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

Jeff Hyman, Dora Scholarios, Chris Baldry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-725
Number of pages21
JournalWork, Employment & Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Thanks are offered to two anonymous referees and the editors of this edition of
WES for their constructive and helpful comments. The work in this article derives
from the project ‘Employment and working life beyond the year 2000: Two emerging employment sectors’, ESRC Award no. L212252006. Members of the full
research team are: Peter Bain, Chris Baldry, Dirk Bunzel, Nick Bozionelis, Kay
Gilbert, Gregor Gall, Jeff Hyman, Cliff Lockyer, Abigail Marks, Gareth Mulvey,
Dora Scholarios, Phil Taylor and the late Harvie Ramsay


  • coping strategies
  • employee flexibility
  • new employment
  • work and home
  • work-life balance


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