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Better work-life balance through digital parenting

Kelly Basile (Department of Business, Emmanuel College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
T. Alexandra Beauregard (Department of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK and Oslo New University College, Oslo, Norway)
Esther Canonico-Martin (Business School, Imperial College London, London, UK)
Kylee Gause (Emmanuel College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 12 September 2022

Issue publication date: 2 November 2022

316

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how working parents use personal technology to manage parenting responsibilities and to identify how technology use might help to support work–family balance.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth telephone interviews with US and UK working parents with children under the age of 18 were conducted.

Findings

Findings suggest that personal technology can facilitate work and family activities and reduce work–family conflict by enabling parents to perform certain parenting duties remotely. However, parental attitudes toward technology and children’s rights to privacy influence both technology use and work and family outcomes.

Practical implications

By better understanding employee personal technology use, and how this use facilitates reduced conflict between work and family roles, organizations might look to creatively expand their benefits offerings to include access/discounts to personal technology platforms that support parenting activities (e.g. Uber One, Amazon Prime and DoorDash).

Originality/value

While substantial research has been conducted on employee use of work-enabled technology to facilitate work–life balance, less attention has been paid to how working parents are using personal forms of technology to achieve this same outcome. This exploratory study establishes certain parenting functions that are facilitated by personal technology use and identifies some parental attitudes that influence technology adoption.

Keywords

Citation

Basile, K., Beauregard, T.A., Canonico-Martin, E. and Gause, K. (2022), "Better work-life balance through digital parenting", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 180-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/SHR-08-2022-0048

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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