Work-life imbalance in call centres and software development

Jeff Hyman, Chris Baldry, Dora Scholarios, Dirk Bunzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The paper evaluates the centrality of work to employees in two growing employment sectors, call-centres and software development. It then examines evidence for extensions of work into household and family life in these two sectors. Extensions are identified as tangible, such as unpaid overtime, or intangible, represented by incursions imported from work, such as exhaustion and stress. The study finds that organizational pressures, combined with lack of work centrality, result in work intruding into non-work areas of employee lives, though intrusions manifest themselves in different ways according to type of work, levels of worker autonomy and organizational support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-239
Number of pages25
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jun 2003
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

The work in this paper is derived 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 Bozionelos, Kay Gilbert, Gregor Gall, Jeff
Hyman, Cliff Lockyer, Abigail Marks, Gareth Mulvey, Dora Scholarios, Phil
Taylor, Aileen Watson and the late Harvie Ramsay. Sincere thanks are offered
to the editors of this edition and to the anonymous referees for their helpful
comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


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