Changing work, changing health: can real work-time flexibility promote health behaviors and well-being?

Citation:

Moen P, Kelly EL, Tranby E, Huang Q. Changing work, changing health: can real work-time flexibility promote health behaviors and well-being?. J Health Soc Behav. 2011;52(4):404-29.

Abstract:

This article investigates a change in the structuring of work time, using a natural experiment to test whether participation in a corporate initiative (Results Only Work Environment; ROWE) predicts corresponding changes in health-related outcomes. Drawing on job strain and stress process models, we theorize greater schedule control and reduced work-family conflict as key mechanisms linking this initiative with health outcomes. Longitudinal survey data from 659 employees at a corporate headquarters shows that ROWE predicts changes in health-related behaviors, including almost an extra hour of sleep on work nights. Increasing employees' schedule control and reducing their work-family conflict are key mechanisms linking the ROWE innovation with changes in employees' health behaviors; they also predict changes in well-being measures, providing indirect links between ROWE and well-being. This study demonstrates that organizational changes in the structuring of time can promote employee wellness, particularly in terms of prevention behaviors.