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Getting on or getting by? Employee flexibility and coping strategies for home and work

Hyman, J.D. and Baldry, C.J. and Scholarios, D.M. (2005) Getting on or getting by? Employee flexibility and coping strategies for home and work. Work, Employment and Society, 19 (4). pp. 705-725. ISSN 0959-0170

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Recent speculation about the impact on family life of contemporary patterns of work has prompted considerable and concerted social research activity in which the workplace and household have figured prominently. This article extends these studies to examine employment in prototypical new sectors of the economy, namely call centres and software, which at the time of the study were enjoying spectacular growth. Employees in both sectors reported spillover from work to home, though the extent, nature and intensity of spillover varied significantly between the sectors. The study identified the different and hitherto unexplored ways in which employees in these different sectors attempt to cope with complex articulations between home and work, and the varying resources which they bring to bear in doing so. Contemporary work settings indicate little change from more established sectors in that gender, status and labour market strength are important factors in offering work boundary discretion.