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Strategies for successful telework: How effective employees manage work/home boundaries

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Abstract

Purpose This paper aims to 1) identify strategies used by successful teleworkers to create and maintain boundaries between work and home, and 2) determine how these strategies relate to employee preferences for segmentation or integration of work and home. Design/methodology/approach Forty in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with employees working from home either occasionally (occasional teleworkers), between 20-50% of the workweek (partial teleworkers), or the majority of the time (full teleworkers). Findings Teleworkers use physical, temporal, behavioural and communicative strategies to recreate boundaries similar to those found in office environments. While teleworkers can generally develop strategies that align boundaries to their preferences for segmentation or integration, employees with greater job autonomy and control are better able to do so. Research limitations/implications A limitation of this research is its potential lack of generalizability to teleworkers in organizations with “always-on” cultures, who may experience greater pressure to allow work to permeate the home boundary. Practical implications These findings can encourage organizations to proactively assess employee preferences for boundary permeability before entering a teleworking arrangement. The boundary management tactics identified can be used to provide teleworkers struggling to establish comfortable boundaries with tangible ideas to regulate interactions between home and work. Originality/value This research makes a significant contribution to practitioner literature by applying a boundary management framework to the practice of teleworking, which is being adopted by organizations with increasing frequency.
Strategic HR Review
Strategies for successful telework: how effective employees manage work/home boundaries
Kelly A. Basile T. Alexandra Beauregard
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To cite this document:
Kelly A. Basile T. Alexandra Beauregard , (2016),"Strategies for successful telework: how effective employees manage work/
home boundaries", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 15 Iss 3 pp. 106 - 111
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/SHR-03-2016-0024
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Strategies for successful telework: how
effective employees manage work/home
boundaries
Kelly A. Basile and T. Alexandra Beauregard
Kelly A. Basile is
Research Associate at
the Department of
Management, London
School of Economics and
Political Science, London,
UK.
T. Alexandra Beauregard
is Associate Professor in
Human Resource
Management at the
Department of
Leadership, Work and
Organisations, Middlesex
University Business
School, London, UK.
Abstract
Purpose This paper aims to identify strategies used by successful teleworkers to create and maintain
boundaries between work and home, and to determine how these strategies relate to employee
preferences for segmentation or integration of work and home.
Design/methodology/approach Forty in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with
employees working from home either occasionally (occasional teleworkers), between 20 and 50 per
cent of the workweek (partial teleworkers), or the majority of the time (full teleworkers).
Findings Teleworkers use physical, temporal, behavioral and communicative strategies to recreate
boundaries similar to those found in office environments. Although teleworkers can generally develop
strategies that align boundaries to their preferences for segmentation or integration, employees with
greater job autonomy and control are better able to do so.
Research limitations/implications A limitation of this research is its potential lack of generalizability
to teleworkers in organizations with “always-on” cultures, who may experience greater pressure to allow
work to permeate the home boundary.
Practical implications These findings can encourage organizations to proactively assess employee
preferences for boundary permeability before entering a teleworking arrangement. The boundary
management tactics identified can be used to provide teleworkers struggling to establish comfortable
boundaries with tangible ideas to regulate interactions between home and work.
Originality/value This research makes a significant contribution to practitioner literature by applying
a boundary management framework to the practice of teleworking, which is being adopted by
organizations with increasing frequency.
Keywords Work-life balance, Telework, Boundary management, Homeworking, Telecommuting
Paper type Research paper
Telework as HR strategy
Despite high-publicity efforts from Yahoo!, HP and Best Buy to reduce the incidence of
their employees working from home, telework is increasingly offered by employers. By
enabling individuals to reduce commuting time and fit non-work demands more easily
around their work activities, telework helps to attract and retain high-quality talent,
contributing to a diverse workforce that includes caregivers, older employees and
workers with disabilities (Beauregard et al., 2013). By permitting employees to spend
time away from the office to focus uninterrupted on tasks requiring higher levels of
concentration, organizations can increase both the quality and quantity of their outputs.
