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Literature is not consistent in discussing the implications of teleworking on work–life balance (WLB). Even though teleworking may enhance work arrangements’ flexibility, it blurs boundaries between life and work, endangering the individual WLB. The paper intends to illuminate this issue, moving forward our understanding of teleworking’s implications using the Social Exchange Theory framework.Design/methodology/approachSecondary data were collected from Eurofound’s sixth European Working Condition Survey. A large sample of Europeans (n = 16,473) was involved in this study. The authors designed a serial mediation analysis to investigate the direct and indirect effects of teleworking on WLB. The authors included employees’ job motivation and job satisfaction as intervening variables that mediate the relationship between teleworking and WLB.FindingsThe authors found teleworking to negatively affect WLB, putting under stress the teleworkers’ ability to handle the interplay between work and life. However, the serial mediation analysis pointed out that teleworking triggers an improvement of job motivation, which, in turn, boosts job satisfaction. Increased job motivation and job satisfaction nurture positive employees’ perception of WLB.Practical implicationsThe study results invite us to pay attention to the complex interplay between teleworking and WLB, emphasizing the mediating role of job motivation and job satisfaction. As a flexible work arrangement, teleworking may increase the employees’ sense of control over their work, which leads to better perceived WLB. However, confounding the boundaries between work and daily life, it may nourish work-to-life and life-to-work conflicts.Originality/valueThis paper advances what is currently known about teleworking’s implications on WLB, envisioning avenues for further conceptual and empirical developments.
Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 2022
Keywords: Teleworking; Work-life balance; Job motivation; Job satisfaction; Working arrangements
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