Beyond time-binds: Rethinking work–family dynamics for a mobile world

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Contemporary work is increasingly mobile, sparking new challenges for scholars of work and organizations. In this review article, we argue that a ‘mobilities lens’ offers strong potential for rethinking established approaches, focusing on one important sub-field: workfamily studies. Drawing on a ‘problematization’ approach (Sandberg and Alvesson, 2011), and a systematic literature review (SLR) of work-family research published from 1995-2015, we show how theoretical assumptions about time, space, and place have narrowed the scope of workfamily studies, focusing attention on ‘time’ and ‘time-binds’, and a limited subset of mobilities (e.g. telework, commuting). We argue that a mobilities lens can help us ‘think differently’ about work-family dynamics, prompting theoretical and methodological reorientations that recognize the inextricable connection of time and space (as ‘time-space’) and the need for a more encompassing excavation of the power, practice, and meaning of employment-related mobility (ERM) in work-family life. We sketch out a ‘mobilities inspired’ agenda to illustrate how ideas from mobilities studies can enrich work-family inquiry. We also discuss how mobilities studies can benefit, in turn, from greater engagement with work-family and organizational research.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Draft / Submitted)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Hughes, K. D., & Silver, W. A. (2020). Beyond time-binds: Rethinking work–family dynamics for a mobile world. Human Relations, 73(7), 924–952.