Strategies for successful telework: how effective employees manage work/home boundaries
Article publication date: 13 June 2016
This paper aims to identify strategies used by successful teleworkers to create and maintain boundaries between work and home, and to determine how these strategies relate to employee preferences for segmentation or integration of work and home.
Forty in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with employees working from home either occasionally (occasional teleworkers), between 20 and 50 per cent of the workweek (partial teleworkers), or the majority of the time (full teleworkers).
Teleworkers use physical, temporal, behavioral and communicative strategies to recreate boundaries similar to those found in office environments. Although teleworkers can generally develop strategies that align boundaries to their preferences for segmentation or integration, employees with greater job autonomy and control are better able to do so.
A limitation of this research is its potential lack of generalizability to teleworkers in organizations with “always-on” cultures, who may experience greater pressure to allow work to permeate the home boundary.
These findings can encourage organizations to proactively assess employee preferences for boundary permeability before entering a teleworking arrangement. The boundary management tactics identified can be used to provide teleworkers struggling to establish comfortable boundaries with tangible ideas to regulate interactions between home and work.
This research makes a significant contribution to practitioner literature by applying a boundary management framework to the practice of teleworking, which is being adopted by organizations with increasing frequency.
Basile, K.A. and Beauregard, T.A. (2016), "Strategies for successful telework: how effective employees manage work/home boundaries", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 106-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/SHR-03-2016-0024
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