By reducing the requirement for dedicated office space and eliminating geographical
restrictions on employee location, telework allows organizations to cut costs and build
capability for flexibility and agility. Human resources (HR) has an important role to play
in ensuring that the telework experience is positive for employees and organizations,
and a key element involves preparing staff to work effectively in their home
environment.
PAGE 106 STRATEGIC HR REVIEW VOL. 15 NO. 3 2016, pp. 106-111, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1475-4398 DOI 10.1108/SHR-03-2016-0024
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Boundaries between work and home
When work and home activities take place in the same physical space, physical, temporal
and psychological boundaries between work and home can become blurred. For instance,
research has found that teleworkers often work longer hours (Harker Martin and
MacDonnell, 2012). This is due in part to the presence of work-related materials in the home
that may prompt employees to continue working rather than spend time on personal or
family pursuits. Boundaries are mental constructions of the borders between activities,
such as work and personal life, and employees vary in the extent to which they prefer to
keep these activities separate (segmentation) or have them overlap (integration) (Clark,
2000). Those preferring segmentation would ideally enact strong boundaries, which are
less permeable: activities in one domain are less likely to be interrupted by activities from
another. Employees who prefer integration of work and home activities are more likely to
favor weaker, more permeable boundaries.
A limited but growing body of research examines strategies that employees use to manage
boundaries between work and home. Four categories have been proposed: physical,
behavioral, time-based and communicative tactics (Kreiner et al., 2009). Teleworking
presents a unique challenge to boundary management because many of the traditional
physical and time-based boundaries associated with office environments are absent. The
present research seeks to identify strategies used by successful teleworkers to create and
maintain work/home boundaries, and to determine how these strategies relate to
teleworkers’ preferences for segmentation or integration of work and home activities. The
study setting was a large public-sector organization in the UK, whose longstanding
telework program yields participants with above-average productivity ratings compared to
their office-based counterparts. Forty in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted
with employees working from home either occasionally (occasional teleworkers), between
20 and 50 per cent of the workweek (partial teleworkers), or the majority of the time (full
teleworkers).
What types of boundary strategies do successful teleworkers use?
The interviews yielded evidence that teleworkers employ physical, time-based, behavioral
and communicative strategies for managing boundaries between work and home.
Physical strategies
I am one of the lucky ones, I actually have a dedicated office. I’ve got a door and a lock. So I
didn’t have to do the mental changing of shoes, it’s a case of switching my computer off and
closing the door. I know some of my colleagues have a work space in their living room. It is
switching off the phone and all those stress factors of having it in plain sight. I don’t have that.
(Sarah, full teleworker)
The most commonly reported method for those working from home for the majority of the
workweek was recreating the physical boundary of an office environment by designating
areas for work activities. Teleworkers without the ability to create separate space for work
activities often struggled. Work-related materials occupied space used by family members
on a daily basis and hindered employees’ efforts to “switch off” and devote their full
attention to non-work commitments outside of work hours:
‘‘By permitting employees to spend time away from the office
to focus uninterrupted on tasks requiring higher levels of
concentration, organizations can increase both the quality
and quantity of their outputs.’’
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So I worked in the dining room for two years. [. . .] I had to convince my new wife-to-be that it
was a good idea. So for two years whilst we had dinner, tea, lunch, the computers and my files
sat next to us. It was far from ideal especially if the children had time off. (Henry, full teleworker)
Time-based strategies
I have dogs to walk. So there is always at least a natural break around five o’clock where I meet
up with friends and we walk the dogs. So that signals that it is the end of the working day for me.
