Working remotely means that you can spend more time with your family
While early research points to the fact that working remotely leads to less family conflict, more research is needed on the unique context that remote employees find themselves when they have to reconcile their work and caring responsibilities simultaneously.
Academic research has found that more extensive remote working was related to higher drops in work-family conflict51. The reasons behind this could be more flexibility to align work and home demands91, 92, and the ability for more affective communication exchanges between family members face-to-face93. In fact, working remotely was more beneficial for women as they can devote more time to family responsibilities84. But working remotely also allowed men to connect more with the emotional components of family life which are typically associated with women94. Another important point to mention is that working from home during COVID-19 saved US employees an average of 40 minutes per day on commuting3. This is time that remote employees could use to spend more time with family instead. In fact, 70% of 2,000 US respondents stated that they want to work remotely because they can spend more time with family or have a better work life balance3.
On the other hand, working remotely can lead to overworking by employees11, which could potentially lead to increases in work-family conflict (although the relationship between remote work, overworking, and work-family conflict has yet to be tested empirically). Also, the unique context of working remotely in a pandemic may increase work-family conflict as family members staying home may cause unnecessary distractions for the remote employee (i.e., young children).