Finding an Extra Day a Week: The Positive Influence of Perceived Job Flexibility on Work and Family Life Balance


  • *We thank International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) for providing the support and cooperation needed to collect the data used in this article. Ideas expressed are the opinions of the authors, not necessarily of IBM.

**Address correspondence to: E. Jeffrey Hill, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, P.O. Box 25524, Provo, UT 84602-5524; e-mail:


This study examines the influence of perceived flexibility in the timing and location of work on work-family balance. Data are from a 1996 International Business Machines (IBM) work and life issues survey in the United States (n= 6,451). Results indicate that perceived job flexibility is related to improved work-family balance after controlling for paid work hours, unpaid domestic labor hours, gender, marital status, and occupational level. Perceived job flexibility appears to be beneficial both to individuals and to businesses. Given the same workload, individuals with perceived job flexibility have more favorable work-family balance. Likewise, employees with perceived job flexibility are able to work longer hours before workload negatively impacts their work-family balance. Implications of these findings are presented.