Publications

2020
Kelly E, Moen P. Fixing the Overload Problem at Work. MIT Sloan Management Review. 2020;(Reprint #61404). kelly_moen_2020_fixing_overload_at_work_-_sloan_management_review_article_1.pdf
Kelly E, Moen P. Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What We Can Do about It. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press; 2020 pp. 336.Abstract

Today’s ways of working are not working—even for professionals in “good” jobs. Responding to global competition and pressure from financial markets, companies are asking employees to do more with less, even as new technologies normalize 24/7 job expectations. In Overload, Erin Kelly and Phyllis Moen document how this new intensification of work creates chronic stress, leading to burnout, attrition, and underperformance. “Flexible” work policies and corporate lip service about “work-life balance” don’t come close to fixing the problem. But this unhealthy and unsustainable situation can be changed—and Overload shows how.

Drawing on five years of research, including hundreds of interviews with employees and managers, Kelly and Moen tell the story of a major experiment that they helped design and implement at a Fortune 500 firm. The company adopted creative and practical work redesigns that gave workers more control over how and where they worked and encouraged managers to evaluate performance in new ways. The result? Employees’ health, well-being, and ability to manage their personal and work lives improved, while the company benefited from higher job satisfaction and lower turnover. And, as Kelly and Moen show, such changes can—and should—be made on a wide scale.

Complete with advice about ways that employees, managers, and corporate leaders can begin to question and fix one of today’s most serious workplace problems, Overload is an inspiring account about how rethinking and redesigning work could transform our lives and companies.

