BACKGROUND: A review of the literature determined that our understanding of the efficacy of flexible work arrangements (FWA) in reducing work-family conflict remains inconclusive.
OBJECTIVE: To shed light on this issue by examining the relationship between work-to-family conflict, in which work interferes with family (WFC), family-to-work conflict, in which family interferes with work (FWC), and four work arrangements: the traditional 9-5 schedule, compressed work weeks (CWWs) flextime, and telework.
METHODS: Hypotheses were tested on a sample of 16,145 employees with dependent care responsibilities. MANCOVA analysis was used with work arrangement as the independent variable and work interferes with family (WFC) and family interferes with work (FWC) as dependent variables. Work demands, non-work demands, income, job type and gender were entered into the analysis as covariates.
RESULTS: The more flexible work arrangements such as flextime and telework were associated with higher levels of WFC than were fixed 9-to 5 and CWW schedules. Employees who teleworked reported higher FWC than their counterparts working a traditional 9-to-5 schedule particularly when work demands were high.
CONCLUSIONS: The removal of both temporal and physical boundaries separating work and family domains results in higher levels of work-family interference in both directions. The results from this study suggest that policy makers and practitioners who are interested in improving employee well-being can reduce work-family conflict, and by extension improve employee mental health, by focusing on the effective use of traditional and CWW schedules rather than by implementing flextime and telework arrangements.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Control, demands, human resource management, karasek
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-141859
Journal Work
Citation
Higgins, C. (Christopher), Duxbury, L, & Julien, M. (Mark). (2014). The relationship between work arrangements and work-family conflict. Work, 48(1), 69–81. doi:10.3233/WOR-141859