Does Working From Home Work?

When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer this February banned her employees from working from home, an uproar ensued in the business community. Supporters of workplace flexibility – including telecommuting, flexible schedules, job sharing and more – suggest that it leads to increased job satisfaction and other benefits. But does it instead blur the line between business and personal lives, creating a “never-ending work week” that threatens work-life balance? A new study published in the Journal of Management Inquiry asks women business owners, who have the freedom to work when and where they choose, this very question:

JMI_72ppiRGB_150pixwWe saw that when the participants took time off during ordinary work hours to attend to nonwork-related responsibilities, they felt obligated to work more prior to the break or make up the time afterward. Flexibility is only an advantage if it sometimes enables a person to sacrifice work activities to nonwork obligations; otherwise, the imbalance always favors working more. When work becomes the fulcrum around which lives are organized, family, home, leisure, and all else are subordinated.

Click here to read “Living in a Culture of Overwork: An Ethnographic Study of Flexibility” by Kristina A. Bourne and Pamela J. Forman, both of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. The study is forthcoming in the Journal of Management Inquiry and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

This entry was posted in Work-Life Balance and tagged , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 900 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC, our publishing programme includes more than 560 journals and over 800 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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