Working from the Home Office and Homeschool(-ing): Experiences of Austrian Employees (Parents) in the Time of Covid-19

Authors

  • Michal Beno Institute of Technology and Business in Ceske Budejovice, Okružní 517/10, 370 01 České Budějovice, Czechia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36941/jesr-2021-0078

Keywords:

Covid-19, Working from the home office, homeschool(-ing), family status, Austria

Abstract

Due to Covid-19, many working parents are facing new challenges. The aim of this paper is to share their personal experiences and the best recommendations for resolving their difficulties. We summarise their complex thoughts on the subject of the home office in relation to the household, homeschooling and the education of all concerned. In order to address this question, a qualitative research paradigm using WhatsApp as a medium in order to explore the following research questions was used: 1) How are employees able to manage the home office, homeschooling and the household under one roof? and 2) Will WFH and homeschooling disadvantage working mothers more than working fathers? Data were collected from 10 working parents (five males and five females) in Austria. According to coding, four major themes were explored: 1) Compatibility, 2) Work/home space, 3) Work week separation and 4) Suggestions and organisational recommendations. It was determined that at the beginning of the lockdown drawing a clear boundary between the home, office and school environments caused some difficulties. Especially parents with younger children experienced problems of compatibility. Secondly, flexibility and housing in relation to the home-office-school environment was a common topic throughout the interviews. Furthermore, before Covid-19 all participants had a more classic separation of roles. Roles and expectations changed as all the family members stayed at home day in and day out. Finally, in privileged situations (more living space, jobs that could be done remotely or support of the entire family), it was often easier to deal with the current challenges. This pandemic has brought many changes in everyday life and in terms of performing old tasks and new ones. This includes work at home and homeschooling. The obtained data provide important insights into how to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on work, home and school while emphasising the importance of these questions as well as of future research for support and information.

 

Received: 31 March 2021 / Accepted: 26 May 2021 / Published: 8 July 2021

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Published

2021-07-08

How to Cite

Beno, M. . (2021). Working from the Home Office and Homeschool(-ing): Experiences of Austrian Employees (Parents) in the Time of Covid-19. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 11(4), 76. https://doi.org/10.36941/jesr-2021-0078

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Section

Articles