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
Date Written: December 1, 2013
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: Suggested Citation
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