How does a hybrid work model affect employees' work-life balance?
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The use of hybrid working arrangements have accentuated during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, and its popularity is expected to keep growing. This cross-sectional study utilizes a qualitative approach through interviews, and explores how employees’ work-life balance is affected by a hybrid work model. The sample consisted of 12 participants working in a Norwegian oil and gas company. The emphasis is put on three theories in work-life balance literature, namely the spillover-, conflict-, and border theory. To gain a holistic understanding of the theories and the relation between them, a model explaining their mutual influence has been developed. Our findings indicate that the interviewees’ work-life balance is negatively affected by a hybrid work model. Spillover effects, both positive and negative, are influenced by the hybrid work model. Furthermore, the interviewees reported increasing conflicts dependent on their amount of commitments. More precisely, the interviewees with children or other people in their household experienced more conflicts regarding which domain they should prioritize. These conflicts are further enhanced when working from home. Blurred borders between the work- and nonwork domain is shown to be the main reason for this. The findings imply that the borders become increasingly flexible when utilizing a hybrid working arrangement, thus making it more difficult to obtain clear borders between various domains. Our operationalization of the theories indicate that they influence each other, however the border theory appears to have a greater impact on the two other theories, rather than vice versa. Keywords: Work-life balance, Hybrid work model, Spillover theory, Conflict theory, Border theory