Informal overtime at home instead of telework: increase in negative work-family interface

Satu Ojala (School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Jouko Nätti (School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Timo Anttila (Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 4 March 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The authors aim to compare how formal flexibility, such as telework, differs from informal overtime work at home regarding the work-family interface.

Design/methodology/approach

By using data from the Finnish Quality of Work Life Surveys from 2003 and 2008, the positive and negative measures concerning the work-family interface are examined through logistic regression analysis.

Findings

Employees doing informal overtime at home are more likely to be affected by negative emotions concerning work disrupting family lives. Additionally, negotiations between couples over the allocation of time become areas of conflict. Only weak evidence is provided for both telework and informal work at home supporting family life.

Research limitations/implications

In studying homeworking, it is important to separate between formal and informal flexibility at work. The data exceptionally enable that. The limitations of the data are cross-sectionality and only a few measures for assessing the positive work-family interface.

Originality/value

The contribution of the study is to show how informal overtime at home is related with stronger negative implications for work-family interface, when separated from telework. The article discusses how well-intentioned working schedule flexibility results in family life being infringed upon. Informal work may help attain a better work-family interface, but, with dual-earner employment being predominant in Finland, informal overtime work can increase pressures on families. The authors encourage the policy- and organisation-level recognition of informal overtime risks.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The article is part of the Finnish Academy funded research project “SPACE – Spatial Dispersion of Paid Work” (2010-2013).

Citation

Ojala, S., Nätti, J. and Anttila, T. (2014), "Informal overtime at home instead of telework: increase in negative work-family interface", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 34 No. 1/2, pp. 69-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-03-2013-0037

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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