The impact of autonomy and temporal flexibility on individuals’ psychological well-being in remote settings
Keywords:job autonomy; temporal flexibility; work engagement; job satisfaction; boundary theory; well-being; forced remote working
Purpose of the paper: This empirical study investigates the relationship between job autonomy, temporal flexibility and the psychological well-being of employees, as represented by work engagement and job satisfaction, and mediated by work-life balance within a forced remote working context.
Methodology: A quantitative approach was adopted. The data was gathered through a survey administered to 1,550 workers during the lockdown and analyzed through Structural Equation Modelling.
Findings: We show that temporal flexibility and job autonomy enhance the work-life balance of employees and, through the mediation of this construct, positively affect the psychological well-being of employees, measured in terms of work engagement and job satisfaction.
Research limits: The present research presents some limitations from both theoretical and methodological perspectives. Although temporal flexibility directly impacts work-life balance, this relationship could also be examined through the mediating role of job autonomy. The measure scales adopted in the scientific literature were modified in line with the guidelines provided by the investigated organization, thus partially changing their robustness.
Practical implications: Our research also provides useful implications for managers who must tackle the challenges of remote working that emerged during the pandemic and will characterize the new conception of normal after COVID-19.
Originality of the paper: This study is the first to investigate the impact of the only factors related to flexibility that were experienced by employees during lockdown on two components of psychological well-being, i.e. work engagement and job satisfaction, through work-life balance.
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