The consequences of work-home integration – building the case for a more nuanced picture of integrating the work role into the home role
Abstract: The consequences of work-home integration – building the case for a more nuanced picture of integrating the work role into the home role
Integrating work and home roles can take on different forms. For instance, we can work from home, talk about work, or think about work while at home. Despite this variety, the majority of research thus far has focused on the consequences of the overall degree of integrating these two roles. In the first part of my talk, I present the results of two studies, a two-wave study and a daily diary study, in which we focused on thinking about work while at home as one specific form of “bringing work home.” We argue and find that it is important to differentiate between the various forms of doing so. In particular, we show that the family role benefits from some forms of “being stuck” in work-related thoughts but suffers from others. In the second part of my talk, I focus on work-home integration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced many employees to work from home, thus integrating their work and home roles, irrespective of their desires to do so. Yet, we argue that employees are active agents of their work-home boundaries. Therefore, those with lower work-home integration preferences should aim to re-establish some of their boundaries, in turn, experiencing fewer intrusions from work to the home role and less interference between work and home. I present initial findings from a daily diary study, which (partially) support these assumptions. I conclude with a discussion of the relevance of these findings for research and practice.