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Couples Working from Home Don't Share Same Experience

Published: 2023-01-03
Author: Ohio State University | Contact: osu.edu
Peer-Reviewed Publication: Yes | DOI: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/peps.12559
Additional References: Work from Home Jobs Publications

Synopsis: Study findings suggest that husbands could help remote-working wives when they have more flexible work schedules and do more family tasks when their wives have more rigid work schedules. Findings showed that when husbands had flexible work schedules, wives completed significantly more work tasks when working from home than in the office. When wives had inflexible work arrangements, husbands completed significantly more family tasks when working from home.

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Main Digest

Double Challenges: How Working From Home Affects Dual-Earner Couples Work-Family Experiences.

The researchers did two studies, both during the COVID-19 pandemic. One study involved 172 married dual-earner couples in mainland China with at least one child. That study was done near the pandemic's beginning in April and May 2020. The second study was done in South Korea, later in the pandemic, from June to August 2021. This involved 60 dual-earner couples, some with children and some without.

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In both surveys, all participants completed two surveys each day for 14 consecutive workdays. Each husband and wife reported their work-from-home status and the amount of work and family tasks they completed.

They also completed various measures, including work-family conflict and family-work conflict, how much guilt they felt toward their families and their work, and their psychological withdrawal from work and family.

Findings showed that when husbands had flexible work schedules, wives completed significantly more work tasks when working from home than in the office. When wives had inflexible work arrangements, husbands completed significantly more family tasks when working from home.

"These findings suggest that husbands could help remote working wives when they have more flexible work schedules and do more family tasks when their wives have more rigid work schedules," Hu said.

Overall, the results suggested that dual-earner couples feel conflict when the boundaries between work and family time are blurry.

Findings showed that when employees (both husbands and wives) worked from home, they increased how much work they completed around their home and family, but that increased their feelings of inter-role conflict, psychological withdrawal from work, and feelings of guilt concerning work for their employer.

"Managers should form realistic expectations about how much work their remote working employees can effectively handle and show more understanding of the home working situations of dual-earner couples," Hu said.

Hu said the results suggest husbands with flexibility in scheduling work time can provide more support for their wives to complete their remote work tasks.

"Organizations and managers should give their male employees more flexibility when possible so they and their families can better adapt to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic," she said.

While many of the work-from-home policies this study investigated were put into place because of the pandemic, Hu said that things wouldn't go back to the way they were when the pandemic is over.

"COVID-19 forever changed how we work. Remote working is going to become much more of a norm," she said. "People have gotten used to the benefit of working from home, and many won't want to go back to the office full time."

Hu said she sees hybrid work as the best possible future for working couples.

"This will allow employees to have the flexibility they get from working at home while also having the opportunity to interact more with colleagues at the office, which can increase collaboration and inspire creativity and innovation," she said.

Reference Source(s):

Couples Working from Home Don't Share Same Experience | Ohio State University (osu.edu). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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Cite This Page (APA): Ohio State University. (2023, January 3). Couples Working from Home Don't Share Same Experience. Disabled World. Retrieved January 27, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/employment/home/couples.php

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