The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior
Work Dynamics of Work-at-Home Homestay Hosts: A Study Linking Self-Determination Theory

Article Details
Pub. Date : April, 2023
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJOB020423
Author Name : Rhulia Nukhu and Sapna Singh
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 15



While studies on Work From Home (WFH) gained momentum due to the Covid-19 crisis, there are very few studies on Work-at-Home of Homestay Hosts (WAHH). There is a juxtaposition between WFH and WAHH. They are similar but not the same. With Covid and the resultant travel restrictions, the tourism industry has been the hardest hit and WAHH lost its applicability. Homestay hosts lost their source of income and struggled to find employment. Many of them started alternate businesses or joined work. However, post-Covid, the tourism industry picked up, but WAHH remained an unexplored area. The purpose of the paper is to explore the struggle and work dynamics of WAHH. The study links WAHH and the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) which states that autonomy, relatedness, and competence influence behavior. The paper attempts to find out the attributes of the work dynamics of WAHH and is exploratory in nature. The findings indicate that homestay hosts fall under family business and the members usually are engaged in multi-work. The seasonal flow of tourists makes it very hard to be a full-time homestay host. The nature and flexibility of homestay are considered important attributes of WAHH's work dynamics. Though the government encourages rural tourism and homestay for economic growth, little focus is given to nurturing them and exploring the work dynamics of WAHH. The need for policymakers to focus on the training and development of WAHH is thus suggested for their development.


With Covid-19, the work environment saw a shift from the traditional workspace to a more unconventional Work From Home (WFH) (Dubey and Tripathi, 2020). This has led to a change in how work is done in every sector-the work routines, online meetings, commutes, work-family dynamics, etc. Some sectors are more feasible for WFH, whereas some are least feasible (Dey et al., 2020). Specifically, for the tourism industry, there was little scope for the hospitality sector to operate due to the lockdown (Tilak, 2021). Tourism is ranked one of the least feasible, after agriculture, for teleworking or remote working (Dey et al., 2020), thus making it one of the most unemployable sectors during the Covid phase (Dey et al., 2020). Likewise, the small commercial homestays, which fall under unconventional hospitality services, dropped following Covid-19. Homestay hosts usually host tourists at their homes; thus, their (especially women) work involves staying at home, hosting, and managing homes (Wijesundara and Gnanapala, 2016). This allowed hosts to work at home even before the outbreak of Covid-19. However, there was a role reversal during Covid-19. WFH got its momentum, whereas the Work-at-Home of Homestay Hosts (WAHH) faded. This led to the commercial homes remaining idle with no guests. Many hosts lost their source of income, especially in rural areas. Hosts are often required to do multiple jobs or businesses because of the seasonal nature of tourism. But during the initial stage of the pandemic, even other jobs were not feasible. However, with the removal of travel restrictions, WAHH is slowly catching up with other hospitality sectors. There is an increase in research on WFH since the Covid pandemic (Smite et al., 2023). For example, studies on the impact of WFH on work-life balance (Shirmohammadi et al., 2022), performance (Anakpo et al., 2023), satisfaction (Niebuhr et al., 2022), working women (Kooli, 2022), mental health (Prabowo et al., 2022), and many more. However, there is a lack of literature on understanding small tourism businesses and tourism entrepreneurs, especially homestay businesses (Doan et al., 2022).