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Opportunities to work at home in the context of work-life balance

Felstead, Alan, Jewson, Nick, Phizacklea, Annie and Walters, Sally 2002. Opportunities to work at home in the context of work-life balance. Human Resource Management Journal 12 (1) , pp. 54-76. 10.1111/j.1748-8583.2002.tb00057.x

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Discussion of ‘work-life balance’ and ‘family-friendly’ employment is much in vogue among politicians and business leaders. Often, but not always, working at home is included within such practices. However, the concepts of work-life balance and family-friendly are commonly left ill-defined by researchers and policymakers alike. In this article we outline formal definitions of these terms, which place spatial issues - and hence working at home - at the heart of the debate. This leads us on to examine working at home through the theoretical lens offered by attempts to explain the rise of work-life balance arrangements. Twelve hypotheses emerge from the literature and are tested on the management data contained in the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey or WERS98. Many of these hypotheses pass weak statistical tests but fail on stronger logistic regression tests. The article shows that the option to work at home is more likely to be available in the public sector, large establishments and work environments in which individuals are responsible for the quality of their own output. These workplaces are typically less unionised but not especially feminised.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 0954-5395
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:46

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