Managing the Work and Family Roles. Does Flexibility Reduce the Negative Interference? An Exploratory Study
AbstractBalancing work and family demands has become a great challenge for employees. By providing flexible benefits, organizations actively engage in endeavours aimed at reducing the negative interference between the two life spheres. Even if some empirical studies have examined the effects of family supportive initiatives, focusing on flexibility, however, the findings tend to lack consistency. If flexible benefits are traditionally associated with reduced levels of work-family conflict, in some studies no significant results have been reported. Another line of research suggests that flexibility can actually increase the negative work-family interface. From this perspective, the current study examines the relationship between the flexibility benefits used and work-family conflict, focusing especially on the role flextime and telecommuting. Using flexible benefits is negatively associated with time and strain-based conflict, the effects of flextime and telecommuting varying accordingly to the type of conflict examined. Limitations of the current study andfuture research directions are examined.
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