Gendered Work-Family Conflict: Long-Distance, Commuter, and Proximal Partnerships

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Krista BRUMLEY, Wayne State University, USA
Shirin MONTAZER, Wayne State University, USA
Katheryn MAGUIRE, Wayne State University, USA
Boris BALTES, Wayne State University, USA
Jamie COBB, Wayne State University, USA
Workplaces have downsized, restructured, and expanded globally. Employees are expected to work longer hours, have multiple skills, be flexible and visible, and are tethered by technology. They are increasingly required to travel, or take short or even long-term assignments taking them away from their families on a weekly or monthly basis. These higher demands at work can lead to employee burnout, turnover, less job satisfaction, and greater job-related stress, impacting work-family conflict (Brumley 2014; Montazer & Young 2016). One situation that may intensify work-family conflict is the “long-distance” experience. Partnerships with children are particularly susceptible. Using a mixed methods approach (i.e., online survey, interviews), we examine the effects of long distance and commuter partnerships as compared to proximal partnerships on work-family conflict in the U.S. In this paper, we present a gendered analysis of sources of workplace stress that may differently impact the effect of each of these commuting types on men and women’s experiences of work-family conflict. Although there is a robust body of research on work-family conflict, only a handful of studies have examined it in the context of long distance relationships. By examining partners in long distance, commuter, and proximal relationships, this project extends our theorizing on how work and family demands shape women’s and men’s experiences, within an environment of intensifying work demands and increasing mobility of individuals in the U.S.