Double challenges: How working from home affects dual-earner couples’ work-family experiences

Jia Hu, Jack Ting Ju Chiang, Yihao Liu, Zheng Wang, Yating Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, we draw on family systems theory to elucidate how daily work-from-home status (WFH) affects both members in dual-earner couples. We propose that the WFH exerts intra-individual and inter-individual influences on employees’ and their partners’ work task and family task completion and their subsequent reactions to their work and family experiences. We examined the hypothesized relationships with two daily survey studies on dual-earner couples conducted during the pandemic (i.e., 1,559 daily responses of 165 dual-earner couples from China in Study 1, and 773 daily responses of 57 dual-earner couples from South Korea in Study 2). The two studies provide converging results that working from home (vs. office) increased employees’ family task completion for both husbands and wives and that wives working from home (vs. office) decreased husbands’ family task completion. Further, in both studies, daily work task completion increased felt guilt toward family (for wives only) through increased work-family conflict, and daily family task completion increased psychological withdrawal from work through increased family-work conflict for both husbands and wives. Moreover, we found in Study 2 that on days when husbands had flexible work schedule, wives completed more work tasks when working from home (vs. office) and that on days when wives had inflexible work arrangement, husbands completed more family tasks when working from home (vs. office). Across the two studies, there were no clear gender-difference patterns in husbands’ and wives’ work and family experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-179
Number of pages39
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • conflicts between work and family
  • dual-earner couple
  • family task completion
  • work task completion
  • working from home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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