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Beware of side effects on quality! Investigating the implications of home working on work-life balance in educational services

Beware of side effects on quality! Investigating the implications of home working on work-life... Telecommuting from home is back up on the agenda as a result of the unforeseen challenges brought by COVID-19. Working from home permits to avoid disruption in the ordinary functioning of educational institutions triggered by social distancing. However, home-based telecommuting may have some side effects on employees, especially in terms of work-life balance. Soft Total Quality Management (TQM) initiatives are needed to address these side effects. The article intends to shed light on these issues, providing some food for thought to scholars and practitioners.Design/methodology/approachSecondary data about the working conditions of 2,046 people employed in the education sector across Europe were investigated. A serial mediation analysis was designed to examine the direct and indirect implications of working from home on work-life balance.FindingsThe study suggests that home-based telecommuting may trigger work-to-life and life-to-work conflicts, due to the blurring of boundaries between work and everyday life. Soft tools, such as organizational meaningfulness (OM) and work-related well-being (WB), mediate the relationship between working from home (HW) and work-life conflicts (WLC), lessening the negative implications of working from home on work-life balance.Practical implicationsThe design and the implementation of home-based telecommuting arrangements should include a special concern for soft TQM practices. Among others, OM and WB are likely to minimize the disruption of remote employees' jobs and interpersonal relationships. Failure to do so impairs the ability of home-based employees to make sense out of their working arrangements and to achieve a sustainable work-life balance.Originality/valueThis is one of the first attempts to illuminate the side effects of home-based telecommuting and to investigate the role of soft TQM in addressing these side effects. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The TQM Journal Emerald Publishing

Beware of side effects on quality! Investigating the implications of home working on work-life balance in educational services

The TQM Journal , Volume 33 (4): 15 – May 24, 2021

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References (69)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1754-2731
DOI
10.1108/tqm-05-2020-0120
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Telecommuting from home is back up on the agenda as a result of the unforeseen challenges brought by COVID-19. Working from home permits to avoid disruption in the ordinary functioning of educational institutions triggered by social distancing. However, home-based telecommuting may have some side effects on employees, especially in terms of work-life balance. Soft Total Quality Management (TQM) initiatives are needed to address these side effects. The article intends to shed light on these issues, providing some food for thought to scholars and practitioners.Design/methodology/approachSecondary data about the working conditions of 2,046 people employed in the education sector across Europe were investigated. A serial mediation analysis was designed to examine the direct and indirect implications of working from home on work-life balance.FindingsThe study suggests that home-based telecommuting may trigger work-to-life and life-to-work conflicts, due to the blurring of boundaries between work and everyday life. Soft tools, such as organizational meaningfulness (OM) and work-related well-being (WB), mediate the relationship between working from home (HW) and work-life conflicts (WLC), lessening the negative implications of working from home on work-life balance.Practical implicationsThe design and the implementation of home-based telecommuting arrangements should include a special concern for soft TQM practices. Among others, OM and WB are likely to minimize the disruption of remote employees' jobs and interpersonal relationships. Failure to do so impairs the ability of home-based employees to make sense out of their working arrangements and to achieve a sustainable work-life balance.Originality/valueThis is one of the first attempts to illuminate the side effects of home-based telecommuting and to investigate the role of soft TQM in addressing these side effects.

Journal

The TQM JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2021

Keywords: Home working; Soft TQM; Work-life balance; Organizational meaningfulness; Well-being

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