It doesn’t mean to say that is when I elect to stop working but it does give me that focus of, “this
is the end of the day”. (Kate, partial teleworker)
Although many of the teleworkers often worked beyond their contracted hours, most still
developed tactics to create boundaries between working time and home time. These
tactics frequently involved commitments to other people, either imposed – as with
teleworkers whose end of the working day was signaled by children returning home after
school – or self-initiated, as with employees who arranged to meet others at an appointed
time on a daily basis. Being accountable to others appears to produce stronger boundaries
than being accountable only to oneself.
Behavioral strategies
I wouldn’t answer the phone after close of business time because the danger with that is then
that people think you are available 24/7 and those calls become later and later and later. I
actually switch the phone off so that I am not even tempted to hear it. (Kate, partial teleworker)
Behavioral strategies were primarily related to the use of information and communications
technology (ICT). Often, these mimicked routines that might be found in an office
environment: logging off computer systems, shutting down one’s laptop, turning off the
ringer on work-issued phones. Removing the temptation to check messages or pick up
work tasks after hours helped teleworkers demarcate work and non-work periods of time.
Communicative strategies
I have to have a rule with my children that if they are at home and I am working then they have
to knock on the door and then if they come in to the room and they see I am on the telephone
they just don’t start babbling away. That can be a very hard lesson for them to learn. (Jack, full
teleworker)
Teleworkers also reinforced boundaries between work/non-work activities by using
communicative tactics. Many of these involved setting expectations with spouses and
children about issues such as household noise and the use of space designated for work
activities. Family members sometimes used communicative tactics themselves to
introduce or reinforce boundaries when teleworkers allowed work activities to extend
beyond their purview:
I only get around to taking a lunch break because my husband comes up and goes, “eat some
food”. He literally physically removes me from my seat and sends me on my way down so we
have something to eat but that’s because I become focused and I have no track of time at all,
absolutely no track of time. (Imogen, full teleworker)
I suppose the other thing is your personal support network. I happen to be married to someone
who gives me a severe telling off if I switch the Blackberry on over the weekend. (Mohammed,
occasional teleworker) (Table I)
‘‘Teleworkers without the ability to create separate space for
work activities often struggled.’’
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How do teleworkers’ preferences for integration or segmentation of work and
home activities influence their boundary management strategies?
Although teleworkers often experience blurred boundaries due to the elimination of
physical demarcations between home and work, findings from these interviews suggest
that effective teleworkers may develop strategies that align their enacted boundaries to
their preferences for integration or segmentation:
I just prefer that way of working [segmentation]. So if I am enjoying myself in my private life I
don’t want work to encroach on that but similarly if I am concentrating on work I don’t want to
be taken away from that. That is just how I am. Some people don’t like flitting. I like boundaries.
(Rachael, partial teleworker)
I am a butterfly. I go backwards and forwards. I quite like that actually, switch on, switch off.
(Charlie, occasional teleworker)
Perceived levels of job-related autonomy and schedule control helped teleworkers align
their enacted boundaries to their preferences. Teleworkers reporting greater autonomy and
control over their work agenda were better able to implement integration or segmentation
strategies to match their boundary management preferences:
I liked the quiet of working from home and the fact that it was easier to plan your day out. [. . .]
[I]f you’d got to a point of well I’ve had enough for now, I really do need to take a break, you
could take that break but still come back and get your work done. (Kate, partial teleworker)
To a certain extent it could still be if I chose, maybe, to have a long lunch hour on a Friday
afternoon and then do some work on a Saturday morning but it would be my choice. (Grace,
partial teleworker)
These findings support the idea that individual differences are a core determinant of
boundary management styles. Recognition of individual differences is important because
research by Kreiner (2006) demonstrates that higher congruence between boundary
preference and ability to enact that preference can lead to better outcomes for employees,
including reduced work-life conflict and stress, and higher job satisfaction. The
organization in the present study did not have a long-hours culture, and teleworkers were
generally able to enact their preferred boundary management style. In organizations where
after-hours communications, early meetings and weekend working are the norm,
employees preferring segmentation will have difficulty establishing and maintaining
boundaries between work and personal time. Any ensuing misalignment can produce
negative psychological and attitudinal outcomes for these individuals and ultimately for
their employer.
