When control becomes a liability rather than an asset: Comparing home and office days among part-time teleworkers

Michal Biron, Marc van Veldhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Past research has mainly examined differences between employees working under conventional versus teleworking arrangements or high-intensity versus low-intensity teleworking. Yet because many workers combine days worked from the office with days worked from home (part-time telework), it may be more appropriate to examine within-individual variation in office versus home days. Accordingly, we compare diary data from 77 employees on three home days and three office days. This setup enables us to contribute to the theoretical debate on the duality of control and accountability. Specifically, by comparing job locations (home versus office), we identify conditions under which job control (worktime control) is more likely to act as an asset or as a liability. Results suggest that ability to concentrate is higher and need for recovery is lower, on home days than on office days. However, on home days, generally high level of worktime control amplifies the association between job demands and need for recovery—whereas this association is reversed when worktime control is generally moderate. No similar differences are observed on office days. Finally, whereas employees experiencing high job demands are more able to concentrate during home days than during office days, worktime control has no differential effect in this respect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1337
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • alternative work arrangements
  • job control
  • job demands
  • telework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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