Symposium 1234 - Permanent availability and employees' work-life-balance and health

Flexible work hours
Thursday May 18   01:15 PM to 02:45 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Accenture Theatre
Employment relations
Flexible work hours
Permanent availability and employees’ work-life-balance and health
A. M. Wöhrmann 1,*, A. Michel 1
1Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Dortmund, Germany
Main Abstract Content: State of the art
Advances in communication technology allow employees to be contacted outside regular working hours for work related reasons. Research suggests that this permanent availability has effects on employees’ well-being. However, the extent of permanent availability as well as the conditions under which permanent availability has negative or positive effects on employees’ work-life-balance and health remain largely unclear.
New Perspective/Contribution
The aim of this symposium is to present and discuss findings on the effects of permanent availability on employees’ work-life-balance and health. First, an overview is given about the distribution of permanent availability and its relation to work-life-balance and health using a representative sample of the German working population. The next two papers focus on the relation between permanent availability and work-life-balance by taking a closer look at voluntary vs. external expected permanent availability as well as the perceived necessity of availability. The following two papers explore mechanisms and contexts in the relation of permanent availability with the health-related outcomes emotional exhaustion and sleep, such as the perceived legitimacy and expected consequences of permanent availability.
Conclusion and Implications for Research/Practice
The findings of the studies not only confirm that permanent availability is related to employees’ health and work-life-balance but also show that the circumstances of permanent availability play an important role. The results trigger the discussion on how permanent availability should be organized and thus provide relevant starting points for research and practice.


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