Table I Effective boundary management strategies
Work/home boundary management
strategies Examples of tactics
Physical Dedicated work space in separate room
Closing door between work space and living space
Separate computers and/or phones for work and
personal use
Time-based Finishing work when children return home from
school
Walking dogs at the same time every day
Making appointments to meet friends at end of day
Behavioral Shutting down computer
Turning off phone
Not entering work space during non-work time
Communicative Setting expectations with family members regarding
interruptions during working time
Setting expectations with colleagues or clients
regarding contactability after working hours
Family members enforcing limits on working time
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Implications for HR
This paper highlights the important effect of boundary management strategies on
teleworking experiences by demonstrating how boundary management tactics can reduce
the permeability of work/home boundaries. Whereas popular jokes about working in one’s
pyjamas suggest that teleworkers’ personal lives frequently interrupt working time,
research consistently demonstrates that the danger lies in work activities spilling over into
home time. What can HR do to better prepare employees to work from home?:
1. Proactive assessment of employee preferences for boundary permeability and the
demands and resources associated with their work and home environments can flag
potential problems prior to entering a telework arrangement:
HR can then design interventions such as training for effective telework, using the
boundary management tactics identified in the present study as suggested
strategies for new teleworkers, or implement a trial period during which new
teleworkers are coached through their new working arrangement.
2. The strategies identified in this paper can be used prescriptively by HR to assist
teleworkers who are struggling to establish comfortable boundaries:
These strategies can provide teleworkers with tangible ideas to regulate the
interaction between home and work.
3. Building autonomy into teleworkers’ jobs, along with greater control over their work
schedules, will empower employees to create and maintain boundaries that fit their
personal preferences for integration or segmentation of work and home activities:
Given the increased job satisfaction and well-being associated with alignment
between boundary preferences and boundary enactment, a “good fit” scenario will
help organizations reap the full benefits that telework can bring to staff retention and
productivity rates.
Conclusion
Successful teleworking has established effects on retention and productivity (Harker Martin
and MacDonnell, 2012), yielding measurable benefits for the bottom line. As ICT continues
to develop, the prevalence of telework will only grow. By applying a boundary management
framework to the practice of teleworking, this research identifies ways in which HR can
better prepare employees to participate in this form of flexible working and thus better reap
the benefits of a diverse and agile workforce.
References
Beauregard, T.A., Basile, K.A. and Canonico, E. (2013), “Home is where the work is: a new study of
homeworking in Acas – and beyond”, Acas Research Paper Ref. 10/13, Acas, London.
Clark, S.C. (2000), “Work/family border theory: a new theory of work/family balance”, Human Relations,
Vol. 53 No. 6, pp. 747-770.
Harker Martin, B. and MacDonnell, R. (2012), “Is telework effective for organizations? A meta-analysis
of empirical research on perceptions of telework and organizational outcomes”, Management
Research Review, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 602-616.
‘‘This paper highlights the important effect of boundary
management strategies on teleworking experiences by
demonstrating how boundary management tactics can
reduce the permeability of work/home boundaries.’’
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Kreiner, G.E. (2006), “Consequences of work-home segmentation or integration: a person-environment
fit perspective”, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 485-507.
Kreiner, G.E., Hollensbe, E.C. and Sheep, M.L. (2009), “Balancing borders and bridges: negotiating
the work-home interface via boundary work tactics”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 52 No. 4,
pp. 704-730.
About the authors
Kelly Basile holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from the London School of Economics
and Political Science. Her research interests focus on the boundary conditions between
work and non-work activities, as well as more recently on global leadership. She currently
is engaged in a global, multi-method research project with senior leaders within a leading
multinational technology organization. In addition to her academic research experience,
Kelly worked in commercial research and consulting for over a decade, and she was
involved in the design and implementation of hundreds of qualitative and quantitative
research projects across a range of public and private industry sectors.
