Flexible Work Practices over Time in an IT Organization: Evidence from the Work, Family and Health Network Study

Anne Kaduk, University of Minnesota
Erin Kelly, University of Minnesota
Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota
Ellen Kossek, Purdue University

Flexible work practices are often promoted as ways to reduce conflicts between work and family. The current model of flexibility as an individually-negotiated “accommodation” is problematic because of unequal access and potential negative career consequences. Work redesign initiatives that allow all employees to work flexibly would avoid those issues. We analyze the effects of such an initiative, called STAR, on employees’ flexible work practices and schedule control using a group-randomized trial in an information technology workforce. We find that STAR significantly increases the proportion of hours worked remotely over eighteen months of follow-up and increases the probability of working a variable schedule initially. One potential drawback of STAR would be if it led to the intensification of work or involuntary shifts in work location or hours, but we find no evidence of an overall increase in work hours, psychological job demands, or involuntary flexible work practices for employees in STAR.

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Presented in Session 108: Work-Place Practices and Policies