Work-life interaction can be viewed as an interface between the realms of work and non-work. The concepts of work-life balance and work-family conflict are linked to work-life interaction and are often used as synonyms. Work-life harmony is affected by both work-life strife and work-life improvement. The association between life and work areas has been researched by scholars, which for decades has been called work-life literature. Work-family conflict is defined as a form of interpersonal conflict in which work and family domains’ role pressures are somewhat mutually incompatible.’ While the field primarily emphasizes the tensions that substantial work prerequisites can cause in the family arena, the study of the bi-directional association eventually extended, with studies considering both family-to-work conflict and work-to-family conflict. The literature has recently extended its focus to consider the tensions between work and family needs. Also, the enhancement that can be generated for each other by the two domains (Greenhaus et al., 2003) and the benefits of accomplishing a specific equilibrium between them (Jain & Nair, 2013). The interrelationship between work and home regarding positive and negative effects is a significant issue for research (Lourel et al., 2009; Bulińska-Stangrecka et al., 2021).
At the beginning of this review, it is essential to define the term “work-life balance.” Work-life balance is a term that refers to the link between an individual’s professional obligations and personal life (Kelliher et al., 2019). Work-life equilibrium can be defined as a favorable appraisal of a person’s integration of several aspects of his or her life, including family and job, and minimization of conflict between their various responsibilities (Bulińska-Stangrecka et al., 2021). According to Brough et al. (2014), this concept refers to an employee’s impression of the congruence of various activities and the support for self-development and achieving one’s life goals. Clark’s (2000) concept also highlights the importance of minimizing the strife between an employee’s dedication to family and work commitments. Thus, reducing friction between work and non-work responsibilities is called work-life equilibrium or a sought state of human fulfillment (Sirgy & Lee, 2018).
There are two perspectives on work-life balance that define the research. The first relates to enhancing personal life, while the second relates to reducing the professional role (Sirgy & Lee, 2018). The conceptual analysis in this paper is focused on establishing the work engagement as well as minimizing the work exhaustion due to role conflict that emerges from remote labor. As a result, a perspective has been established for the analysis, assuming the necessity of minimizing work-life conflict while also providing satisfaction and optimizing the management of resources (Fisher et al., 2009).
Several explanations have been presented to explain this phenomenon over the history of the work-life balance discipline. The established study on work-life balance ideas has focused on positive and negative spillover (Zedeck, 1992). The Spillover Model was proposed by Wilensky (1960) and assumes that there is an ‘extension’ of experiences from the domain of work to non-work so that the social experience of the spheres of work and non-work is effectively boundary-less (Parker, 1971). proposed the Conflict Theory, which states that achieving one goal necessitates sacrificing another. This assumes that the two worlds of life and work are essentially incompatible and have different rules and requirements. Boundary Theory focuses on how workers build, Greenhaus & Beutell (1985) maintain, and change boundaries to simplify and classify their world (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000). The boundary hypothesis is based on Nippert (1996a) Eng’s sociological studies on how people reconcile work and home life. According to boundary theory, there are psychological, physical, and behavioral distinctions between work and non-work areas of an individual’s life (Allen, Cho, & Meier, 2014).
Work-life balance studies have historically been conflict-oriented, but academics are now looking into the potential symbiotic relationship between work and life. Powell & Greenhaus (2006) developed Enrichment Theory to understand how job and family enrich each other. Enrichment occurs when experience in one role increases the quality of life in another. It can also be characterized as the spillover of psychological resources from one role to another (Carlson, Ferguson, Kacmar, Grzywacz, & Whitten, 2011). Researchers have found that family-to-work enrichment occurs as well as work-to-family enrichment. Voydanoff (2004a) proposed the Facilitation Theory, “A sort of interaction in which resources tied to one job assist or facilitate participation in the other.” Frone (2003) defines it as how participation in one job leads to new experiences, abilities, and opportunities in another. Facilitation theory states that participating in another role makes performing in one simpler.
The Segmentation-Integration Continuum Theory is a paradigm with high role integration and high role segmentation as poles. As stated in the segmentation model, work and non-work do not influence each other (Guest, 2002). According to Piotrkowski (1979), people repress job-related moods, behaviors, and habits in the life domain and act similarly at work by restricting personal behaviors, feelings, ideas, or pleasures. Segmentation is the complete separation of work and life. Mathew & Natarajan (2014) put forward the Compensation Theory, where they believe that individuals seek compensation in another sphere when they are unfulfilled in one. This notion also states that job and family balance each other out in the same environment (Mathew & Natarajan, 2014). The compensation has been regarded as a work-family conflict. It is called negative because unpleasant experiences in one domain lead to positive perceptions.
Based on the idea of scarcity, Resource Drain Theory asserts a negative association between labor and life. The expenditure of resources in one domain reduces available resourcesof the other (Morris & Madsen, 2007). Lack of resources (time, energy, money) causes stress and burnout (Frone, 2003). The difference between compensation and resource drain is that compensation aims to determine the outcome of discontent in one domain, while resource drain solely seeks to determine the transfer of resources without regard for incentive. According to Rothbard & Edwards (2003), resource drain theory is similar to ‘time-based conflict,’ highlighting the similarities between the two theories. The Congruence Theory suggests a similarity between work and family, mediated by genetic, psychological, or socio-cultural factors (Zedeck, 1992). A third component, such as genetics or community cohesion, could positively impact work and family domains (Mathew & Natarajan, 2014).