Brossoit RM, Crain TL, Hammer LB, Lee S, Bodner TE, Buxton OM. Associations among patient care workers' schedule control, sleep, job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Stress and Health [Internet]. 2020;n/a (n/a). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Healthcare is the fastest growing occupational sector in America, yet patient care workers experience low job satisfaction, high turnover, and susceptibility to poor sleep compared to workers in other jobs and industries. Increasing schedule control may be one way to help mitigate these issues. Drawing from conservation of resources theory, we evaluate associations among schedule control (i.e. a contextual resource), employee sleep duration and quality (i.e. personal resources), job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Patient care workers who reported having more schedule control at baseline reported greater sleep duration and sleep quality 6 months later, as well as higher job satisfaction and lower turnover intentions 12 months later. Workers who experienced greater sleep sufficiency (i.e. feeling well-rested) reported higher job satisfaction 6 months later, and workers who experienced fewer insomnia symptoms (i.e. trouble falling and staying asleep) reported lower turnover intentions 6 months later. The association between schedule control and job satisfaction was partially mediated by greater sleep sufficiency, though this effect was small. Providing patient care workers with greater control over their work schedules and opportunities for improved sleep may improve their job attitudes. Results were not replicated when different analytical approaches were performed, so findings should be interpreted provisionally.
2019
Kaduk A, Kelly EL, Moen P. Involuntary vs. voluntary flexible work: insights for scholars and stakeholders. Community, Work & Family [Internet]. 2019;22 (4) :412-442. Publisher's VersionAbstract
ABSTRACTBuilding on insights from the early stages of our research partnership with a U.S. Fortune 500 organization, we came to differentiate between voluntary and involuntary schedule variability and remote work. This differentiation underscores the complexity behind flexible schedules and remote work, especially among white-collar, salaried professionals. We collected survey data among the partner firm's information technology (IT) workforce to evaluate whether these forms of flexibility had different implications for workers, as part of the larger Work, Family, and Health Network Study. We find that a significant minority of these employees report working variable schedules and working at home involuntarily. Involuntary variable schedules are associated with greater work-to-family conflict, stress, burnout, turnover intentions, and lower job satisfaction in models that adjust for personal characteristics, job, work hours, family demands, and other factors. Voluntary remote work, in contrast, is protective and more common in this professional sample. Employees working at least 20% of their hours at home and reporting moderate or high choice over where they work have lower stress and intentions to leave the firm. These findings point to the importance of both stakeholders and scholars distinguishing between voluntary and involuntary forms of flexibility, even in a relatively advantaged workforce.
Lee S, Lawson KM, Damaske SA. Crossover of resources and well-being within employee-partner dyads: through increased schedule control. Community, Work & Family [Internet]. 2019;22 (4) :391-411. Publisher's VersionAbstract
ABSTRACTThis study examined whether one partner’s additional resources obtained from a workplace intervention influence the other partner’s perception of having those resources at home (crossover of resources). We also examined whether one partner’s decreased stress by increased work resources crosses over to the other partner’s stress levels (crossover of well-being). Longitudinal data came from IT employees and their married/cohabiting partners in midlife (N = 327). A randomized workplace intervention significantly increased employee-reported schedule control at the 6-month follow-up, which, in turn, increased partner-reported employees’ work schedule flexibility to handle family responsibilities at the 12-month follow-up. The intervention also decreased partners’ perceived stress at the 12-month follow-up through the processes by which increases in schedule control predicted decreases in employees’ perceived stress, which further predicted decreased levels of partners’ perceived stress. Notably, crossover of resources and well-being were found in couples who lived with children in the household, but not in couples without children. Our findings suggest that benefits of workplace support can permeate into the family domain, by increasing partner-perceived family resources and well-being.
Vigoureux TFD, Lee S, Buxton OM, Almeida DM. Stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep and its association with body mass index in middle-aged workers. Journal of Sleep Research [Internet]. 2019;n/a (n/a) :e12955. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Summary There is evidence that insufficient sleep and more stressors are individually associated with poor metabolic health outcomes. Examining sleep and stressors jointly may account for greater variability in health outcomes; however, we know little about the combined effect of both insufficient sleep and more stressors on metabolic health. This study examined whether experiencing more stressors in response to insufficient sleep (“stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep”) was associated with body mass index in middle-aged workers. One-hundred and twenty-seven participants (Mage = 45.24 ± 6.22 years) reported nightly sleep characteristics and daily stressors on 8 consecutive days. We collected height and weight measurements to calculate body mass index (kg m−2). On average, workers reported more stressors following nights with shorter-than-usual sleep duration or poorer-than-usual sleep quality (negative slope means higher stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep). When examining stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep with insufficient sleep represented by shorter-than-usual sleep duration, compared with those with average stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep (within ±½ SD; reference), workers with high stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep (≤−½ SD) had higher body mass index (B = 3.24, p < .05). The body mass index of these workers fell in the obese range. There was no difference in body mass index between workers with low stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep (≥+½ SD) and the reference group. When examining stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep with insufficient sleep represented by poorer-than-usual sleep quality, stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep was not significantly associated with body mass index. Results suggest that middle-aged workers with higher stressor reactivity to insufficient sleep duration may be at greater risk for obesity. Results may inform future studies on interventions for improving sleep and reducing stress in middle-aged workers.