T. Alexandra Beauregard holds a PhD in Employment Relations from the London School of
Economics and Political Science and is currently an Associate Professor in Human
Resource Management at Middlesex University Business School. Her research focuses on
work-life balance, flexible work arrangements and diversity management in organizations.
In addition to her teaching and research at Middlesex, Alexandra carries out consultancy
projects on work-life issues and gender equality for both private- and public-sector
organizations. Alexandra’s work is published in scholarly journals, edited books and
practitioner outlets, and she enjoys speaking at both academic conferences and
practitioner events. T. Alexandra Beauregard is the corresponding author and can be
contacted at: a.beauregard@mdx.ac.uk
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... The extent to which individuals' need for work autonomy is satisfied during telework has been seen to impact the ability to achieve work-life balance and prevent stress. As seen in studies, high levels of temporal latitude (e.g., schedule flexibility) could support teleworkers' autonomy to effectively allocate their job resources (e.g., time) in a way that may prevent, e.g., work-life conflict, stress, and exhaustion (10,52). ...
... Various approaches are used in the qualitative studies but most are conducted with semi-structured interviews, either individually or in focus groups. These studies have, for example, investigated social aspects of telework and work-related well-being, often guided by theoretical frameworks (52,(119)(120)(121). Qualitative data are argued to be important for identifying and understanding the underlying impact of telework on health outcomes (8,10). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Background: Telework reshapes the conventional work practice by providing the flexibility to perform work at new places and times. Telework can increase individual autonomy to control and organize work, but can also place higher demands on the ability to separate work-nonwork in time and space, physically and mentally. Leaders’ abilities to manifest trusting relationship with staff, and support them seems important during telework. Academic staff are frequent teleworkers, but little is known about how it may impact on their well-being. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate how academic teaching and research staff practice telework and how telework affects their well-being at work. Another aim was to investigate the experiences of academic managers leading teleworkers in academia. Methods: Study I was a cross-sectional survey and examined the association between the amount and frequency of telework and perceived health aspects. Study II was conducted with assessments of psychophysiological activity, pos- tures and movements, and with daily self-ratings on stress, fatigue, and recu- peration, to compare exposures during telework and work at the conventional workplace. Study III and study IV had qualitative study design and were based on semi-structured interviews using an inductive phenomenographic approach. Results: Academics who teleworked several times per week or more reported more work-related stress related to indistinct organization and conflicts, and individual demands and commitment, compared to academics who teleworked less. The psychophysiological activity indicated more relaxation before and after workhours during teleworking days. Academics had overall sedentary be- haviors regardless of work location, alternated more between sitting and stand- ing during working hours during telework than at the ordinary workplace. The academics’ experiences of telework were related to work tasks, coping strate- gies, workgroup relationships, and policies/regulations, which were mostly in- terrelated. Collectively, the process of change of managers’ conditions and ex- periences of leading teleworkers before, during and after the pandemic were related to digital and social interaction, work performance, the work environ- ment in, and regulations of, telework. Conclusions: The use of different research designs and methods showed that telework in academia could impact biological, psychological, social and pro- fessional aspects of academics’ well-being. The perspective of academic man- agers showed that the organizational context could impact on the conditions for providing academics with support in telework. We argue future studies to adopt different research designs and methods when studying well-being in tel- ework, and especially consider the professional and organizational context in telework.
... While segmenters establish strong borders between work and nonwork domains and limit interruptions from one role to another, integrators are more likely to have weaker boundaries that allow for frequent transitions between roles (Kreiner, 2006;Nippert-Eng, 1996b). Basile and Beauregard (2016) describe how workers who prefer segmentation may employ boundary tactics when working from home. They may recreate the physical boundary of an office environment by restricting work activities to a dedicated room that is not also used for family or leisure purposes and create temporal boundaries between work and personal time by making appointments to meet friends after regular working hours, or by walking their dog at a set time every afternoon that signals the end of the working day. ...
