‘Work Always Wins’: Client Colonisation, Time Management and the Anxieties of Connected Freelancers
15 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 2013
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
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