Tag Archives: Work-Family Conflict

How flexible working really works for dual-earner couples

This week celebrates the 3rd  annual National Work-Life Week in the UK, organised by WAF Project advisory board members Working Families.  It’s where both employers and workers are asked to think about their work-life balance and perhaps try to strike a balance, if only for a week.

Here, work-life researcher Laura Radcliffe on the real daily impact of flexible working for dual-earner couples striving to manage their work and family responsibilities. This post was also published at The Conversation. Continue reading

How much balance is there between your work-life and family-life?

In this blog, originally published at The Conversation, WAF Project Principal Investigator, Heejung Chung, explores European Survey data on work-life balance. 

This week celebrates the 3rd  annual National Work-Life Week in the UK, organised by WAF Project advisory board members Working Families.  It’s where both employers and workers are asked to think about their work-life balance and perhaps try to strike a balance, if only for a week.

But how are we doing in terms of work-life balance? To what extent do people in the UK feel like they are satisfied with the balance between their work and family life? Who feels more balance, why?  And, more importantly, what can be done to improve work-life balance for everyone? Continue reading

Determinants of Flexible Work — Considering Contexts

As part of the WAF Project we will provide succinct summaries to key academic resources. These resources are drawn from peer-reviewed journals, or were written by academics for government departments or other organisations with remits that cover work flexibility, autonomy and work-life balance.

These academic resources form an important part of the literature this project is engaging with. More than this, they also provide an overview of the most important contributions to, and the state-of-the-art in, current academic debates. Continue reading

Family Roles as Moderators of the Relationship Between Schedule Flexibility and Stress – Jang et al.

Using US data, this study explored the mediating role of negative work–family spillover in the relationship between schedule flexibility and employee stress, and the moderating roles of gender, family workload and single-parent status.

It demonstrates that though schedule flexibility was associated with less employee stress, the associations between these factors were mediated by perceptions of negative work–family spillover.

Schedule flexibility reduced negative work–family spillover and stress among women, single parents, and employees with heavier family workloads. As such, the authors maintain this supports schedule flexibility as a means of reducing stress for those employees with family responsibilities.

Jang, Soo Jung; Zippay, Allison; Park, Rhokeun (2012) “Family Roles as Moderators of the Relationship Between Schedule Flexibility and Stress” Journal of Marriage and Family, 74

Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00984.x/abstract

When Work Interferes with Life: Work-Nonwork Interference and the Influence of Work-Related Demands and Resources – Schieman et al.

The authors advance a “stress of higher status” hypothesis in relation to the distribution of work-family/work-life conflict. This hypothesis suggests that schedule control is usually for professionals and higher status workers who normally present a higher commitment to work, work longer hours, and blur boundaries allowing for easier permeability of work into non-work settings. Schedule control thus may have negative influence on work-family conflict. This hypothesis is supported by US data.

Schieman, Scott; Glavin, Paul; Melike, Melissa (2009) “When Work Interferes with Life: Work-Nonwork Interference and the Influence of Work-Related Demands and Resources” American Sociological Review, 74(6)

Available at: http://asr.sagepub.com/content/74/6/966.abstract

Trouble at the Border?: Gender, Flexibility at Work, and the Work-Home Interface – Schieman & Glavin

Drawing on data from the United States, this paper explores issues around autonomy and schedule control in the workplace.

It demonstrates that schedule control increases both the frequencies of bringing work home and work contact outside of normal working hours. This is especially the case for men. For both men and women, job autonomy is associated with more work being brought home. For men only, job autonomy is associated with increased work contact.

Schedule control and job autonomy also have implications for role-blurring and work-family conflict: work contact is positively associated with work-family conflict among individuals with low job autonomy, while bringing work home is associated positively with work-family conflict among individuals with greater schedule control.

Schieman, Scott; Glavin; Paul (2008) “Trouble at the Border?: Gender, Flexibility at Work, and the Work-Home Interface” Social Problems, 55(4)

Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/sp.2008.55.4.590

Resolving couples’ work–family conflicts: The complexity of decision making and the introduction of a new framework – Radcliffe & Cassell

Looking at work-family conflict resolution in dual-earning couples with dependent children, this paper argues that work-family decision making proceed in two ways: through ‘anchoring’ decisions – major choices that establish a framework, for ‘daily’ decisions.

Taking up flexible working may be viewed as an anchoring decision, which draws upon and impacts the decision-making framework and daily decisions. The authors thus argue that work-family conflicts must be approached in the context of past events. The paper also provides evidence as to how the impact of flexible work can differ depending on the context of households – how flexible your partner’s work is.

Radcliffe, Laura; Cassell, Catherine (2014) “Resolving couples’ work–family conflicts: The complexity of decision making and the introduction of a new framework” Human Relations, 67(7)

Available at: http://hum.sagepub.com/content/67/7/793

Work Without End? Scheduling Flexibility and Work-to-Family Conflict Among Stockbrokers – Blair-Loy

Blair-Loy demonstrates that, contrary to what might be expected, for workers in certain sectors, rigidity in work schedules can decrease work-family conflict.

She suggests that rigid scheduling protects these employees from pressures of a ‘24-hour economy’. Where client demands and other work could ‘invade every block of time’, flexible working in these cases allows for the extension of work into all aspects of life, and thus promotes work-family conflict.

Blair-Loy, Mary (2009) “Work Without End? Scheduling Flexibility and Work-to-Family Conflict Among Stockbrokers” Work & Occupations, 36(4)

Available at: http://wox.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/36/4/279