Work-family conflict (WFC) is an advancing concept within modern society, predominantly due to present-day development, technological enhancement, and greater societal demands. It has been evident in the majority of adult men and women that work interferes with their familial responsibilities (Glavin and Schieman, 2012). Referring to discordance or incongruence between one’s work and household role demands, the relationship of work and family has been identified as a bi-directional construct, where work duties impact on family responsibilities and work can reinforce family welfare and positive aspects of family life can fit into one’s workplace. Subsequently, a concept of work-life combination should depict more flexible boundaries where individuals have a greater influence on the definition of their work and non-work lives. The choice of plan is to handle the work-family conflict as dependent on the recognized differences between the two domains, on the strength of the borders, which are resolved by their permeability and flexibility (Saucan et al., 2015).
The concept collects, globally, widespread attention and is widely discussed worldwide. In modern society, beyond human resources management, substantial research projects in this area have been executed, with several studies reporting divergent and, at times, contradictory findings on the consequences and potency of work-family conflict. The overlap in time and place between traditional family and work roles may, additionally, introduce further opportunities for work-family conflict to manifest in people’s daily lives (Yili Liu & Lina Zhou., 2017). WFC is defined as the pressure produced by somewhat opposing demands from family and work domains, where the strain from both domains are ill-assorted in some regard (Restubog et al, 2011).
The conflict between the two domains is provoked due to the difference in work and family demographic trends around the globe, including an increase of mothers and their underage children engaging with the labour force, introducing further complications such as child labour and a rapid rise in elder care demands due to an aging population; and an increase in men’s involvement with familial care and obligatory demands, particularly within developed Western countries, such as the United States of America (Kossek & Malaterre, 2013). This affects a large portion of society, as, even unmarried individuals and those without children would, most likely, have a complaint of some form of work and family conflict disturbing their lives (Casper, Weltman, & Kwesiga, 2007). The construct is a part of the work-family conflict image – the reality that the roles in work may impede family management and alternative personal life events and interests (Kossek, 2016). For numerous employees, work-family conflict is a key factor – however, is rephrased to the term “work-life conflict” to illustrate the various additional non-work demands in one’s life that are not confined to those involving family and kin (Wilson & Baumann, 2015). There have been many work-family researches based on a conflict situation, observing the opposing demands of work and family and inapt predicaments caused by time, behaviour, or strain (Ruppanner, 2013).
In recent years, researchers alternatively measured work-family conflict, in a much simpler way. The conflict that occurs when work is disrupted by family tasks would be recorded and, then, researchers would identify the double nature of work–family conflict by evaluating both possible directions of the intervention of work with family and, also, that of family with work (Hytti et al., 2015).
However, in other countries, a number of researchers indicated that work–family conflict could positively affect turnover intention. Many of these researchers also stated that there were seemingly neither direct nor indirect relationships between work–family conflict and turnover intention (Armstrong et al., 2015). Nevertheless, regardless of employment, both work and family responsibilities are a complication for many workers in modern days, both fields demanding contrary roles from individuals. Hence, when these roles are mutually discrepant, inevitably, inter-role con?ict arises, either in the form of work-to-family con?ict or family-to-work con?ict (Annink et al., 2016).
As self-employment, generally, enables workers to combine income, financial pliability and control over their work and childcare, workers, particularly women and/or parents, often believe that self-employment would, potentially, ease the pressure of combining work and family (Sullivan and Meek 2012). The importance of preventing WFC is acknowledged by the European Union; therefore, the nation has set fundamental guidelines for support. However, although governments are increasingly giving attention to reconciling paid employment and parenting, research shows those arrangements for the self-employed lag behind those for employees; the two differ across European countries (Annink et al. 2015). It has been identified that if job demands are excessive, conflicts – which are negatively associated with the balance between work and life – occur amid work and family life. On the contrary, it was also found that the level of job control hardly varies among the self-employed – this is not unpredicted, however, as job control is related to an individual’s management and performance, which can be seen as inherent to self-employment (Nordenmark et al. 2012).
Life-span aspects, such as historical time, conversions and adjustments, or linked lives to analyse WFC, provide distinctive framework and structure. Workers who are contemporaneous are, conventionally, less probable to pass their entire career and regularly advance in an individual organization, and as well as this, are more likely to appear more secure in their jobs than workers from previous decades. Yet, they would, probably, customize their timing of retirement, pursue flexible occupation arrangements such as reduced workload or timework, and seek balance between work and family (Greenhaus & Kossek, 2014). One main methodological issue is the constant overlap of concepts within work-family/work-life conflict issues, which were noted and mentioned earlier on in this dissertation. WFC and the balance between family and work are, both, closely comparable concepts. While, seemingly, there is a consensus amongst scholars that work-family stability is distinct from work-family conflict, empirical verification is scarce (Greenhaus & Allen, 2010). Neuroticism had the strongest positive acquaintance with both work to family and family to work conflict among the major personality characteristics. While the elements of agreeableness and conscientiousness were associated with work-family conflict in a negative manner, extraversion and openness to experience were, in fact, not (Kossek, Ruderman, Braddy, and Hannum 2012).