and family. We found irrespective of gender the employees of WFH had equal job satisfaction. We noticed a concern among the WFH women employees, as they have had to struggle to balance their personal and professional lives. The findings of the study have enormous policy implications in the IT sector across the globe. This paper has provided an early step in the direction of policymaking of WFH initiatives in the IT sector across the globe.
... Therefore, more and more flexible spaces are needed, able to transform themselves according to temporal needs. However, the definition of a physical, specific, domestic area where to place this equipment to continuously work can be problematic as it inevitably will coincide with the need to host other activities during the day (Crosbie & Moore, 2004). ...
The dwelling always held work activities. However, with the emergence of capital, work spread more and more in the city, abandoning the dwelling due to new dynamics of mass production and accumulation that were no longer suited to the small scale of the house. It resulted in a gradual rethinking of domestic spaces, leading to the definition of the established duality of home/work. Instead, the digital revolution and the advent of capital’s ‘immaterial work’ in western countries placed the domestic space as the potential epicentre of capitalist production. Immaterial work is not bound by spatial constraints and can therefore be carried out anywhere, even and especially at home. The insertion of production dynamics within the domestic sphere is generating numerous spatial-temporal conflicts of traditional places and functions, leading to new everyday life and new spatial needs. The paper therefore analyses the changing dynamics of the home and its spatial possibilities emerging from the potential merge of immaterial productivity with domesticity.
... There are also studies that take both into account. Crosbie and Moore (2004) for example conducted interviews with employees from various socio-economic backgrounds to explore whether working from home improves work-life-balance or worsens it. They conclude that it is dependent from the specific situation of workers if telecommuting is beneficial or not (see also Golden et al., 2006). ...
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This study aims to analyze the structures, forms and functions of informal communication in telecommuting settings. Previous research on telecommuting has not considered the influence of telecommuting settings on informal communication, and research on informal communication has mainly focused on face-to-face communication while working in a physical office. This article aims to bring these two research strands together by analyzing the informal communication behavior of employees working from home. We conducted qualitative interviews with 21 employees who were working from home. The participants were recruited using quota sampling and the data were analyzed following the procedure for examining qualitative data proposed by Mayring (2014). Our findings reveal similarities as well as differences between those working in an office and those working from home in terms of informal communication with co-workers: Informal communication fulfills similar functions in both cases, but remote work leads to less informal communication and hinders incidental exposure to other employees. Informal talks need to be planned in advance or strategically initiated. We identified five informal communication scenarios in telecommuting settings that partly, but not fully, overlap with scenarios in regular office settings. The present study is one of the first to examine informal communication in telecommuting settings. Previous studies have either excluded the aspect of informal communication or the situation for employees working in telecommuting settings. The results provide new insights into informal communication behavior in remote work.
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This document was prepared in the context of scoping the Cyber Security Leadership and Culture theme of 2020/21 at the Research Institute for Sociotechnical Cyber Security (RISCS) sponsored by, and in cooperation with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The aim of the project is to understand the implications of mass remote/hybrid working arrangements due to the Covid-19 outbreak, that started in March 2020 and is still on-going at the time of writing this document. The research objectives focus on the psychological contract between employees and leadership from the perspective of cyber risk, specifically: • To understand how different organisations adjusted to new forms of working while maintaining/reducing their cyber risk exposure. • To explore strategies used by cyber security leaders to keep a positive cyber security culture front of mind. • To gather best practices used for maintaining trust, nurturing teamwork, safeguarding mental health of team members (reducing insider risk / human error). This document represents the first evidence-gathering phase of the project and formed the basis of the topics of interest to be discussed in the next stage, during the expert interviews. The document includes gathering evidence on fresh research carried out within the research scope, and also previous, non-Covid 19 related research on the dynamics of remote working, mental health and cyber security risk. The initial scoping of the research and the current literature review document was brought together by the broader RISCS community. It is an example of a much needed co-operation between academic researchers (Georgia Crossland and Amy Ertan, PhD researchers at the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, University of London), small business owners (Berta Pappenheim, RISCS Research Fellow and Co-Founder at The CyberFish and Nadine Michaelides, Founder at Anima) working together with, and supported by the UK Government (Nico B, from the Economy and Society engagement team at the NCSC).
