The Time Bind
When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes WorkBook - 2001
The national bestseller that put "work/family balance" in the headlines and on the White House agenda, with a new introduction by the author.
When The Time Bind was first published in 1997, it was hailed as the decade's most influential study of our work/family crisis. In the short time since, the crisis has only become more acute.
Arlie Russell Hochschild, bestselling author of The Second Shift, spent three summers at a Fortune 500 company interviewing top executives, secretaries, factory hands, and others. What she found was startling: Though every mother and nearly every father said "family comes first," few of these working parents questioned their long hours or took the company up on chances for flextime, paternity leave, or other "family friendly" policies. Why not? It seems the roles of home and work had reversed: work was offering stimulation, guidance, and a sense of belonging, while home had become the place in which there was too much to do in too little time.
Today Hochschild's findings are more relevant than ever. As she shows in her new introduction, the borders between family and work have become even more permeable. With the Internet extending working hours at home and offices offering domestic enticements -- free snacks, soft music -- to keep employees later at their jobs, The Time Bind stands as an increasingly important warning about the way we live and work.