Drury T, Lee S, Buxton OM, Almeida DM. PSYCHOCOGNITIVE REACTIVITY TO INSUFFICIENT SLEEP AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH BODY MASS. Innovation in Aging [Internet]. 2019;3 (Suppl 1) :S640–S641. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Individuals tend to report more stressors on days after nights with fewer hours of sleep. There may be individual differences such that this negative sleep duration—stressor perception relationship is stronger for some than others, which may have implications for health outcomes. However, we know little about whether differences in stressor perception in response to insufficient sleep (“psychocognitive reactivity to insufficient sleep”) are associated with health outcomes such as body weight. This study examined whether psychocognitive reactivity to insufficient sleep were associated with body mass index (BMI) in midlife workers. We used a sample of 127 office workers (Mage=45.2±6.2) who participated in a daily diary study for 8 consecutive days as part of the Work, Family, and Health Study. 
      Multilevel models tested whether daily number of stressors was predicted by previous 
      nights’ sleep. We outputted within-person slopes of stressors regressed on sleep duration to predict BMI (kg/m2). Analyses adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and mean stressors across days. On average, workers reported more stressors following nights with shorter sleep duration than usual (negative slope means higher reactivity). Compared to those with average reactivity (within ±½SD; reference), workers with higher reactivity (≤-½SD) had higher BMI (p<.05). The BMI of these workers fell in the obese range. This study is one of the first to report that middle-aged workers with higher psychocognitive reactivity to insufficient sleep may be at greater risk for obesity. Future interventions should focus on improving middle-aged workers’ sleep health to reduce next-day stressors and thereby improve their body weight.
Lee S, Buxton OM, Andel R, Almeida DM. Bidirectional associations of sleep with cognitive interference in employees' work days. Sleep Health. 2019.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Studies have reported bidirectional associations of sleep with daily stressors and negative mood. Yet we know little about how sleep is associated with workers' daily cognitive interference, or the experience of off-task and distracting thoughts. This study examined whether nightly sleep was associated with next-day cognitive interference, and vice versa, during workdays and non-work days. DESIGN: Daily telephone interviews. SETTING: US information technology workplaces. PARTICIPANTS: 130 middle-aged employees. MEASUREMENTS: On 8 consecutive days, participants reported the frequency of experiencing off-task and distracting thoughts during the day (0 = never to 4 = very often) and multiple sleep characteristics (bedtimes, wake times, sleep duration, sleep quality, and sleep latency). Covariates included sociodemographic characteristics and work hours. RESULTS: Multilevel models revealed that, on days following earlier wake times (B = -0.32, P < .01), shorter sleep duration (B = -0.27, P < .01), or poorer sleep quality (B = -0.17, P < .01), participants reported more cognitive interference than usual. That is, waking 19 minutes earlier and sleeping 16 minutes less were associated with one additional point on the cognitive interference scale the next day. With cognitive interference predicting nightly sleep, more same day's cognitive interference was associated with earlier bedtimes (B = -0.19, P < .05) and earlier wake times (B = -0.30, P < .01) than usual. The temporal associations of nightly sleep duration and sleep quality with the following day's cognitive interference were significant on work days, but not on non-work days. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest bidirectional associations between poorer sleep and more cognitive interference, particularly on work days with implications for workday productivity and quality of life.
Kossek EE, Rosokha LM, Leana C. Work Schedule Patching in Health Care: Exploring Implementation Approaches. Work and Occupations [Internet]. 2019 :0730888419841101. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The authors propose a typology of “work schedule patching,” the ongoing adjustments made to plug scheduling holes after employers post schedules. Patching occurs due to changes in employer work demands, or employee nonwork demands necessitating scheduling adjustments, which are reactive or proactive. Using qualitative data from eight health-care facilities, the authors identified three narratives justifying schedule patching implementation approaches (share-the-pain, work-life-needs, and reverse-status-rotation) with variation in formalization and improvisation. Exploratory analysis showed a suggestive link between improvised work–life scheduling and lower pressure ulcers. This article advances theory on balancing the “service triangle” of scheduling in-service economies including health care.
Lee S, Mogle JA, Jackson CL, Buxton OM. What's not fair about work keeps me up: Perceived unfairness about work impairs sleep through negative work-to-family spillover. Social Science Research [Internet]. 2019. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This study examined whether perceived unfairness about work was linked to midlife workers' insomnia symptoms over time, and if the association was mediated by negative work-to-family spillover (NWFS). We used 3 waves of longitudinal data across 20 years from the Midlife in the United States Study (N = 971, Mage = 40.52). Results revealed that, wave-to-wave increases in perceived unfairness about work predicted wave-to-wave increases in NWFS over 20 years. Wave-to-wave increases in NWFS, in turn, predicted wave-to-wave increases in insomnia symptoms. Perceived unfairness about work was indirectly, but not directly associated with insomnia symptoms through NWFS. These within-person indirect mediation pathways were found after controlling for sociodemographic and family characteristics, work hours, neuroticism, physical health, and between-person associations between perceived unfairness about work, NWFS, and insomnia symptoms. These findings suggest that perceived unfairness about work may degrade workers’ sleep health over time, through the spillover of work stress to the personal domain.
DePasquale N, Crain TL, Buxton OM, Zarit SH, Almeida DM. Tonight’s Sleep Predicts Tomorrow’s Fatigue: A Daily Diary Study of Long-Term Care Employees With Nonwork Caregiving Roles. The Gerontologist [Internet]. 2019 :gny176. Publisher's Version
Kossek EE, Thompson RA, Lawson KM, Bodner T, Perrigino MB, Hammer LB, Buxton OM, Almeida DM, Moen P, Hurtado DA, et al. Caring for the Elderly at Work and Home: Can a Randomized Organizational Intervention Improve Psychological Health?. J Occup Health Psychol [Internet]. 2019. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Although job stress models suggest that changing the work social environment to increase job resources improves psychological health, many intervention studies have weak designs and overlook influences of family caregiving demands. We tested the effects of an organizational intervention designed to increase supervisor social support for work and nonwork roles, and job control in a results-oriented work environment on the stress and psychological distress of health care employees who care for the elderly, while simultaneously considering their own family caregiving responsibilities. Using a group-randomized organizational field trial with an intent-to-treat design, 420 caregivers in 15 intervention extended-care nursing facilities were compared with 511 caregivers in 15 control facilities at 4 measurement times: preintervention and 6, 12, and 18 months. There were no main intervention effects showing improvements in stress and psychological distress when comparing intervention with control sites. Moderation analyses indicate that the intervention was more effective in reducing stress and psychological distress for caregivers who were also caring for other family members off the job (those with elders and those "sandwiched" with both child and elder caregiving responsibilities) compared with employees without caregiving demands. These findings extend previous studies by showing that the effect of organizational interventions designed to increase job resources to improve psychological health varies according to differences in nonwork caregiving demands. This research suggests that caregivers, especially those with "double-duty" elder caregiving at home and work and "triple-duty" responsibilities, including child care, may benefit from interventions designed to increase work-nonwork social support and job control. (PsycINFO Database Record
