Work Schedule Flexibility: A Contributor to Employee Happiness?

Journal of Social Research and Policy, 2014, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2012 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013

Lonnie Golden

Pennsylvania State University - Abington College; Economic Policy Institute; Project for Middle Class Renewal

Julia Henly

University of Chicago - Social Service Administration

Susan Lambert

University of Chicago

Date Written: December 1, 2013

Abstract

This article contributes to knowledge regarding determinants of happiness by examining the independent role played by having discretion over one’s working time, using data pooled from two years of a nationally representative US survey. Controlling for a worker’s income bracket and work hours duration, having work schedule flexibility in the form of an ability to take time off during the work day and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to vary starting and quitting times daily, are both associated with greater happiness, whereas an ability to refuse overtime work is weak at best. The associations are generally stronger among workers paid by the hour than by salary. Worker utility functions thus may be enhanced by including the timing and flexibility of working time. Policies and practices that promote more employee-centered flexible working time may not only help workers alleviate work-life time conflicts, but also promote worker well-being generally, especially among hourly-paid workers.

Keywords: Working Time, Happiness, Labor Supply, Work Schedules, Flexible Work

JEL Classification: J22, J23, I31

Suggested Citation

Golden, Lonnie and Henly, Julia and Lambert, Susan, Work Schedule Flexibility: A Contributor to Employee Happiness? (December 1, 2013). Journal of Social Research and Policy, 2014, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2129520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2129520

Lonnie Golden (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Abington College ( email )

1600 Woodland Rd.
Abington, PA 19001
United States
215-881-7596 (Phone)
215-881-7333 (Fax)

Economic Policy Institute ( email )

1660 L Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Project for Middle Class Renewal ( email )

1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

Julia Henly

University of Chicago - Social Service Administration

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Susan Lambert

University of Chicago

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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