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Future Proofing a Workforce: The Importance of Selection and Training for Creative Thinking in Remote Employees

By the end of March, 62% of working Americans had reported that they were working remotely from home, a number that had doubled from the beginning of March (Gallup, 2020). According to boundary theory, this would mean that a majority of working Americans are experiencing highly integrated work and family roles and would therefore be more susceptible to the consequences of the blurring between those roles. The goal of this research is to better understand how the integration of work and family roles can affect role blurring and consequently, work family conflict. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that not every employee has handled the circumstances of the pandemic in the same way. This unprecedented shift to a remote work setting offers a unique opportunity to not only examine WFB and WFC, but also potential moderators of the relationship. Therefore, this research also aims to investigate the potential moderating effects of an individual's creative thinking ability on the relationship between WFB and WFC. Evidence suggests that an individual's level of creativity and ability to think creatively when problem solving is connected to resiliency, coping, and psychological well-being when handling stressful situations (Puccio et al., 2018; Helzer & Kim, 2019). Therefore, we predict that those who think more creatively will report less WFC while working at home compared to less creative individuals.