What Happens at Home Stays at Home: Dynamics of Work-Family Processes During the COVID-19 Crisis
COVID-19 has left the majority of populations worldwide confined to their homes, reshaping work and family relations in unprecedented ways. Focusing on stress related to COVID-19 as our central construct, we explore the role of relational support resources that are likely to reduce the level of stress related to this virus and mechanisms that are likely to prevent the negative impact of it on employee well-being. Drawing on the Work-Home Resources model (W-HR), our project reports on two daily diary studies we conducted, with a total of more than 6,841 data points, exploring the mechanisms and boundary conditions of stress related to COVID-19. Findings from the first diary study reveal the role of a) supervisor support for work-family and telecommuting as an antecedent of reduced COVID-19-related stress, b) workflow as a mechanism explaining the impact of stress related to COVID-19 on employee outcomes and c) the moderating roles of mental home demands and gender as boundary conditions. Findings from the second diary study reveal that a) work supportive spouse behaviours (i.e., WSSBs) reduce stress related to COVID-19 and b) resource accumulation and interruptions (family-to-work and work-to-family interruptions) can serve as mechanisms to explain the impact of resource loss on vitality of employees. Furthermore, the latter diary study replicates the role gender plays in our first diary study while emphasising the importance of love for spouse as a moderating variable on when the consequences of COVID-19 related stress unfolds at day level. Practical implications include ways to foster supervisor support for telecommuting and promoting transparent and open communications about work-family issues to understand how home demands can be delivered and what resources can be offered to women, who seem to be most affected by the confinement situation.