Employees who reported increased flexibility at the workplace also had fewer absences for illness and improved job commitment.
Workplace flexibility refers to a workers' ability to modify where, when and how long job-related work is performed. There are two main types of flexibility: location, such as telecommuting, and schedule and job sharing.
These results, based on a health survey of 3,193 employees of a large multinational pharmaceutical, are reported in the current issue of the Psychologist-Manager Journal.
"This study provides evidence that flexibility is associated with health or well-being over time," said Joseph G. Grzywacz of Wake Forest University and co-author of the study. "For managers, the results suggest that implementing flexible work arrangements can contribute to the bottom-line."
"These results strengthen the evidence suggesting that programmes and policies that promote flexibility in the workplace may have beneficial health effects for workers," said Grzywacz.