The Work-Life Balance Machine

  •  Olawunmi Elizabeth Eniola    


Remote work or hybridized work has come to stay post COVID-19 pandemic, though not without both benefits and drawbacks. Work-life balance represents an essential need of remote workers, which could either be hindered or promoted during remote work. The continuous adoption of remote work warrants that the crucial challenge of work-life balance facing remote workers be addressed. Therefore, this study offers insights regarding the work-life balance processes of remote workers by following a research approach that involves synthesizing literature about remote work and work-life balance in an integrative way. This article upholds that the work-life balance processes of remote workers involve a work-life cognitive system that is responsible for maintaining equilibrium in the work-life system. The work-life system of remote workers includes elements, resources, forces, useful work, and output. Achieving balance between work and non-work domains is a function of the relative processes among the elements, resources, and forces within the work-life system. This article refers to the work-life balance cognitive system as ‘the work-life balance machine’. The work-life balance machine provides knowledge about how and what remote workers need to learn, adapt to, and change in the environment in order to develop an optimally balanced work and life. Thus, based on the blending of theories and concepts with the synthesized evidence from literature, this article offers a model; the work-life balance machine and a definition of work-life balance. In addition, this paper highlights actionable insights critical for human resource management in developing, supporting, and maintaining remote workers’ work-life balance.

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