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Abstract

Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of work–life measures, which are designed to contribute to job quality and help reconcile employees’ work and personal lives. In our study, we asked whether such measures can also work as inducements to prevent employees from voluntarily leaving a firm. We considered flexible working hours and home-based teleworking as flexibility measures that are potentially attractive to all employees. To address the possible bias caused by sketchy implementation and their actual selective use, we chose to examine employees’ perceptions of the offer of these measures. We investigated the moderation of the effect by organizational culture and supervisor and coworker support. We controlled for several indicators of job quality, such as job satisfaction and perceived fairness, to isolate specific ways in which work–life measures contributed to voluntary employee exit, and checked for a selective attractiveness of work–life measures to parents and women as the main caregivers. Using a three-wave panel employer–employee survey, we estimated multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression models for 5452 employees at 127 large German establishments. Our results confirmed that both types of flexibility measures were associated with a lower probability of voluntarily exit. This applied more to men than to women, and the probability was reduced by a demanding organizational culture. Both measures seemed not to be specifically designed to accommodate main caregivers but were attractive to the whole workforce.

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