Economic crisis, work–lifebalance and class
Labour market evidence suggests that the 2008–09 recession and
subsequent on-going economic crisis in the UK have led to a reduction
in the proportion of workers reporting over-long working hours and
an expansion in work-time underemployment (Bell and Blanchflower,
2013, 2011). The study of ‘work–life’ balance has a long-standing
interest in the impact of work-time and work-time preferences on
work–life imbalance. This interest has largely concentrated on work-
“I wonder if the game is worth
the candle”: PCCs, their ‘work–lifebalance’ and their future
‘And I’ll tell you another thing: the hours we work are
ludicrous. Sometimes when I’m driving myself home late
at night after yet another meeting in the back of beyond,
and knowing I’ve still got to be up early next day, I wonder
if the game is worth the candle. This is an accident waiting
to happen. [...]’
Interviewer: Does the PCC role have a long-term future?
‘Dunno. Ask me when I grow up! Seriously, it might be
too early to think about this, though
reflections in the context of work–lifebalance. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home, especially among creative workers, has increased the blurring of the work–lifebalance, and deepened the precarity. The legitimization of this precarity that lies in the so-called creative nature of labour now seems to be shifted to digital availability, or simply having an internet connection. Opting out of digital networks was considered as an option for at least a certain time before the pandemic; for example, to be able to socialize for a weekend or a night out
The realities of work–lifebalance in a low-income
The article explores the work–lifebalance policy agenda as it has emerged in post-industrial
societies, such as the UK, and it reports on a small-scale study of the experiences and expectations
of work–lifebalance in a low-income inner-London neighbourhood. From the study, certain general
issues are identified relating to the inconsistency of employers’ practices and the currently fragmented
nature of childcare provision. And certain issues of particular
Flexibility or flexploitation?
Problems with work–lifebalance
in a low-income neighbourhood
‘Work–lifebalance’ is a contested notion, involving conflicting
interpretations of ‘flexibility’ in relation to employment and family
commitments. It may be justified on the basis of a social case, a business
case or the contemporary public policy compromise. In practice,
however, people’s capacity as employees and family members to achieve
the kind of flexibility they want rests on their bargaining power. This
chapter draws on findings from
Mothers do not make good workers: the role of work/lifebalance policies in reinforcing gendered stereotypes
Sarah Cote Hampson
School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, WA, USA
‘Family friendly’ policies such as maternity leave allow millions of
women in the United States to take some time off when they give
birth or adopt a child in order to spend time physically recuperating
and/or initiating a bond with their children. However, many working
mothers report facing stereotypes that either negatively
Does flexible working really provide a better work-life balance?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible working has become the norm for many workers. This volume offers an original examination of flexible working using data from 30 European countries and drawing on studies conducted in Australia, the US and India. Rather than providing a better work-life balance, the book reveals how flexible working can lead to exploitation, which manifests differently for women and men, such as more care responsibilities or increased working hours.
Taking a critical stance, this book investigates the potential risks and benefits of flexible working and provides crucial policy recommendations for overcoming the negative consequences.
Are Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) connecting families? And what does this mean in terms of family routines, relationships, norms, work, intimacy and privacy?
This edited collection takes a life course and generational perspective covering theory, including posthumanism and strong structuration theory, and methodology, including digital and cross-disciplinary methods. It presents a series of case studies on topics such as intergenerational connections, work-life balance, transnational families, digital storytelling and mobile parenting.
It will give students, researchers and practitioners a variety of tools to make sense of how ICTs are used, appropriated and domesticated in family life. These tools allow for an informed and critical understanding of ICTs and family dynamics.
Across Europe the importance of reconciling paid work and family life is increasingly recognised by a range of diverse government regulations and organisational initiatives. At the same time, employing organisations and the nature of work are undergoing massive and rapid changes, in the context of global competition, efficiency drives, as well as social and economic transformations in emerging economies.
“Work, families and organisations in transition” illustrates how workplace practices and policies impact on employees’ experiences of “work-life balance” in contemporary shifting contexts. Based upon cross-national case studies of public and private sector workplaces carried out in Bulgaria, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK, this innovative book demonstrates the challenges that parents face as they seek to negotiate work and family boundaries. The case studies demonstrate that employed parents’ needs and experiences depend on many layers of context - global, European, national, workplace and family.
This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students of organisational psychology, sociology, management and business studies, human resource management, social policy, as well as employers, managers, trade unions and policy makers.