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Work changes and employee perceptions of co-worker flexible work policy use: a moderated mediation study

Svetlana Davis (Bishop's University, Sherbrooke, Canada)
Sara A. Murphy (The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada)
Joanna Watkins (Fanshawe College, London, Canada)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 8 December 2022

Issue publication date: 1 February 2023




The present research aims to understand how and why flexible work arrangement (FWA) policy use by co-workers affects policy non-users by investigating perceived changes to work, fairness and organizational identification as factors that shape policy non-users’ job satisfaction.


A survey was distributed to 300 Canadian respondents solicited from an online panel owned by Qualtrics Inc. Hypotheses were developed and tested using a moderating mediation model. SPSS Macro Process (Hayes) was used to test the hypotheses.


This survey found that perceiving negative changes to work stemming from co-worker FWA use corresponded to policy non-user job satisfaction, fairness dimensions mediated this effect and organizational identification moderated the relationship driven by interactional fairness. Policy non-users who care most about organizations seem to be most vulnerable to the negative consequences associated with co-worker FWA policy use.


FWA use has been linked to many positive outcomes for policy users. However, the workplace adjustments that occur to accommodate policy use by co-workers could also have implications for policy non-users. This study explores the effects of FWA policy use by co-workers on policy non-users job satisfaction.



This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 430-2016-00783.


Davis, S., Murphy, S.A. and Watkins, J. (2023), "Work changes and employee perceptions of co-worker flexible work policy use: a moderated mediation study", Employee Relations, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 516-534.



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