Control over Work Time and Work-Family Conflict: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in a White-Collar Workplace

Erin Kelly, University of Minnesota
Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota
Eric Tranby, University of Minnesota

There are almost no longitudinal studies that provide strong causal evidence about whether the adoption of new “family-friendly” policies or initiatives reduces employees’ work-family conflict. We use data collected before and after the implementation of a workplace initiative called Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) to investigate its effects on work-family conflict and work-family fit. We ask: (1) do these changes in the work environment increase employees’ control over the time and timing of their work? (2) does the initiative reduce work-family conflict and improve other measures of work-family fit? and (3) do changes in work-time control mediate the effects of ROWE on the work-family interface? We find strong evidence that ROWE increases employees’ control over their work time, that ROWE improves employees’ sense of fit between work and personal life, and that the effects of ROWE on work-family conflict and fit are mediated by control over work time.

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Presented in Session 129: Work and Family Issues