‘Work Always Wins’: Client Colonisation, Time Management and the Anxieties of Connected Freelancers

15 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2013

See all articles by Michael Gold

Michael Gold

University of London - School of Management

Mona Mustafa

University of Wollongong - Dubai Campus

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

This article focuses on ‘connected freelancers’ as a category of teleworkers and examines the pressures placed on their work‐home balance by their relationship with clients. Based on diaries, questionnaires and interviews, it reveals that, while connected freelancers do not generally work excessively long hours, they do work irregular hours. This is because ‘work always wins’ in a conflict with domestic commitments, a phenomenon the article dubs ‘client colonisation’. Client colonisation was a source of anxiety for respondents, who found themselves continually thinking about the current and future projects on which their livelihoods depend. The article illustrates the porous ways in which they interleave work with non‐work activities and contrasts traditional ‘monochronic’ forms of work with emerging ‘polychronic’ forms, which erode work‐home boundaries. It concludes that a new model of work - one in which individual patterns of control over work‐home balance are paramount - already coexists alongside traditional models but is still insufficiently socially understood and accepted.

Keywords: anxiety, boundaries, freelancers, monochronic work, polychronic work, self‐employment, telework, work‐life balance

Suggested Citation

Gold, Michael and Mustafa, Mona, ‘Work Always Wins’: Client Colonisation, Time Management and the Anxieties of Connected Freelancers (November 2013). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 28, Issue 3, pp. 197-211, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2353177 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12017

Michael Gold (Contact Author)

University of London - School of Management ( email )

Egham
Surrey, Egham TW20 8DG
United Kingdom

Mona Mustafa

University of Wollongong - Dubai Campus

Block 5, 14 & 15
Dubai Knowledge Village
Dubai, 20183
United Arab Emirates

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