Occupational and Individual Determinants of Work-life Balance among Office Workers with Flexible Work Arrangements

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 22;17(4):1418. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17041418.


Flexible work arrangements permitting workers to work anytime and anywhere are increasingly common. This flexibility can introduce both challenges and opportunities for the organisation, as well as for worker work-life balance (WLB). This cross-sectional study aimed to examine the extent to which occupational factors (organizational, leadership and psychosocial) and individual work-related behaviours (over-commitment, overtime work and boundary management) are associated with WLB, and whether these associations are modified by the perceived level of flexibility at work (i.e., control over when, where, and how to do the work). In total, 2960 full-time office workers with flexible work arrangements at the Swedish Transport Administration participated. Associations were determined using linear regression analyses with adjustment for covariates. The strongest negative associations with WLB were found for over-commitment, quantitative job demands, expectations of availability, and overtime work. Strongest positive associations were found for boundary management, information about organizing work, social support, and relation-oriented leadership. Perceived flexibility was positively associated with WLB, and interacted with several of the examined factors, buffering their negative associations with WLB. Results suggest that WLB can be promoted by organizational initiatives focusing on minimizing excessive job demands, increasing psychosocial resources, supporting boundary management, and enhancing perceived flexibility.

Keywords: autonomy; job demands; job resources; work control; work-life balance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment* / psychology
  • Employment* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Work-Life Balance* / statistics & numerical data