The Work-Family Balance of British Working Women During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Article


Adisa, T., Aiyenitaju, O. and Adekoya, D. 2021. The Work-Family Balance of British Working Women During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Journal of Work-Applied Management. p. In Press. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-07-2020-0036
AuthorsAdisa, T., Aiyenitaju, O. and Adekoya, D.
Abstract

Purpose –
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected women in unique gender-specific ways, particularly their traditional status as home managers. This study draws on role theory to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s work-family balance during the lockdown.

Design/methodology/approach –
The current COVID-19 pandemic, which has altered the
ways in which we live and work, requires specific methodological tools to be understood. We therefore opted for a interpretive-constructivist and constructivist-phenomenologist approach. The dataset thus comprises of semi-structured interviews with twenty-six working women in the UK.

Findings –
The findings illustrate how the COVID-19 lockdown has intensified British women’s domestic workload and has thus caused unbridled role conflict, which has further been exacerbated by structural and interactional roles undertaken by women especially during the lockdown. Remote working has contributed to women’s role congestion and role conflict and poses severe challenges to role differentiation. Furthermore, we found that the lockdown
has facilitated the rediscovery of family values and closeness, which is connected to the decline in juvenile delinquency and low crime rate that has resulted from the lockdown.

Originality/value –
Through the lens of the role theory, this study concludes that the cohabitation of work and family duties within the domestic space undermines the ability to achieve work-family balance and role differentiation due to the occurrence of inter-role conflicts. This study enriches our understanding of the effect of remote working on female employees’ work-family balance during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Keywordswork-family balance; women; role theory; gender role; remote/virtual working; COVID-19
JournalJournal of Work-Applied Management
Journal citationp. In Press
ISSN2205-2062
Year2021
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Repository staff only
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-07-2020-0036
Publication dates
Online05 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Dec 2020
Deposited04 Jan 2021
Copyright holder © 2020, Toyin Ajibade Adisa, Opeoluwa Aiyenitaju and Olatunji David Adekoya
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