Team-level flexibility, work-home spillover, and health behavior

Phyllis Moen, Wen Fan, Erin L. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Drawing on two waves of survey data conducted six months apart in 2006, this study examined the impacts of a team-level flexibility initiative (ROWE - Results Only Work Environment) on changes in the work-home spillover and health behavior of employees at the Midwest headquarters of a large US corporation. Using cluster analysis, we identified three distinct baseline spillover constellations: employees with high negative spillover, high positive spillover, and low overall spillover. Within-team spillover measures were highly intercorrelated, suggesting that work teams as well as individuals have identifiable patterns of spillover. Multilevel analyses showed ROWE reduced individual- and team-level negative work-home spillover but not positive work-home spillover or spillover from home-to-work. ROWE also promoted employees' health behaviors: increasing the odds of quitting smoking, decreasing smoking frequency, and promoting perceptions of adequate time for healthy meals. Trends suggest that ROWE also decreased the odds of excessive drinking and improved sleep adequacy and exercise frequency. Some health behavior effects were mediated via reduced individual-level negative work-home spillover (exercise frequency, adequate time for sleep) and reduced team-level negative work-home spillover (smoking frequency, exercise frequency, and adequate time for sleep). While we found no moderating effects of gender, ROWE especially improved the exercise frequency of singles and reduced the smoking frequency of employees with low overall spillover at baseline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of the Work, Family and Health Network, which is funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant # U01HD051256 ), National Institute on Aging, Office of Behavioral and Science Sciences Research , and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health . The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of these institutes and offices. We are grateful to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (#2002-6-8), the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Minnesota, and the McKnight Foundation, as well as Jane Peterson for manuscript preparation.


  • Health behaviors
  • Home contexts
  • Multilevel modeling
  • ROWE intervention
  • U.S.A.
  • Work-family
  • Work-home spillover
  • Work-time flexibility


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