Workplace Flexibility and Worker Well-Being by Gender

Jaeseung Kim, Julia R. Henly, Lonnie M. Golden, Susan J. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Objective: The study examines the associations between two distinct forms of workplace flexibility—flexible schedules and working at home—and workers' well-being, with special attention to the distinct reasons for working at home and gender differences. Background: Workplace flexibility can be a key resource to manage work and family responsibilities. However, there are gaps in knowledge regarding the types of flexibility that provide either a benefit or disadvantage for workers. In particular, insufficient attention has been paid to different reasons employees have for working at home and their implications. Method: Using the General Social Survey, we created a pooled sample across the four waves of data (2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014, N = 6,945). Workers' well-being was measured with job satisfaction, job stress, daily fatigue, and work-to-family conflict. Multivariate regression analysis and several sensitivity tests were conducted. Results: The study found benefits of flexible schedules for work-related well-being. Working at home as part of one's job had some benefits, but working at home to catch up on work had consistent disadvantages for worker well-being. Moreover, the ability to adjust start and end times of work and working at home to catch up on work were associated with elevated work-to-family conflict, particularly for female workers. Conclusion: The findings suggest the potential advantages and unintended consequences of different flexibility arrangements for workers, and these implications may differ by gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-910
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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