2018
Trombley M, Bray JW, Hinde JM, Buxton OM, Johnson RC. Investigating the Negative Relationship between Wages and Obesity: New Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network. Nordic Journal of Health Economics [Internet]. 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
A substantial literature has established that obesity is negatively associated with wages, particularly among females.  However, prior research has found limited evidence for the factors hypothesized to underlie the obesity wage penalty.  We add to the literature using data from IT workers at a U.S. Fortune 500 firm that provides us with direct measures of employee income and BMI, and health measures that are unavailable in national-level datasets.  Our estimates indicate that the wage-obesity penalty among females only occurs among obese mothers, and is not attributable to differences in health or human capital that may be caused by having children.
Fan W, Moen P, Kelly EL, Hammer LB, Berkman LF. Job strain, time strain, and well-being: A longitudinal, person-centered approach in two industries. Journal of Vocational Behavior [Internet]. 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The notion of constellations is central to many occupational health theories; empirical research is nevertheless dominated by variable-centered methodologies. Guided by the job demands-resources framework, we use a person-centered longitudinal approach to identify constellations of job demands and resources (task-based and time-based) over time that predict changes in well-being. We situate our research in two dissimilar, but growing, industries in the United States—information technology (IT) and long-term care. Drawing on data collected over 18 months, we identify five patterned, stable constellations of job demands/resources using group-based multi-trajectory modeling: (1) high strain/low hours, (2) high strain/low hours/shift work, (3) high strain/long hours, (4) active (high demands, high control) and (5) lower strain (lower demands, high control). IT workers are overrepresented in the lower-strain and active constellations, whereas long-term care providers are more often in high-strain constellations. Workers in the lower-strain constellation experience increased job satisfaction and decreased emotional exhaustion, work-family conflict and psychological distress over 18 months. In comparison, workers in high-strain job constellations fare worse on these outcomes, as do those in the active constellation. Industrial contexts matter, however: Compared with long-term care workers, IT workers' well-being is more at risk when working in the “high strain/long hours” constellation. As the labor market continues to experience structural changes, scholars and policy makers need to attend to redesigning the ecological contexts of work conditions to promote workers' well-being while taking into account industrial differences.
Lawson KM, Lee S. Better previous night sleep is associated with less next day work-to-family conflict mediated by higher work performance among female nursing home workers. Sleep Health [Internet]. 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Objectives Cross-sectional research has found that shorter and poorer sleep are associated with lower work performance and greater work-to-family conflict (WTFC). However, we know little about daily mechanisms linking sleep, work performance, and WTFC. This study tested whether previous nights' sleep was linked to next day WTFC, mediated by work performance. Design Daily interview methodology. Setting US extended-care workplaces. Participants One hundred seventy-one female employees with children aged 9 to 17 years. Measurements In telephone interviews on 8 consecutive evenings, participants reported their daily work performance (work productivity, work quality), WTFC (e.g., “how much did things you wanted to do at home not get done because of the demands your job put on you?”), and previous nights' sleep duration (in hours) and sleep quality (1 = very badl
Kossek EE, Petty RJ, Bodner T, Perrigino MB, Hammer LB, Yragui NL, Michel JS. Lasting Impression: Transformational Leadership and Family Supportive Supervision as Resources for Well-Being and Performance. Occupational Health Science [Internet]. 2018;2 (1) :1–24. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Although evidence is growing in the occupational health field that supervisors are a critical influence on subordinates' reports of family supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), our understanding is limited regarding the antecedents of employee's FSSB perceptions and their lagged effects on future health and work outcomes. Drawing on a positive job resource perspective, we argue that supervisors who report that they use transformational leadership (TL) styles are more likely to have subordinates with higher FSSB perceptions. We theorize that these enhanced perceptions of work-family specific support increase access to personal and social resources (objectively and subjectively) that buffer work-nonwork demands and enhance health (mental, physical) and job outcomes (performance appraisal ratings, job satisfaction, turnover intentions, work-family conflict). Time-lagged multi-source survey data collected in a field study from retail employees and their supervisors and archival performance ratings data collected a year later support our proposed relationships (with the exception that for health, only mental health and not physical health was significant). Post hoc analyses showed that employees' FSSB perceptions play a mediating role between supervisor TL and job satisfaction and work-family conflict, but no other outcomes studied. Overall, this study answers calls in the occupational health literature to use stronger designs to determine linkages between leadership-related workplace phenomena as antecedents of health, work-family, and job outcomes. Our results demonstrate that employees with supervisors who report that they use transformational leadership styles are more likely to perceive higher levels of family supportive supervision, which are positive job resources that enhance occupational health.
Crain TL, Hammer LB, Bodner T, Olson R, Kossek EE, Moen P, Buxton OM. Sustaining sleep: Results from the randomized controlled work, family, and health study. Journal of occupational health psychology [Internet]. 2018. Publisher's Version
Buxton OM, Soomi L, Miguel M, Beverly C, Almeida DM, Berkman LF. Sleep health and predicted cardiometabolic risk scores in employed adults from two industries. J Clin Sleep Med [Internet]. 2018;14 (3) :371–383. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Study Objectives: Sleep disorders and sleep deficiency can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Less is known about whether multiple positive attributes of sleep health known as the SATED (satisfaction, alertness, timing, efficiency, and duration) model, can decrease future cardiovascular disease risks. We examined whether and how a variety of indicators of sleep health predicted 10-year estimated cardiometabolic risk scores (CRS) among employed adults.

