Playing catch up? An exploration of supplementary work at home among Australian public servants

Cortis, N. and Powell, A. (2018) Playing catch up? An exploration of supplementary work at home among Australian public servants. Journal of Industrial Relations, 60 (4). pp. 538-559. ISSN 0022-1856

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Working at home has conventionally been understood as a formal, employer-sanctioned flexibility or ‘telework’ arrangement adopted primarily to promote work–life balance. However, work at home is now most commonly performed outside of normal working hours on an informal, ad hoc basis, to prepare for or catch up on tasks workers usually perform in the workplace. Scholarly assessment of this type of work has been sparse. To fill this gap, we undertook secondary analysis of a large data set, the Australian Public Service Employee Census, to explore the personal and organisational factors associated with middle-level managers regularly taking work home to perform outside of and in addition to their usual working hours. We conceptualise this as ‘supplementary work’. The analysis shows how supplementary work is a flexibility practice associated with high workloads and poor organisational supports for work–life balance, distinguishing it from other forms of home-based work. Whereas previous studies have not found gendered effects, we found women with caring responsibilities had higher odds of performing supplementary work. These findings expand understandings of contemporary flexibility practices and the factors that affect them, and underline the need for more nuanced theories of working at home. © 2018, Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA), SAGE Publications Ltd, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC.

Additional Information:cited By 0
Divisions:College of Social Science
ID Code:39961
Deposited On:27 Jan 2020 14:12

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