Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

Spring 3-30-2021

Abstract

Work-life balance has always been a challenge for all the working class but during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has added to the already existing challenges because the work life too has shifted to home through online mode. COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown throughout the world have diminished the boundary between the workplace and the home place. The work life and family life are to be lived and managed under the same space at the home. In a patriarchal society like India, within the working class the work-life balance of the working women has been a constant challenge. This is because of the gendered roles at the home which are principally considered to be the responsibility of the women of the family. Whether it is the house maintenance, childcare or the elderly care, these responsibilities have been associated with the women of the house only. Since after the lockdown in India, the work was shifted to online mode working women have faced numerous problems while delivering the dual duties of office and home simultaneously at the same time and same place. The paper aims to gain in-depth understanding of the experiences of women academicians regarding their work-life balance during COVID-19 pandemic. We have used the qualitative research approach to explore and analyze the challenges faced by the women working in higher education department to balance work and life during COVID-19 pandemic. Female academicians having at least one kid below the age of 15 years were taken into the study. The study used interview method for data collection. Both face to face and telephonic interviews were conducted with the participants keeping in view the social distancing rules and other lockdown measures. They study used inductive thematic analysis for the generation of the results. Three main themes emerged from the study. The themes along with the respective sub themes are : 1. Work related issues ( need to learn the online teaching tools for digital classes, erratic work schedule, stretched working hours, screen fatigue, camera consciousness, interrupted classes due to internet and connectivity problems) 2. Family Issues (elderly care issues, role conflict and guilt, children’s educational issues, maintenance of social relations, house help problems) 3. Personal Issues (burnout, lack of downtime, feelings of isolation).

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