Work-Life Harmony:
Productivity AND Peace
E. Jeffrey Hill, Ph.D., CFLE
BYU School of Family Life
[email protected]
Brigham Young University
Family Studies Center
Background
Work-Life Harmony Team


Dr. E. Jeffrey Hill, BYU and

Dr. Graeme Russell,

Ellen Galinsky, CEO

Dr. Joseph Grzywacz,

Dr. D. Russell Crane, BYU

Mission: to make valuable
contributions to families
by encouraging,
sponsoring, coordinating,
and disseminating BYU’s
intellectual effort related
to the family
Sponsors 30 projects in
the United States and 10
other countries (Australia
Bosnia, Cambodia, China,
Japan, Russia, Singapore,
South Africa, UK, and
Vietnam)
IBM
Aequus Partners
Families and Work Institute
Wake Forest University
Overview:
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Metaphor of Harmony vs. Balance
Work-Life Harmony Conceptual Model
Singapore National Study of Work-Life
Harmony
– National Measure of Work-Life Harmony
– Key Findings

IBM Global Work and Life Issues
Surveys (1986-2007)
– Key Findings
Work-Life Metaphors
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Metaphors influence our thoughts
“Balance” and “Juggling”: are
dominant work-family metaphors
Scarcity mentality based on time
Assumes a “Zero-Sum” game
Emphasis on conflict
Productivity comes at the expense of
individual peace.
Harmony:
A Better Metaphor


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Harmony instead of Balance
Person is the composer, orchestrator,
and director of his/her own life.
Life roles may harmonize or be
dissonant (Work and family are preeminent)
Emphasis on facilitation as well as
conflict
Productivity AND peace are BOTH
possible simultaneously
2006 Singapore National Study of Work-Life Harmony
Objectives of Study
For the MCYS
 Develop Singapore National Study of Work-Life Harmony
 Develop a National Measure of Work-Life Harmony


(Establish a scaled benchmark to measure progress over
time in Singapore)
Explore relationship of Work-Life Harmony to work and
family outcomes (especially fertility)
Provide data for research-based policy discussion
For the Family Studies Center


Validate scholarly model of the
Work-Family Interface in Singapore
Publish work-family scholarly articles
in leading academic journals
Methodology:
Conceptual model includes predictors
and outcomes of work-life harmony.
(A) Work
Characteristics
(B) Individual
Characteristics
(F) Work-to-Home
Conflict/Facilitation
(D) Work-to-Home
Adaptive
Strategies
(H) Work
Vitality
(C) Family
Characteristics
(F) Home-to-Work
Conflict/Facilitation
(G)
Work/Life
Harmony
(I) Personal
Vitality
(E) Home-to-Work
Adaptive
Strategies
(J) Family
Vitality
(K) Community
Vitality
*Focus groups were conducted to validate the model for Singapore
Singapore Measure of
Work-Life Harmony
Development Process
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Expert consultation (Russ Crane, Ellen
Galinsky, Joseph Grzywacz, E. Jeffrey Hill and
Graeme Russell)
Focus groups in Singapore (N = 93)
Item construction
Pilot study (N = 435)
Scale reliability analysis
Final survey (N = 1601)
Confirm scale reliability
Create measure
Singapore Measure of
Work-Life Harmony
The Questions
All in all, I am able to effectively integrate my work
responsibilities and family/personal aspirations.
How easy or difficult is it for you to integrate your work
and your personal/family life?
9 Item Measure
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My job fits well with:
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





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My
My
My
My
My
My
My
Coefficient Alpha = .91
individual personality
desire to be happily married.
Highly Reliable
desired number of children.
desire to spend time with my family/children.
preferred pace (tempo) of life.
desire for social interaction (e.g. time with friends).
personal aspirations.
Methodology:
Final survey is comprehensive and
nationally representative of Singapore.
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Survey consists of 155 questions and represents the
conceptual model plus important demographics.
Sample is nationally representative of employed
persons in Singapore (N = 1601)
Margin of Error: Overall = +/- 2%
(Male = +/- 3%; Female = +/- 4%)

