Work Family Conflict

Hypotheses Hal- Individuals who report telecommuting will report less work-family conflict than those who do not report telecommuting. H2O – Individuals who report being able to take work home to complete will report less work-family conflict than those who do not report being able to take work home.. HA – Individuals who report having a flexible work schedule will report less work- family conflict than those who do not report having a flexible schedule. HA – Individuals who report taking a family leave will report less work-?family conflict than individuals who do not report taking a leave..

HA – Reporting to a family-supportive supervisor will be related to the use of (a) telecommuting, (b) taking work home, (c) flexible hours, and (d) family leave. HA – There will be a negative relationship between reporting to a family-supportive supervisor and work-family conflict. HA – Having a family-supportive supervisor will mediate the relationship between (a) telecommuting, (b) taking work home, (c) flexible work hours, and (d) family leave and work-family conflict.

Method Sample for the study was drawn from two sources (alumni of the College of Business f a public university and students enrolled in an evening MBA program there). Consent forms, questionnaires, and return mail envelopes were sent to alumni along with a letter requesting their participation. Only 12% of the alumni returned usable questionnaires. The low rate of returns was due to incorrect addresses and the fact that alumni were told they were only eligible to participate in the study if they were currently working and had a supervisor.

For the MBA students, consent forms and questionnaires were distributed during class time. Students were told they only would fill out a questionnaire if they were employed by an organization. In total, 140 alumni and 71 MBA students returned questionnaires. Given the focus of the study was on work-family conflict, the only Individuals Include In the analyses were individuals who were working at least 35 hours per week and who had responsibility for whom an individual had responsibility. Given the sample inclusion criteria, the study ended up with a sample of 96 individuals (83 alumni and 13 MBA students).

Of those individuals, 86 reported having childcare responsibility; eight individuals ported being responsible for another person, and two persons reported being responsible for both children and others. In order to ensure accuracy of the self- reported information, the alumni and the MBA students who returned questionnaires were asked to supply the name and address of a person whom they felt was quite familiar with their work and family life. A questionnaire was sent to those significant others along with a letter explaining why they were contacted.

Of the 96 persons who comprised of the main sample, 53 questionnaires from significant others were received. Results Childcare responsibility, non-child responsibility, and the use of family-friendly practices, questionnaire responses were made on a 7-point scale (1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree). Participants were asked-?”On average, how many hours do you work per week? ‘ , “How many children do you have under your career, and “Do you have care giving responsibilities for someone other than a child? ‘ (coded 1 = no, 2 = yes).

As noted in the study, in order to be included in the analyses, an individual had to be employed, have a supervisor, be working at least 35 hours per eek, and be responsible for a dependent. With regard to the mean number of hours worked, the 96 individuals comprising the main sample reported working 47. 21 hours (SD = 6. 21). In terms of child dependents, the

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mean number reported was 1. 89 (SD = 1. 08). In terms of being responsible for non-child dependents, of the ten individuals reporting such responsibility, no one reported being responsible for more than one person. 6 individuals reported taking work home (58%), 55 individuals reported working flexible hours (57%), 23 individuals reported using family leave (24%) and even individuals reported telecommuting (7%). Of the 96 employees in the sample, two reported using all four family-friendly practices, 12 reported using three practices, 24 reported using two practices, 49 reported using one practice, and nine individuals reported using no practices. Hypothesis 1 predicted that individuals who reported telecommuting would report less work-family conflict.

This hypothesis was not supported for either self-reports of work-family conflict (r = -. 01) or reports of significant others (r = -. 07). Hypothesis 2 predicted that individuals who reported Ewing able to take work home to complete would report less work-family conflict. No support was found for this hypothesis for either self-reports of conflict (r = . 17) or significant other reports (r = . 10). In fact, for self-reports, the correlation attained a p. 05 level of statistical significance but in the direction opposite of that predicted. In contrast to the results for Hypothesis 1 and 2, Hypothesis 3 received strong support.

Individuals who reported having flexible work hours also reported lower levels of work-family conflict (r = -. 22, p. 05). The results for significant other reports of conflict also supported Hypothesis 3 (r = -. 23, p. 05). In terms of Hypothesis 4 individuals who reported having made use of family leave reported lower levels of work-family conflict (r = -. 21, p. 05). On the other hand, significant other reports of conflict did not support Hypothesis 4 (r = -. 11). Hypothesis 5 predicted that individuals who reported to family-supportive supervisors would make greater use of family-friendly (r = . 8, p. 05) were significant at the . 05 level. Hypothesis 6 predicted that individuals porting to a family-supportive supervisor would report lower levels of work-family conflict. This hypothesis was supported both for self-reports of work-family conflict (r -? -. 54, p. 01) and significant other reports of conflict (r = -. 38, p. 01). In summary, with the exception of the relationship between taking work home to complete and self- reports of work-family conflict, all of the other relationships between the use of family-friendly practices and work-family conflict were mediated.

Discussion The study hypothesized that telecommuting, taking work home, having flexible hours, ND taking a family leave each would be negatively related to reports of work-family conflict. Strong support for Hypothesis 3 (I. E. , the use of flexible hours was negatively correlated with both self-reports and significant other reports of work-family conflict). This information may prove to be advisable for many organizations to offer flexible hours to their employees. In addition to focusing on the use of family-friendly practices, the study also examined the effects of reporting to a family-supportive supervisor.

It was found that reporting to such a supervisor was positively related to he use of flexible hours and family leave. In terms of the correlation (r = . 14) between having a family-supportive supervisor and telecommuting, it may be premature to dismiss this relationship because it did not meet the p. 05 threshold that was used throughout this paper (this correlation was significant at the p. 10 level). Criticism Limitations for this given study are as follow: The response rate for the alumni survey was lower than the study would have liked. Another limitation is the low base rate for a few of the variables that were examined (I. . The use of telecommuting). A third limitation to note was the educated nature of the sample (everyone in the sample was a college graduate). Application This study could be expanded to include a larger population of employees, such as non-college graduates. It could also be expanded to other professions/departments in the organization. In future studies, it might also be worthwhile to consider coworker support for balancing work and family responsibilities (e. G. , are coworkers willing to switch work days or work hours to accommodate family responsibilities? ).

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