Reconstructing the Borders and the Definitions of Home and Work in the Context of Telecommuting in Poland
This paper presents the results of intensive ethnographic research into a group of contemporary Polish teleworkers and their families. Recent media representations of home-located working activities show that the fusion of work and home in the same space may occur in the near future, but telework remains a new and challenging situation for many households. Working at home on the basis of telecommuting may not represent an opportunity but rather a major challenge, causing significant problems for and limitations on both family and work life. The ethnographic research describes newly established practices of everyday living in the different structures – ‘the daily puzzles of real people who live their work and households lives’ (DeVault 1999: 52). Through the use of a mix of qualitative methods (in pair interviews, photography and dairies) research methodology is developed to investigate the household as a socio-spatial situation. Accordingly, the article includes: a) a discussion of the theoretical issues related to telecommuting and work-life balance, b) an overview of the relevant literature, c) a description of the methodology of the study, and d) some conclusions about the issue of constructing and overcoming borders and the definitions of home and work in the context of telecommuting in Poland in the context of the establishment of work-life balance.
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