Methods: Workers in two industries—extended care (n = 1,275) and information technology (IT; n = 577)—reported on habitual sleep apnea symptoms and sleep sufficiency, and provided 1 week of actigraphy data including nighttime sleep duration, wake after sleep onset (WASO), sleep timing, and daytime napping. Workers also provided biomarkers to calculate future cardiometabolic risk.

Results: More sleep apnea symptoms predicted higher CRS in both industries. More sleep sufficiency, less WASO, and less daytime napping (having no naps, fewer naps, and shorter nap duration) were also linked to lower CRS, but only in the extended care workers. There was no effect of sleep duration in both industries. In the IT employee sample, shorter sleep duration (≤ 6 hours versus 6–8 hours) and more naps strengthened the link between sleep apnea and CRS.

Conclusions: Sleep health, measured by both subjective and objective methods, was associated with lower cardiometabolic disease risks among extended care workers (lower to middle wage workers). Sleep apnea was an important predictor of CRS; for the IT workers, the link between sleep apnea and CRS was exacerbated when they had poorer sleep health behaviors.

Almeida DM, Lee S, Walter KN, Lawson KM, Kelly EL, Buxton OM. The effects of a workplace intervention on employees’ cortisol awakening response. Community, Work & Family [Internet]. 2018;21 (2) :151-167. Publisher's VersionAbstract
ABSTRACTWork-related stressors are known to adversely affect employees’ stress physiology, including the cortisol awakening response (CAR) – or the spike in cortisol levels shortly after people wake up that aids in mobilizing energy. A flat or blunted CAR has been linked to chronic stress and burnout. This daily diary study tested the effects of a workplace intervention on employed parents’ CAR. Specifically, we tested whether the effects of the intervention on CAR were moderated by the type of days (workday versus non-work day). Data came from 94 employed parents from an information technology firm who participated in the baseline and 12-month diurnal cortisol components of the Work, Family, and Health Study, a group-randomized field experiment. The workplace intervention was designed to reduce work-family conflict (WFC) and implemented after the baseline data collection. Diurnal salivary cortisol was collected on 4 days at both baseline and 12 months. Multilevel modeling revealed that the intervention significantly increased employees’ CAR at 12 months on non-workdays, but this was not evident on workdays or for employees in the usual practice condition. The results provide evidence that the intervention was effective in enhancing employees’ biological stress physiology particularly during opportunities for recovery that are more likely to occur on non-work days.
O'Donnell EM, Berkman LF, Kelly EL, Hammer LB, Marden J, Buxton OM. Cardiometabolic risks associated with work-to-family conflict: findings from the Work Family Health Network. Community, Work & Family [Internet]. 2018 :1-26. Publisher's Version

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