Study objectives: The Work, Family, and Health Network Study tested the hypothesis that a workplace intervention designed to increase family-supportive supervision and employee control over work time improves actigraphic measures of sleep quantity and quality.
Design: Cluster-randomized trial.
Setting: A global information technology firm.
Participants: US employees at an information technology firm.
Interventions: Randomly selected clusters of managers and employees participated in a 3-month, social, and organizational change process intended to reduce work-family conflict. The intervention included interactive sessions with facilitated discussions, role playing, and games. Managers completed training in family-supportive supervision.
Measurements and results: Primary outcomes of total sleep time (sleep duration) and wake after sleep onset (sleep quality) were collected from week-long actigraphy recordings at baseline and 12 months. Secondary outcomes included self-reported sleep insufficiency and insomnia symptoms. Twelve-month interviews were completed by 701 (93% retention), of whom 595 (85%) completed actigraphy. Restricting analyses to participants with ≥3 valid days of actigraphy yielded a sample of 473-474 for intervention effectiveness analyses. Actigraphy-measured sleep duration was 8 min/d greater among intervention employees relative to controls (P < .05). Sleep insufficiency was reduced among intervention employees (P = .002). Wake after sleep onset and insomnia symptoms were not different between groups. Path models indicated that increased control over work hours and subsequent reductions in work-family conflict mediated the improvement in sleep sufficiency.
Conclusions: The workplace intervention did not overtly address sleep, yet intervention employees slept 8 min/d more and reported greater sleep sufficiency. Interventions should address environmental and psychosocial causes of sleep deficiency, including workplace factors
Although critical to health and well-being, relatively little research has been conducted in the organizational literature on linkages between the work–family interface and sleep. Drawing on conservation of resources theory, we use a sample of 623 information technology workers to examine the relationships between work–family conflict, family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), and sleep quality and quantity. Validated wrist actigraphy methods were used to collect objective sleep quality and quantity data over a 1 week period of time, and survey methods were used to collect information on self-reported work–family conflict, FSSB, and sleep quality and quantity. Results demonstrated that the combination of predictors (i.e., work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, FSSB) was significantly related to both objective and self-report measures of sleep quantity and quality. Future research should further examine the work–family interface to sleep link and make use of interventions targeting the work–family interface as a means for improving sleep health.
Recently, scholars have demonstrated the importance of Family Supportive Supervisor Behaviors (FSSB), defined as behaviors exhibited by supervisors that are supportive of employees' family roles, in relation to health, well-being, and organizational outcomes. FSSB was originally conceptualized as a multidimensional, superordinate construct with four subordinate dimensions assessed with 14 items: emotional support, instrumental support, role modeling behaviors, and creative work–family management. Retaining one item from each dimension, two studies were conducted to support the development and use of a new FSSB-Short Form (FSSB-SF). Study 1 draws on the original data from the FSSB validation study of retail employees to determine whether the results using the 14-item measure replicate with the shorter 4-item measure. Using data from a sample of 823 information technology professionals and their 219 supervisors, Study 2 extends the validation of the FSSB-SF to a new sample of professional workers and new outcome variables. Results from multilevel confirmatory factor analyses and multilevel regression analyses provide evidence of construct and criterion-related validity of the FSSB-SF, as it was significantly related to work–family conflict, job satisfaction, turnover intentions, control over work hours, obligation to work when sick, perceived stress, and reports of family time adequacy. We argue that it is important to develop parsimonious measures of work–family specific support to ensure supervisor support for work and family is mainstreamed into organizational research and practice.