Flexible work arrangements and work–family conflict after childbirth

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BackgroundPrevious research has revealed that work–family conflict negatively influences women’s health following childbirth.AimTo examine if flexible work arrangements were associated with work–family conflict among women, 1 year after childbirth.MethodsEmployed women, aged ≥18, were recruited while hospitalized for childbirth. Flexible work arrangements were measured at 6 months and work–family conflict was measured at 12 months. General linear models estimated the association between flexible work arrangements and work–family conflict.ResultsOf 1157 eligible participants, 522 were included in this analysis giving a 45% response rate. Compared to women who reported that taking time off was very hard, those who reported it was not too hard (β=−0.80, SE=0.36, P < 0.05) and not at all hard (β=−1.08, SE=0.35, P < 0.01) had lower average job spillover scores. There was no association between taking time off and home spillover. The ability to change hours was associated with greater home spillover (β=0.46, SE=0.18, P < 0.05) but not with job spillover. The ability to take work home was associated with increased home spillover (β=0.35, SE=0.14, P < 0.05) but not with job spillover.ConclusionsThe ability to change work hours and the ability to take work home were associated with increased home spillover to work. The ability to take time off was associated with decreased job spillover to home. Additional research is needed to examine the intentional and unintentional consequences of flexible work arrangements.

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