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Article

Work–Life Balance, Organizations and Social Sustainability: Analyzing Female Telework in Spain

1
Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
2
Department of Social Psychology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
3
Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3567; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093567
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 5 April 2020 / Accepted: 24 April 2020 / Published: 27 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Global-Knowledge Economy)
The concept of work–life balance has recently established itself as a key component on route maps drawn up in the pursuit of social sustainability, both on a local scale, represented by individual organizations, and on a more general one, represented by global institutions such as the United Nations. Our article analyzes telework’s use as a political tool within organizations that either boost or hinder the development of social sustainability. Additionally, we propose the notion of “life sustainability” to analyze how female teleworkers describe the link between specific work cultures and the possibility of fulfilling social sustainability goals in local work environments through the achievement of a good work–life balance. Our research was performed following a qualitative approach, drawing from a sample of 24 individual interviews and 10 focus groups with a total of 48 participants, all of which are female teleworkers with family responsibilities. Our main findings allow us to summarize the interviewees’ social perceptions into two categories, which we have dubbed ‘life sustainability ecologies’ and ‘presence-based ecologies’. We conclude by discussing female teleworkers’ claim that work–life balance is directly linked to social sustainability and that the latter goal will remain out of reach as long as the issue of balance goes unresolved. View Full-Text
Keywords: social sustainability; work–life balance; female teleworkers; organizational culture; life sustainability ecologies; qualitative methods social sustainability; work–life balance; female teleworkers; organizational culture; life sustainability ecologies; qualitative methods
MDPI and ACS Style

Gálvez, A.; Tirado, F.; Martínez, M.J. Work–Life Balance, Organizations and Social Sustainability: Analyzing Female Telework in Spain. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3567. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093567

AMA Style

Gálvez A, Tirado F, Martínez MJ. Work–Life Balance, Organizations and Social Sustainability: Analyzing Female Telework in Spain. Sustainability. 2020; 12(9):3567. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093567

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gálvez, Ana, Francisco Tirado, and M. J. Martínez. 2020. "Work–Life Balance, Organizations and Social Sustainability: Analyzing Female Telework in Spain" Sustainability 12, no. 9: 3567. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093567

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