Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A downside to work flexibility? Schedule control and its link to work-family stress

30.09.2010
Is there a downside to schedule control at work? According to new research out of the University of Toronto, people who have more schedule control at work tend to report more blurring of the boundaries between work and the other parts of their lives, especially family-related roles.

Researchers measured the extent of schedule control and its impact on work-family processes using data from a national survey of more than 1,200 American workers. Sociology professor Scott Schieman (U of T) and PhD student Marisa Young (U of T) asked study participants: “Who usually decides when you start and finish work each day at your main job? Is it someone else, or can you decide within certain limits, or are you entirely free to decide when you start and finish work?”

Schieman says, “Most people probably would identify schedule control as a good thing—an indicator of flexibility that helps them balance their work and home lives. We wondered about the potential stress of schedule control for the work-family interface. What happens if schedule control blurs the boundaries between these key social roles?”

The authors describe two core findings about the downsides of schedule control:

People with more schedule control are more likely to work at home and engage in work–family multitasking activities; that is, they try to work on job- and home-related tasks at the same time while they are at home.
In turn, people who report more work-family role blurring also tend to report higher levels of work-family conflict—a major source of stress.

The authors measured work-family conflict by asking people questions like: ‘How often have you not had enough time for your family or other important people in your life because of your job?’ ‘How often have you not had the energy to do things with your family or other important people in your life because of your job?’ and ‘How often has your job kept you from concentrating on important things in your family and personal life?’ According to Schieman, discovering the conditions that predict work-family conflict is critical because “a substantial body of social scientific evidence demonstrates its link to poorer physical and mental health outcomes.”

Schieman adds, however, that their findings revealed some benefits of schedule control to counteract the downsides: “People who had partial or full schedule control were able to engage in work-family multitasking activities with fewer negative consequences in terms of conflict between their work and family roles. Overall, our findings contribute to an ongoing—and complicated—debate about the costs and benefits of different forms of flexibility for workers.”

For more information on the study (“Is There a Downside to Schedule Control for the Work-Family Interface?”), which appears online and is forthcoming in print in the Journal of Family Issues, please contact:

Scott Schieman, lead author: scott.schieman@utoronto.ca

U of T media relations: 416-978-0100 or media.relations@utoronto.ca

April Kemick | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>