Working from home decreases work-life conflict
Overall, the evidence suggests that remote working can decrease work-family conflict, but this is dependent on the context such as pandemics, age of youngest child, and perhaps caring responsibilities.
We are still looking for more scientific and professional evidence on this. Do you know any studies on this topic? We’d love it if you could share them with us!
Previous research under normal circumstances (read: not during a pandemic) when employees had a choice about the amount of time they could work remotely, shows that work-family conflict decreased as the extent of remote working increased51. The same study also found that those employees with lowest work-family conflict had the highest job satisfaction. Recent research conducted during COVID-19 supports these findings to an extent: work-family conflict decreased for those with no children, or those with teenage children90.
However, the same study found that those with children under 12 did not experience any decreases in work-family conflict. Another study in 2020 also found that working from home meant that there were more interruptions from family which could have a negative impact on work effectiveness, especially in places where schools were closed1. Furthermore, the same study found that work could invade employees’ home lives, and lead to more emotional exhaustion. This effect could possibly be explained by the fact that lockdown policies during the pandemic meant employees were stuck in their house, possibly unable to switch off from work and feeling like they live at their workplace.