The role of psychosocial safety climate on flexible work from home digital job demands and work-life conflict

A.K. Parkin, A.J. Zadow, R.E. Potter, A. Afsharian, M.F. Dollard, S. Pignata, Arnold Bakker, K. Lushington

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of employees in flexible work from home has increased markedly along with a reliance on information communication technologies. This study investigated the role of an organisational factor, psychosocial safety climate (PSC; the climate for worker psychological health and safety), as an antecedent of these new kinds of demands (specifically work from home digital job demands) and their effect on work-life conflict. Data were gathered via an online survey of 2,177 employees from 37 Australian universities. Multilevel modelling showed that university level PSC to demands, y=-0.09, SE=0.03, p<0.01, and demands to work-life conflict, y=0.51, SE=0.19, p<0.05, relationships were significant. Supporting the antecedent theory, university level PSC was significantly indirectly related to work-life conflict via demands (LL -0.10 UL -0.01). Against expectations PSC did not moderate the demand to work-life conflict relationship. The results imply that targeting PSC could help prevent work from home digital job demands, and therefore, work-life conflict. Further research is needed on the role of digital job resources as flexible and hybrid work takes hold post COVID.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-319
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial Health
Issue number5
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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© 2023 National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

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