Workplace flexibility and job satisfaction: some evidence from Europe
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically test whether various flexible work arrangements produce different effects on alternative measures of job satisfaction in Europe. To test the existence of heterogeneity in the impact of flexibility on job satisfaction, the paper verifies whether this relation varies with workers' characteristics. Design/methodology/approach – Empirical evidence is based on a representative sample of European employees taken from a specific wave of the Eurobarometer survey. An ordered probit estimator is used to get the relevant estimates and endogeneity problems have been addressed by exploiting the richness of the data-set in terms of information on workers' attitude toward work and life (used as proxies of unobserved time-invariant factors, which are the primary source of endogeneity). Findings – A positive link was found between functional flexibility and job satisfaction and either no effect or a negative impact of quantitative flexibility. The positive impact of functional flexibility is greater when considering satisfaction for intrinsic aspects of the job. Estimates by workers' characteristics highlight interesting differences by age, skill and country of residence. Research limitations/implications – The major limitation is the cross-sectional nature of the data, but there was no awareness of any panel data containing information on all the relevant variables of this analysis. Originality/value – With respect to the existing literature, the paper simultaneously considers different types of flexibility and estimates their effect on different facets of job satisfaction, also considering the impact of flexibility on job satisfaction by workers' characteristics. This evidence may be useful to firms in designing more tailored flexibility packages.
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