Home-based work and stress in the pandemic period: a case of working women in Kerala
The study has a twofold purpose. The first purpose is to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women's work–home integration and stress from both a constructivist and positivist perspective. The other purpose is to emphasize the need for enterprises to understand the embedded considerations of occupational stress of women for strategy formulation.Design/methodology/approachThe study has used a convergent parallel design to obtain data. A total of 63 respondents (a survey with a sample of 53 and ten narratives) was identified using the snowball technique. The respondents were married and working professionals from Kerala. Perceived stress scale was used to procure data on their stress in the home-based work during the pandemic lockdown. Simultaneously narratives were taken from ten respondents from the same pool. The data were analyzed using R software version 4.0.2.FindingsThe findings reflect that home-based work was stressful for women, and they weighed home tasks over work needs. There was no age difference in perceived stress, while it significantly differed by profession and designation they hold. Also, a mother felt more stressed than a non-mother. Quantitative data heavily backed up the narratives. Of the sample, 76% experienced higher stress levels.Practical implicationsThis research will help users understand the stress distribution in women workers and how various sample characteristics influence stress. The enterprise could use this study to introduce a gender touch to their strategy. The study also adds value to the existing literature on home-based work during the pandemic.Originality/valueThe study systematically measures the stress felt by women during home-based work using a perceived stress scale. The mixed approach to the study helps to gain a deep understanding of the topic. This study is an original contribution by the authors to the collection of home-based work and stress literature.