Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increased employee flexibility, supervisor support offer wide-ranging benefits

Date:
May 5, 2014
Source:
American Sociological Association (ASA)
Summary:
Work-family conflict is increasingly common among U.S. workers, with about 70 percent reporting struggles balancing work and non-work obligations. A new study shows that workplaces can change to increase flexibility, provide more support from supervisors, and reduce work-family conflict.

Work-family conflict is increasingly common among U.S. workers, with about 70 percent reporting struggles balancing work and non-work obligations. A new study by University of Minnesota sociologists Erin L. Kelly, Phyllis Moen, Wen Fan, and interdisciplinary collaborators from across the country, shows that workplaces can change to increase flexibility, provide more support from supervisors, and reduce work-family conflict.

Related Articles


The study, titled, "Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict: Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network," was published by the American Sociological Review online today and is scheduled to appear in the June print edition of the journal. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded the research.

Using a sample of nearly 700 employees from an information technology department of a large Fortune 500 corporation, the research team gave half of the group greater control over when and where they worked, as well as increased supervisor support for their personal lives and family. The other group worked under their normal conditions.

The researchers found that employees whose work environments were modified experienced significant improvements over the six-month study period. Not only did they have a decrease in work-family conflict, but they also experienced an improvement in perceived time adequacy (a feeling that they had enough time to be with their families) and in their sense of schedule control.

"This study gave us the chance to look very carefully at how modifying the workplace can effectively address work-family stresses," Kelly said. "The purpose was to help employees work more effectively and more sanely, so they can get their work done well but also address their personal and family needs."

The study suggests the modified work environment brought greater benefits to employees more vulnerable to work-family conflict, in particular parents and those whose supervisors were less supportive before the workplace initiative. There was no evidence that this intervention increased work hours or perceived job demands.

"This study has major practical value in helping organizations imagine similar ways to resolve their employees' chronic sense of being pulled in two directions by obligations at work and at home," Moen said.

"Work-family conflict can wreak havoc with employees' family lives and also affect their health," said Rosalind King, Ph.D., of the Population Dynamics Branch at the National Institutes of Health. "The researchers have shown that by restructuring work practice to focus on results achieved and providing supervisors with an instructional program to improve their sensitivity to employees' after-work demands, they can reduce that stress and improve employees' family time."

NIH and CDC support for this randomized field trial, the most rigorous research method available, was through the Work, Family & Health Network, a collaboration of eight research organizations studying changes in the work environment that can improve the health of workers, and their families, while benefiting organizations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Sociological Association (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erin L. Kelly, Phyllis Moen, Wen Fan et al. Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network. American Sociological Review, May 2014 DOI: 10.1177/0003122414531435

Cite This Page:

American Sociological Association (ASA). "Increased employee flexibility, supervisor support offer wide-ranging benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505142002.htm>.
American Sociological Association (ASA). (2014, May 5). Increased employee flexibility, supervisor support offer wide-ranging benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505142002.htm
American Sociological Association (ASA). "Increased employee flexibility, supervisor support offer wide-ranging benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505142002.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins