Reconstructing the Borders and the Definitions of Home and Work in the Context of Telecommuting in Poland


  • Jacek Gądecki AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków
  • Marcin Jewdokimow Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw
  • Magdalena Zadkowska University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk

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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.

Author Biographies

Jacek Gądecki, AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków

Jacek Gądecki, Professor in Sociology, University of Science and Technology in Kraków (Poland). He works on urban sociology, housing studies and material culture. He realized several research projects in US (Fulbright Scholar) Germany (Bauhaus Foundation) and Poland (gated communities, gentrification, spaces of innovation). Works on ethnography of infrastructure now. 

Marcin Jewdokimow, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw

Marcin Jewdokimow, PhD, is an assistant professor of the Faculty of Humanities (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University) Warsaw (Poland).  Acting Head of Department of the XXth Century Culture in the Institute of Classical and Cultural Studies (FH CSWU). He is an author of two books: Transformation of Dwelling Practices (2011) and Non-home. A Sociological Monograph of Migrants Dwellings (2012, with Magdalena Łukasiuk) and articles and chapters in books concerning: dwelling and housing, monasticism and collective memory, visual studies, education. Research interests: dwelling, religion, monasticism, collective memory, materiality, visual studies, and education.


Magdalena Zadkowska, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk

Magdalena Żadkowska has a PhD in Sociology and works as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Sociology of Everyday Life at the University of Gdańsk (Poland). Her thesis analyzed contemporary Polish family in context of Jean-Claude Kaufmann sociology of couple. Magdalena who is researcher and coach dealing with couples and their work-life-balance described every-day life, partnership and domestic duties. Magdalena leads Work Package devoted to qualitative study on couples going to work in Norway in: Par Migration Project.  She also takes part in Polish project “So you are staying at home?” that follows everyday life of teleworkers.


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How to Cite

Gądecki, J., Jewdokimow, M. and Zadkowska, M. 2016. Reconstructing the Borders and the Definitions of Home and Work in the Context of Telecommuting in Poland. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 2, 3 (Sep. 2016). DOI:



Work-life balance/imbalance: Individual, Organizational and Social Experiences