Exploring the Impact of Covid-19 on Employees' Boundary Management and Work-Life Balance

Article


Adisa, T. A., Antonacopoulou, E., Beauregard, T. A., Dickmann, M. and Adekoya, O. D. 2022. Exploring the Impact of Covid-19 on Employees' Boundary Management and Work-Life Balance. British Journal of Management.
AuthorsAdisa, T. A., Antonacopoulou, E., Beauregard, T. A., Dickmann, M. and Adekoya, O. D.
Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic altered the ways academics work and live by creating a context during the spring of 2020 where working from home was largely mandatory and where for cohabiting workers, the home as workplace was simultaneously occupied by all household members during working hours (and beyond). Using a multi-method qualitative approach, we examine how academics experienced working from home during the unprecedented circumstances imposed by the first UK lockdown and social distancing measures. Our findings show that a working arrangement commonly termed “flexible”, working from home, can actually reduce flexibility in a context of mandatory implementation accompanied by the removal of instrumental and emotional support structures such as childcare and face-to-face (physical) social gatherings. Intensified workloads, increased employer monitoring, social disconnection and blurred boundaries between work and personal life collectively generate the reduction of employees’ perceived flexibility-ability. Experiences may be particularly negative for those with low flexibility-willingness, whos pre-pandemic preference was to separate work and home as much as possible. Employee efforts to assert agency in this context include establishing ‘micro-borders’ and using timebased strategies to create ‘controlled integration’. We discuss implications for border theory and outline directions for future research.

JournalBritish Journal of Management
ISSN1467-8551
Year2022
PublisherWiley for British Academy of Management
Accepted author manuscript
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Publication process dates
Accepted04 Jul 2022
Deposited04 Jul 2022
Copyright holder© 2022 British Academy of Management.
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This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Adisa, T. A., Antonacopoulou, E., Beauregard, T. A., Dickmann, M. and Adekoya, O. D., Exploring the Impact of Covid-19 on Employees' Boundary Management and Work-Life Balance, British Journal of Management, which has been published in final form at: (In Press). This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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