Workplace Flexibility & Employee Health: An Exploratory Study

Substantial claims have been leveled suggesting that workplace flexibility contributes to employee health.  Unfortunately, the evidence base for these claims is weak.  Existing research focused on workplace flexibility and worker health is limited by diffuse conceptualizations and operationalizations of workplace flexibility, narrow and fragmented views of “health”, and an almost exclusive reliance on cross-sectional study designs. 

The goal of this project is to explore the potential health implications of workplace flexibility.  This goal will be achieved using existing longitudinal data from a multinational pharmaceutical company to:

  1. Determine if formalized flexible work arrangements (i.e., compressed workweeks, flextime, telework) and informal flexibility (i.e., perceived flexibility) are associated with health;
  2. Delineate if formalized flexible work arrangements and informal flexibility are associated with differences in lifestyle behaviors;
  3. Identify if formalized flexible work arrangements and informal flexibility contribute to changes in lifestyle behaviors or health. 

Project Team: Joseph G. Grzywacz, PhD, (Principal Investigator); Patrick Casey

Project Collaborators: Adam B. Butler, PhD (University of Northern Iowa), Susan Ettner, PhD and Bo Liu (University of California, Los Angeles ), Fiona Jones, PhD (University of Leeds)

Funding Agency: This one-year project is supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2006-5-22 WPF).

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Last Updated: 04-15-2013
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