When Flexibility Helps: Another Look at the Availability of Flexible Work Arrangements and Work-Family Conflict

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Flexible work arrangements, Flextime, Flexplace, Telecommuting, Work–family conflict, Family responsibility, Family-supportive organization perceptions

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Despite the positive press given to flexible work arrangements (FWA), empirical research investigating the link between the availability of these policies and work–family conflict is largely equivocal. The purpose of the present study was to begin to reconcile these mixed results through more precise measurement and the examination of moderators. Using a sample of employed women, we found that FWA relate more highly to work interference with family (WIF) than to family interference with work (FIW) and that temporal flexibility (flextime) has a stronger relationship with WIF than does spatial flexibility (flexplace). Additionally, we found family responsibility significantly moderated these relationships, such that the relationship was stronger for those with greater family responsibility. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

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Journal of Vocational Behavior, v. 71, issue 3, p. 479-493