... Some academics devised micro-borders within the home to separate work and family activities. For example, they built in time for family by employing behavioural strategies -such as physically distancing themselves from work equipment -reinforced by communicative strategies such as family members enforcing limits on work time (Basile and Beauregard, 2016): ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic altered the ways academics work and live by creating a context during the spring of 2020 where working from home was largely mandatory and where for cohabiting workers, the home as workplace was simultaneously occupied by all household members during working hours (and beyond). Using a multi-method qualitative approach, we examine how academics experienced working from home during the unprecedented circumstances imposed by the first UK lockdown and social distancing measures. Our findings show that a working arrangement commonly termed “flexible”, working from home, can actually reduce flexibility in a context of mandatory implementation accompanied by the removal of instrumental and emotional support structures such as childcare and face-to-face (physical) social gatherings. Intensified workloads, increased employer monitoring, social disconnection and blurred boundaries between work and personal life collectively generate the reduction of employees’ perceived flexibility-ability. Experiences may be particularly negative for those with low flexibility-willingness, whose pre-pandemic preference was to separate work and home as much as possible. Employee efforts to assert agency in this context include establishing ‘micro-borders’ and using time-based strategies to create ‘controlled integration’. We discuss implications for border theory and outline directions for future research.
... We recognize that there are other ideas connected to the home office (and related to communication) that are not covered in this study, but that may be explored in future iterations of the C2M Model. These new concepts include (but are not limited to) behavioral or psychological content about possible interactions with family members during work (Greer and Payne 2014), the lack of physical limits to delimit work environments (Basile and Beauregard 2016), and the perception of overload (Nohara et al. 2010). ...
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Communication is essential in any software development project, particularly those globally distributed where geographical, temporal, and cultural distance may hinder the effectiveness of communication. The challenges imposed by distance often characterize communication as still one of the main drawbacks of globally distributed projects. Therefore, establishing communication processes and practices is relevant to support a team’s work. These processes and practices need to be updated and aligned with the team’s needs. Thus, assessing and evaluating the maturity of such communication processes and practices is paramount. This article presents a Communication Maturity Model called C2M which aims to help organizations identify the maturity of communication-related aspects by providing an approach for revealing what practices need to be improved. The model is composed of 4 levels of maturity (causal, partially managed, managed and reflective) and 4 areas of maturity (people, project, organizational and engineering) which are organized into 15 maturity factors, each factor comprising a set of practices. The model has 58 practices and each has its specific objectives. The model was empirically developed and evaluated in three well-defined phases. In the conception phase, methodological procedures (Tertiary Study, Systematic Literature Review, and Interviews) were carried out in order to gather relevant information for designing the first version of the C2M model (alpha version). Then, in the refinement phase, two focus group meetings were held in two organizations in order to identify how effectively the model attends its purpose. The results led to a second version of the C2M model (beta version), analyzed by a survey with experts who assessed the representation of the third version of the C2M model—omega version (evaluation phase). All results achieved so far suggest that the model can assist in discovering the maturity level of the communication processes and practices in globally distributed projects. Future works will focus on developing a software tool to help with self-assessment.
... Recent developments in information technology, networking and communication have introduced new and flexible workplace practices (Raghuram et al., 2001). Work flexibility, which is a traditional motivator for human resources, can be enriched with additional tools such as flexible teleworking schedules while also saving organisational and work resources (Hyten, 2009 Telework is an agreement between employees and employers to provide pre-planned distance work, requiring the use of technological equipment for employees to work outside the office from home (Basile and Beauregard, 2016) or elsewhere (Sullivan, 2003). It has already been implemented by many government agencies and can even be a means of improving working conditions. ...