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Interviews conducted by
aAdvantage Consulting Group
(35-45 minute interview)
Oversampling of 100 mothers with
pre-school children (weighted results)
Singapore National Measure
of Work-Life Harmony
Calculation of the measure
Mean of nine questions in the scale is calculated.
(Range from 1=no harmony to 4=total harmony)
 Mean is scaled from 0 to 100.
 0=no harmony, 100=total harmony
 Singapore Work-Life Harmony measure is:
64
National Measure of Work-Life Harmony
Positive Link Between WorkLife Harmony and Fertility
Poor work-life harmony is associated with having
fewer children than is believed to be ideal.
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Controlling for age, education, gender, and HH income, the
odds of reporting fewer children than ideal is more than two
times greater for those with little work-life harmony than
those with high work-life harmony.
Controlling for age, education, gender, and HH income,
the odds of reporting fewer children than ideal coupled
with no intention to have more children, is over 2X
greater for participants with low work-life harmony than
those with high work-life harmony.
Summary of Singapore Results:
Harmony=Productivity AND Peace
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Business case for work-life harmony is strongly
validated: it predicts valued work, personal, and
family outcomes (Productivity AND Peace).
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–
–
–
–
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Greater job loyalty, satisfaction, opportunity, performance
Less job attrition
Greater life satisfaction, physical health, mental health
Enhanced marital and family satisfaction
Higher fertility
Work-life harmony is predicted by:
– Personal: Health, sleep, personal income
– Work: Manager support and workplace flexibility
– Family: Participation in family activities, and having both children
and elders living in the home.
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Employees express most interest in flexible work
options (especially flextime) and paid leave
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National Work-life Harmony Measure can be used as a
benchmark to measure progress over time
IBM Work and Life Issues
Surveys (1986-2007)
US (‘86, ‘91, ‘96); Global (‘01, ‘04, ‘07)
– Industry leading surveys
– 21 years of trending available

2007 IBM Global Work and Life Issues
Survey Facts
– 75 countries
– 10 languages
– 88 core questions
– 59k invitees, 43% response rate
– 52k write-in comments
Findings at IBM: Flexibility =
Productivity AND peace.
80
Working from Home is Acceptable
Hours Worked
Flexibility in Where Work is Done
40
Work/Life Difficulty
0
1996
2001
2004
2007
IBM employees perceive that
greater flexibility is the key to
greater harmony.
2007 IBM OVERALL
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Flexibility in WHERE work gets done
Flexibility in WHEN work gets done
Greater management acceptance of W/L
Child care services
Greater W/L education for employees
Part-time, job share, reduced hours
Focus on needs of older workers
%
36
25
25
21
21
16
15
FIRST-LINE MANAGERS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Greater management acceptance of W/L
Flexibility in WHERE work gets done
Child care services
Flexibility in WHEN work gets done
Greater W/L education for managers
Elder care services
Part-time, job share reduced hours
%
32
30
22
20
18
15
15
WOMEN
%
MEN
%
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
35
28
24
24
24
17
12
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
36
26
25
22
20
16
13
Flexibility in WHERE work gets done
Greater management acceptance of W/L
Part-time, job share, reduced hours
Child care services
Flexibility in WHEN work gets done
Greater W/L education for employees
Elder care services
Flexibility in WHERE work gets done
Flexibility in WHEN work gets done
Greater management acceptance of W/L
Greater W/L education for employees
Child care services
Focus on needs of older workers
Part-time, job share, reduced hours
Globally, work-at-home has
increased from 5% in ’01, to
10% in ’04, to 15% in ‘07
TOP 10 COUNTRIES for Work-at-Home
1. United States
31% (+12)
2. UK
18% (+11)
3. Australia
16% (+10)
4. Canada
16% (+ 6)
5. Germany
11% (+ 6)
6. Austria
10% (+ 4)
7. Brazil
7% (+ 6)
8. Mexico
7% (+ 5)
9. Netherlands
7% (+ 2)
10. South Africa
6% (+ 5)
W o rkin g fro m h o m e
accep tab le in m y w o rk
g ro u p :
U S 1996
34%
U S 2001
51%
U S 2004
69%
U S 2007
79%
IB M 2007
70%
C o m m itm en t N O T
q u estio n ed fo r u sin g
flexib le w o rk
arran g em en ts:
U S 1996
33%
U S 2001
42%
U S 2004
48%
U S 2007
46%
IB M 2007
55%
Flexibility and Harmony:
Finding an Extra Day per Week
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Study uses “Break Point” analysis: Mathematical point
in hours per week at which 50% of respondents report
difficulty managing work-life demands.
Overall Break Point:
– 52 hours/week for those without flexibility
– 60 hours/week for those with flexibility
– Benefit of 8 hours/week (an extra day per week)

