Working More, Working Less, Working Differently

24 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2014

See all articles by Conxita Folguera

Conxita Folguera

ESADE Business School

Laura Lamolla

Open University of Catalunya (UOC) (Open University of Catalonia)

Date Written: October 29, 2014


This research analyses Work-Life Balance (WLB) practices in different companies to identify their consequences for two dimensions of work organisation: (1) working hours and (2) work design.

We developed a contextualised, qualitative investigation of seven companies which is distinct in two aspects. On one hand, it involves organisations of different sizes operating in different industries and employees of different profiles, at both the operational and managerial levels. On the other hand, it considers organisational practices that have been designed and implemented as WLB practices and practices that were designed to respond to other organizational requirements, different from WLB purposes, but which have had consequences on work-life balance for employees.

The research resulted in an analytical framework built on two dimensions: (1) number of working hours and (2) work design. The results of our work emphasise the importance of time worked, as opposed to the emphasis in previous literature on organisational supportive culture; and the need to develop awareness about the unexpected effects of some WLB measures on the number of hours effectively worked.

Keywords: Work-life balance, Hours worked, Work organization design.

JEL Classification: D61, D63

Suggested Citation

Folguera, Conxita and Lamolla, Laura, Working More, Working Less, Working Differently (October 29, 2014). ESADE Business School Research Paper No. 258. Available at SSRN:

Conxita Folguera (Contact Author)

ESADE Business School ( email )

Av. de Pedralbes, 60-62
Barcelona, 08034

Laura Lamolla

Open University of Catalunya (UOC) (Open University of Catalonia) ( email )

Tibidabo Av. 39-43
08035 Barcelona, Barcelona 08035

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