Unbinding Time: Alternate Work Schedules and Work-Life Balance

Abstract

We examine the possibility that alternate work schedules affect perceived work-life imbalance—the “time bind.” The results show that alternate schedules per se do not “unbind” time. However, perceived control of work schedules increases work-life balance net of family and work characteristics. The most consistent family characteristic predicting imbalance is being a parent. The most consistent work characteristic predicting imbalance is hours worked. Once we control for hours worked, women and part-timers are shown to perceive more imbalance. Younger and better educated persons also perceive more work-life imbalance. However, they also report higher levels of schedule control and since schedule control improves work-life balance, it may be more important for unbinding time than schedule alternatives.

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Tausig, M., Fenwick, R. Unbinding Time: Alternate Work Schedules and Work-Life Balance. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 22, 101–119 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016626028720

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  • work-life balance
  • work schedules
  • control