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The connections between home and work are manifest in tensions which exist between individual employment mobility and the social and spatial situatedness of the household micro-economy. This nexus is a significant dimension of a growing number of dual earning households. At a fundamental level, the co-ordination of home and work hinges on opportunities and constraints pertaining to residential location and mobility and the way this issue is negotiated through the life-course. However, this is not simply determined by the many logistical difficulties associated with the co-ordination of more than one employment from a single residential location. Households are `situated' in place in a variety of ways which feed into strategies of relative mobility and attachment to place. It is suggested that the way that households accommodate the demands of home and work are constituted through a meshing together of the action spaces and social relations of individual household members in these spheres. In effect, household behaviour emerges from a `tangled web' of networks: of social and kin relations; of resource provision; and of information, knowledge and learning. This paper argues for the need to attend to the situatedness of household strategies that attempt to co-ordinate home and work. It suggests that this is achieved by observing the way strategies of relative mobility and attachment to place reproduce, and are reproduced through, networks within a locale. Existing concepts of strategy and network are combined and operationalised together through the interpretation of biographical narratives from interviews with couples from a sample of nuclear family households.
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This article reviews aspects of contemporary theory and research on work-life balance. It starts by exploring why work-life balance has become an important topic for research and policy in some countries and after outlining traditional perspectives examines the concept of balance and its implications for the study of the relation between work and the rest of life. A model outlining the causes, nature and consequences of a more or less acceptable work-life balance is presented and recent research is cited to illustrate the various dimensions. Finally, the topic is linked to the field of work and organizational psychology and a number of theoretical and conceptual issues of relevance to research in Europe are raised.
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The introduction of paid work into the home challenges our conceptualisations of work and family as spatially distinct. Research specifically examining spatial experiences within homeworking households is scarce, and often does not explore family members' own accounts. This paper examines spatial arrangements in homeworking households, potential problems and conflicts, gendered patterns, and the link between space and the psychological work-family boundary. Interviews with homeworkers and their families reveal a range of consequences for the whole family. Conflicts can arise over entitlement to, and use of, space. A complex relationship between physical and psychological boundaries is revealed. L'introduction du travail rémunéré à domicile remet en question notre conception du travail et de la famille du point de vue distinction spatiale. Les recherches portant spécifiquement sur les expériences spatiales au sein des foyers o[ugrave]le travail à domicile est pratiqué sont rares et n'abordent pas en profondeur les faits tels qu'ils sont relatés par les membres de la famille. Cette étude examine les dispositions spatiales dans les foyers o[ugrave] est pratiquéle travail à domicile, les problèmes et conflits potentiels, les schémas comportementaux suivant le sexe ainsi que le lien entre l'espace et la frontière psychologique travail/famille. Les entretiens avec des travailleurs à domicile et leurs familles font apparítre un ensemble de conséquences pour tous les membres de la famille. Des conflits résultant du droit d'occupation et de l'utilisation de l'espace peuvent surgir. Une relation complexe entre les frontières physique et psychologique apparít.
An advertisement in the New York Times Magazine proclaims her as the “New Traditionalist.” She—the mother, presumably—stands with her arms around her two young children. They are surrounded by the emblems of a clean, cozy, safe, expensive home. The caption reads: Her children think she’s a little old-fashioned. They’re right. She’s Monica Simon, New Traditionalist—and here she is right at the center of her world. She loves to cook. She loves family dinners. She loves Christmas so much that she spends a whole week trimming the tree. She also loves her job—because it lets her contribute financially to the “family structure.”
Conference Paper
From the Publisher: Politicians, policy makers and business gurus are all encouraging us to join the information superhighway at the nearest junction or risk being excluded from the social and economic benefits of the information revolution. Cyberspace Divide critically considers the complex relationship between technological change, its effect upon social divisions, its consequences for social action an the emerging strategies for social inclusion in the Information Age. The contributors cover such themes as human interaction, ethical behavior, and the growing disparity between the information rich and the information poor.
This article introduces work/family border theory - a new theory about work/family balance. According to the theory, people are daily border-crossers between the domains of work and family. The theory addresses how domain integration and segmentation, border creation and management, border-crosser participation, and relationships between border-crossers and others at work and home influence work/family balance. Propositions are given to guide future research.