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Purpose Telework has been widely used during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, distance work performed through teleworking may hinder organisational operations in public services owing to lower-than-expected work performance. This research paper aims to explore how teleworking relates to work performance and flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach The sample included 178 managers and employees in public services. The relationships between the variables were evaluated using linear regression. Findings The findings indicated that telework affected work performance in public services in different ways. This research also explored the relationship between work performance and work flexibility. The findings revealed that telework had not improved the efficiency of public service work performance; however, the implementation of flexible work schedules owing to teleworking has improved the work performance of public services. Research limitations/implications This study only focussed on organisations operating in the public services in Greece. Practical implications Teleworking in public services may negatively affect organisational operations due to lower-than-expected work performance. Social implications This study could assist managers by showcasing that telework may be better implemented to improve work performance through work flexibility rather than as organisational change. Originality/value This novel research aims to gain a better understanding of the impact of telework on factors such as work performance and flexibility.
... Yet, working from home is quite different than formal practices of arriving at a previously designated time, occupying a professional workspace to complete daily work, and a recommended end time for departure. Across forty in-depth interviews, teleworkers created physical, temporal, behavioral, and communicative boundaries to enable them to separate work and life [4]. Yet, the authors acknowledge that these boundaries may not be transferable to 'always on' workplaces. ...
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The practice of telework, remote work, and working from home has grown significantly across the pandemic era (2020+). These practices offer new ways of working but come with a lack of clarity as to the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of staff. (1) Background: the purpose of this study is to examine the current literature on wellbeing outcomes and effects of telework; (2) Methods: this study adopts a systematic literature review from 2000-2022 using the PRISMA approach and thematic analysis guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Wellbeing, Decent Work, Gender Equality, and Inclusive Production); (3) Results: it was evident that there is a lack of clarity on the actual effects of telework on employee wellbeing, but it appeared that it had a generally positive effect on short-term wellbeing of staff, and created more flexible and proactive work design opportunities; (4) Conclusions: there is a need for more targeted research into work designs that support wellbeing and productivity of staff, and consider the environmental sustainability changes from reduced office and onsite work and increased working from home.
... Traditionally, research on WLB has been undertaken using a positivist approach (e.g. Adisa et al., 2016Adisa et al., , 2017Khokher and Beauregard, 2014;Basile and Beauregard, 2016). WLB is an objective 'truth' to be discovered (Na Ayudhya et al., 2019). ...
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While the debates concerning work-life balance continue to proliferate among employees of traditional organisations, its importance for students cannot be ignored. This article is based on interviews with 21 single student-mothers who are enrolled in full-time study at university and have other non-academic roles to fulfil. It examines the challenges, consequences, and coping mechanisms of single student-mothers involved in meeting the demands of their multiple roles. The findings highlight the nature of single student-mothers’ work-life balance, lives, and role challenges as well as the consequences of combining multiple competing roles. The findings of this study show that single student-mothers struggle to combine their multiple roles and achieve work-life balance. The study highlights the importance of familial and social support as well as the ‘sister keeper’ initiative in fulfilling multiple role demand and in creating a satisfactory balance between single student-mothers’ different spheres of life. Some recommendations are given for students and university policymakers to address the needs of the growing number of single student-mothers.
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The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it the generalisation of working methods that existed beforehand, such as teleworking. Remote work has shown significant advantages, both for companies and for employees. However, teleworking has shown itself prone to certain psychosocial risks, even being viewed as an “accelerator” of the burnout process. Although research supports that teleworking promotes autonomy and flexibility, there is also evidence that teleworking performed at high-intensity may create conflict in the personal life. Intense workload, reduced and scant social support perceived in remote working were predictors, not solely of emotional weariness, but moreover of other dimensions of burnout: cynicism and lack of personal realisation. The experiences described by those who have worked remotely during the pandemic were: the ease with which schedules or rest days disappear, meeting too many demands through different channels (phone, WhatsApp, email) and with limited time. Also, taking into account that the employees lacked training and that on many occasions they were overwhelmed by techno-stress. Thorough studies are needed on the health consequences of teleworking, which clearly define their aims and take into account the complexity of mediating and modulating variables. Future research should seek to identify what behaviours and resources of teleworking can be beneficial in meeting demands and what aspects contribute to exhaustion.