The Ecological Systems Theory describes work-life balance by looking at the worker’s ecosystem (Pocock, Skinner & Ichii, 2009). Worker ecosystems are microsystems within larger ecosystems. It implies that Work and Family are products of the process, person, environment, and time that add to work and life experience (Grzywacz & Marks, 2000b). According to Bird (2006), the Ladder Theory posits two sides to work-life balance: the individual and the organization. Employees have obligations to the company, whereas employers have obligations to their employees. Profits, Revenue, Commitment, Customer Service, Morale, Productivity, Retention, and Recruitment connect the two legs. The employee’s journey finishes at step (Profits) while the employer begins at recruitment. Both legs must work well for balanced work and life. Other approaches, such as Human Capital Theory, Social Identity Theory, and Role Theory, can be gleaned from the literature.
The background and implications of strife between life and work have been extensively contemplated. Various studies consider a co-relation between work-life conflict and job engagement. Many kinds of research on the conflict between work and life have focused on workers with family commitments, hypothesizing that only those employees with a specific degree of work-family contention will respect family-oriented strategies or change their attrition intentions. It is believed that an organization that empowers people to settle their personal and professional lives would be considered the best organization for individuals who have family responsibilities and those who do not have any family commitments.
Work-Family Conflict (WFC) is a term used to describe the circumstance where the employee’s claims of time spent and stress meddles with day-to-day lives. WFC estimates the degree to which the job impacts an individual’s life adversely outside the workplace, and high degrees of Work-Family Conflict is commonly correlated with adverse results (Fein & Skinner, 2015). Various research is investigating the effect of Work-Family Conflict on employee performance has concentrated on full-time employees and concluded that long hours of working anticipate elevated levels of WFCs which may have adverse health effects (Adkins & Premeaux, 2012). Research has also explored the connections between Work-Family Conflict and work engagement (Kalliath & Kalliath, 2015; Weale et al., 2019). Though there are certain discrepancies between the studies, higher work-family conflict is generally connected with lower work engagement. Work-life equilibrium is also related to work-life interaction. There is considerable discussion about the term balance and whether the equilibrium between the realms of work and non-work is alluring or feasible (Tim Thames et al., 2015). Some people will be happy with the work-life balance, although they might use more resources in one of the areas contrasted with the other at specific phases of their life. Work-life balance is a structure that adds to the optimum stability of work-life. Achieving greater work-life fit is essential to ensure sustained work commitment; it can prolong working life and defer retirement (Tim Thames et al., 2015).. Various approaches and practices are needed throughout life that empower workforce participation and commitment; hence policies and practices that help the fruitful association of work and non-work realms need to be considered.
We conducted an all-inclusive literature review on work-life balance for this paper. Despite our extensive literature assessment, we narrow our attention to remote-working and its effect on work-life balance. We have been able to identify significant areas in which further empirical study is needed in the domain of remote working and work-life balance. Main arguments and contributions include identifying important areas contributing to better work-life balance among telecommuting employees and examination of vital topics which require a future study on the issues of personal and professional life balance in a remote working situation. Worldwide telecommuting and epidemiological limits need the development of guidelines on how best to sustain a work-life equilibrium when telecommuting from home.
Some articles are “theoretically informed, empirically grounded” in this journal. They talk about how technology has influenced employees in every part, from their jobs to families. As technology has progressed, ideas about “new” have changed. It is essential to encompass a broad opinion of novel innovations, but at the same time, it is essential to recognize that the ramifications of these inventions are all because of individual action. To figure out how the current labor process and research on work/jobs have shown these changes over time, we need to look at how these changes have been shown in the past literature. It is important to think back to Marx’s early thoughts, which said: “the worker feels himself only when he is not working; when he is working he does not feel himself. He is at home when he is not working, and not at home when he is working” (Marx, 1975).
This review gives a quick overview of some most important debates going on for a long time that should be looked at again in the modern world. Without wearing rose-tinted glasses and reminiscing, it is vital to be reflective and take both a factually and academically informed stance on how technologies will affect the current pandemic and the world in the long run. It is thought that people who already know about these things will better understand the current changes as they acclimatize to the changed surroundings.
In the context of the theoretical premises discussed above, it appears important to recognize the changes that occurred in the development processes in organizations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic concerning work-life balance. In a broader sense, there is a lack of data on specific tools to maintain work-life balance satisfaction for workers who work from home during a pandemic. Therefore, it is important to analyze the literature to diagnose conceptual clusters and identify which areas need to be developed to provide valuable guidance on remote working.
The sections presented below are an attempt to fill this research gap. The scientific knowledge gap prevents designing and implementing tailored management interventions that allow dealing with the multifaceted implications of working from home on the ability of remote employees to handle the work-life interplay. The article intends to contribute to filling in this gap in the literature, proposing an empirical examination of the consequences of home-based telecommuting on work-life balance. The following research questions inspired the development of this study:
RQ1. Does telecommuting from home affect the work engagement ability to manage the work-life interface?
RQ2. What are the implications of home-based teleworking on work-related exhaustion?
A systematic literature review can not only summarize existing information, identify gaps, and provide a new viewpoint on a topic but also spark new interests and direct future practice. So a systematic review was used to answer the research questions. A reflective literature analysis was designed to provide a tentative answer to these research questions. The article is organized as follows. Section 2 proposes the conceptual background against which this literature was established. Section 3 and 4 depict the study design and the methodology applied in this research. Section 5 reports the work-life interface. Section 6 critically discusses the literature findings and advances this research's main conceptual and practical implications, which are outlined in Section 7.