Teleworking ‘not a family-friendly arrangement’

Teleworking can stress out parents to the point of burnout or exhaustion, as they have to work under a lot of domestic pressure, a new study has suggested.

Although the idea of “teleworking” may conjure up images of sitting in your pyjamas with coffee in hand, an analysis suggests that it is a difficult balancing act for people struggling to meet the demands of a job and family.

The study’s author, Timothy Golden, said that that telework is not just working from home during traditional hours, as it is also plugging away at tasks during the evening and weekends, too.

In a way, non-traditional telework puts people in a place where their personal time may be overrun by their jobs.

By surveying 316 people who worked traditional hours for a large computer company, Golden asked participants to answer whether they agree with certain statements, including “Due to all the pressures at work, sometimes when I am home I am too stressed to do the things I enjoy” and “Because I am often stressed from family responsibilities, I have a hard time concentrating on my work.”

Most respondents were male, and 88 percent had children.

He also measured peoples’ levels of work exhaustion.

He found that respondents with higher time and strain-based conflicts between work and family also showed higher rates of exhaustion from teleworking.

Previous studies showed that these types of conflict were physically and emotionally draining, which affect people’s abilities to cope with feeling overwhelmed, Discovery News reported.

As a result, people experience burnout and do not perform their jobs as well, or they may even be calling in sick more often.

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Golden told MSNBC that part of the problem could be because teleworkers are constantly being reminded of their role at home.

The study has been published in the Journal of Business Psychology.

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