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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02362

The Use of Work-Home Practices and Work-Home Conflict: Examining the Role of Volition and Perceived Pressure in a Multi-Method Study

  • 1Work and Organisation Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium

In response to the rising number of individuals who have to combine work and home responsibilities, organizations increasingly offer work-home practices. These are HR-practices such as telework and part-time work that can help employees to combine work and home roles. However, extant research on the relationship between work-home practice use and both work-to-home conflict (i.e., work interfering with private life) and home-to-work conflict (i.e., private life interfering with work) shows inconsistent results. In this study, we posit that employees’ work-home conflict does not so much depend on whether or not they use a specific work-home practice, but rather on (1) the degree to which their (non-)use of this practice is in line with their preference (i.e., volition) and (2) the pressure they experience from the work and/or the home environment to act in another way than they prefer (i.e., perceived work pressure and perceived home pressure). Hypotheses are tested for two specific work-home practices (i.e., home-based telework and part-time work) in both a field study and an experimental between-subject vignette study. Results show that work-home conflict is affected by volition, perceived work pressure and perceived home pressure; yet, some differences were found between the two types of work-home conflict (i.e., work-to-home and home-to-work conflict) and between the two types of work-home practices. Our results nuance the dichotomy between users and non-users of work-home practices that has been dominantly used in the work-home practice literature to date and point to similar predictors of work-home conflict among both the group of users and the group of non-users. These findings may encourage researchers to examine characteristics of employees’ work-home practice use (e.g., volition, perceived pressure) in addition to the mere use of these practices when studying their effectiveness.

Keywords: Work-Home Practices, Work-home conflict, Telework, part-time work, Preferences, Volition, Perceived pressure

Received: 27 May 2019; Accepted: 03 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Delanoeije and Verbruggen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Joni Delanoeije, KU Leuven, Work and Organisation Studies, Leuven, Belgium, delanoeijejoni@gmail.com