Work-Life Balance Crafting During COVID-19: Exploring Strategies of Telecommuting Employees in the Philippines

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The purpose of this study is to explore the work-life balance (WLB) crafting strategies of employees with telecommuting work arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualitative data from 112 employees in the Philippines were collected through online surveys. Deductive thematic analysis was then conducted to identify the physical; cognitive and relational WLB crafting strategies that they practice. Results suggest that employees utilized a variety of WLB crafting strategies to be able to balance demands in both work and non-work domains while telecommuting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical crafting strategies include managing time; managing work tasks and managing the workspace. Cognitive crafting strategies include enforcing health-related self-care practices; and embracing the fluidity between work; rest and leisure. Relational crafting strategies include spending time with family and virtually connecting with co-workers. Results suggest that the strategies used by employees to achieve WLB during the COVID-19 pandemic are reflective of the physical; relational and cognitive WLB crafting strategies found in earlier literature; albeit nuanced by the effects of the pandemic in the work and family/life domains. Findings may help inform the design of WLB programs and initiatives that will enhance employee WLB during the COVID-19 pandemic and in future crisis situations.