Managing the work-life balance when working from home: the experience of Flemish parents

Jean-Paul Van Belle, Guidance Mthwazi, Minerva Ablay, Michelle Cheng, Sarah Cottriau, Nerine Couckhuyt, Gilles Termont, Jan Claes
Proceedings of Society 5.0 Conference 2023, EPiC Series in Computing, 93, p. 228-239, 2023 pdf
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Abstract. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home. Even after pandemic restrictions have been lifted, many parents continue to work from home. This poses several challenges and has led to a number of issues related to sharing rooms and equipment, dealing with distractions, and dealing with feelings. This paper examines the issues that arose for parents working from home in Flanders within these three categories, and recommends potential solutions. Data were collected through a survey. The target population of the survey was a group of Flemish parents with children under the age of 18 and working from home during the lockdown. The main findings of the research are summarized as follows. Most respondents did not have a separate workspace at home. This means that parents experienced different distractions at home than while working from the office. Children were the number one distraction for parents working from home. The care of children and the lack of work-life balance were also the main sources of conflict. However, the feelings when working from home are not only negative. Parents felt frustration and powerlessness, as well as motivation and happiness. Based on the analysis of the responses, recommendations are formulated from parents to parents on how to organise working from home with children.