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La pandemia generada por el Sars-Cov II, Covid-19, ha impulsado el uso de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación en los contextos laborales. Permitió la continuidad del servicio a muchas empresas y trabajadores en medio de las restricciones y confinamientos que los países adoptaron como medida sanitaria. De este modo, se fortaleció la modalidad de trabajo remoto que ha llegado para quedarse. No obstante, pese a las grandes oportunidades y virtudes de estas tecnologías, también existen riesgos para la salud de los trabajadores. Uno de ellos es el tecnoestrés, que cada vez más se convierte en una amenaza para la salud pública. Una mirada interdisciplinaria a los riesgos ocupacionales del trabajo remoto permite que los empleadores, trabajadores, profesionales inmersos en la seguridad y salud ocupacional puedan establecer medidas de prevención y protección en aras de salvaguardar el bien más preciado de todo ser humano, su salud. Al respecto, una investigación presenta un modelo biopsicosocial del tecnoestrés y su incidencia en el profesorado universitario. Población sobre la cual una segunda investigación indaga respecto de las condiciones laborales que la pandemia les ha impuesto y que una tercera investigación, fortalece con los aportes de la ergonomía en el trabajo remoto. Tecnoestrés y trabajo remoto, una mirada interdisciplinaria, es un tema urgente, emergente e ineludible ante los nuevos desafíos y retos que se presentan con la inmersión de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación en el mundo del trabajo.Libro completo
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The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. The lockdown imposed in its wake has had a staggering impact on economies and the workplace. In India, from 25th March 2020, workplaces and educational institutions closed. Millions of professionals started working from home; children started attending classes online. Women professionals faced a double blow of managing both professional and personal duties from home. With vaccinations there was a return to normalcy. But with a twist. Many offices adopted a mix of working from home and working from office, which has now come to be termed the hybrid workplace model. This chapter considers gender perceptions about the hybrid workplace. Do employees believe that the hybrid workplace will be the new normal? Is there a difference between women and men in workplace preference? Do they have similar concerns about the hybrid model?
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We investigated how people manage boundaries to negotiate the demands between work and home life. We discovered and classified four types of boundary work tactics (behavioral, temporal, physical, and communicative) that individuals utilized to help create their ideal level and style of work-home segmentation or integration. We also found important differences between the generalized state of work-home conflict and "boundary violations," which we define as behaviors, events, or episodes that either breach or neglect the desired work-home boundary. We present a model based on two qualitative studies that demonstrates how boundary work tactics reduce the negative effects of work-home challenges. "Balance" between work and home lives is a much sought after but rarely claimed state of being. Work-family researchers have successfully encour- aged organizations, families, and individuals to recognize the importance of tending to their needs for balance. Over 30 years ago, Kanter (1977) spoke of the "myth of separate worlds" and called atten- tion to the reality that work and home are inexora- bly linked. Yet, she argued, organizations are often structured in such a way that their leadership for- gets or ignores employees' outside lives. Although organizational leaders and managers generally tend more to employees' nonwork needs than they did when Kanter wrote her landmark work, struggles to balance work and home demands are still common-
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This study demonstrates how the interaction between an individual's work-home segmentation preference and the perceived segmentation provided by the workplace affects work-home conflict (WHC), stress, and job satisfaction. Using a person-environment (P-E) fit theoretical base and methodology, data from 325 employees in a wide variety of occupations and organizations illustrate significant fit effects on these outcomes. Results from polynomial regression and response surface methodology highlight important asymmetric effects found in these P-E fit relationships. By demonstrating the asymmetric results of fit effects, the findings challenge previous research, which has typically advocated an integration of work and home in order to ameliorate role conflict and stress. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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