Break Point for Women with Pre-schoolers
– 32 hours/week for those without flexibility
– 43 hours/week for those with flexibility
– Benefit of 11 hours/week (an extra day per week)
Hill, E. J., Hawkins, A. J., Ferris, M., & Weitzman, M. (2001). Finding an extra
day a week: The positive effect of job flexibility on work and family life
balance. Family Relations 50(1), 49-58
*Data from IBM 1996 United States Work and Life Issues Survey
60-Hour Dual-Earner Work
Week Promotes Harmony

Comparison of three couple work arrangements:
– FT/FT: Both partners work 40+ hours per week
– 60 Hour: Both partners work and at lest one works part-time
– FT/NE: One partner works full-time, the other is not employed.
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60-hour group compares favorably to other groups
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Greater job flexibility
Improved work-family fit
Enhanced family satisfaction
Less work-to-family conflict
1.5 jobs per family seems to work best
Hill, E. J., Mead, N. T., Dean, L. R., Hafen, D. M., Gadd, R., Palmer, A. A., &
Ferris, M. (2006). Researching the 60-hour dual-earner work week: An
alternative to the “opt out revolution.” American Behavioral Scientist. 49,
1184-1203.
*Data from IBM 2004 Global Work and Life Issues Survey
Dinnertime and Harmony
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Long work hours associated with:
–
–
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–
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lower perceived life success
poorer family relationship quality
greater work-family conflict
perceptions of unhealthy workplace
Dinnertime mediated all these relationships.
Greater work-life harmony is achieved when
employees use flexibility to maintain regular
family mealtime, even in the face of long
work hours.
Jacob, J., Allen, S. M., Hill, E. J. Mead, N. L. (In Press). Work Interference with
Dinnertime as a Mediator and Moderator Between Work Hours and Work and
Family Outcomes. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal.
*Data from IBM 2004 Global Work and Life Issues Survey
Work and Family
Facilitation and Harmony


Qualitative analysis of 13,315 free response comments
from 13 countries to two questions asking about how
work and family facilitate one another.
Work-to-family facilitation
– Work place flexibility
– Financial benefits
– Ability to keep family commitments

Family-to-work facilitation
– Supportive family relationships
– Psychological benefits of home
Hill, E. J., Allen, S., Jacob, J. I., Bair, A. F., Bikhazi, S. L., Cox, A., Martinengo,
G., Parker, T. T., & Walker, E. (2007). Work-family facilitation: Generating
theory using a qualitative assessment. Advances in Developing Human
Resources, 9(4), 507-526
*Data from IBM 2004 Global Work and Life Issues Survey
Understanding Workplace Flexibility:
Gender and Life-Stage are Key
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Study flexibility usage during 5 life stages
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
<35 years old, no children
Children, oldest less than 6
Children, both less than 6 and 6+
Children, just 6+
>45 years old, no children
–
–
–
At stage 1 no differences in flexibility use
Women use flexibility more during stages 2-4
Few differences at stage 5
Curvilinear relationship in use of flexibility
Gender and life stage are key to understanding
flexibility
Hill, E. J., Jacob, J. I., Shannon, L., Martinengo, G., & Crouter, A. (In Press). Exploring the
Relationship of Workplace Flexibility, Gender, and Life Stage to Family-to-Work Conflict, and Stress
and Burnout. Community, Work and Family, 11(2).
*Data from WFD-Sloan Multi-Organization Database
Implications
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The metaphor of harmony is more
productive than the metaphor of
balance.
Workplace flexibility is an important
tool to promote harmony.
– However, one size does not fit all
Research supports the business and
personal case for harmony.
Productivity AND peace are BOTH
possible simultaneously.
Work-Life Harmony:
Productivity AND Peace
THANK YOU!
E. Jeffrey Hill, Ph.D., CFLE
BYU School of Family Life
[email protected]
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