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The Benefits of Time Budgeting While Working from Home During COVID-19
COVID-19 has created one of the most challenging working-from-home ‘experiments’ in history. Overnight, most tactics that employees use to manage work-nonwork boundaries have disappeared. Drawing on boundary theory, we introduce a new boundary management tactic – time budgeting – that involves creating temporal separation between work and nonwork domains as well as within work and nonwork activities. Survey data provided support for our prediction that time budgeting was associated with better work-from-home experiences in terms of well-being and task performance. However, contrary to prior work and our prediction, the benefits of time budgeting were not moderated by employees’ preference for work-home segmentation (vs. integration). Follow-up interviews with survey respondents provided additional insights about time budgeting, including sense of control as a potential mediator. Overall, our paper broadens theory by introducing time budgeting as a new boundary management tactic that can help employees cope with blurred boundaries.