Work-life Flexibility Policies: Moving from Traditional Views Toward Work-life Intersectionality Considerations. By: Kossek, Ellen Ernst, Lautsch, Brenda A., Perrigino, Matthew B., Greenhaus, Jeffrey H., and Merriweather, Tarani J. 2023. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management. Vol. 41, p199-243.

Work-life flexibility policies (e.g., flextime, telework, part-time, right-to-disconnect, and leaves) are increasingly important to employers as productivity and well-being strategies. However, policies have not lived up to their potential. In this chapter, the authors argue for increased research attention to implementation and work-life intersectionality considerations influencing effectiveness. Drawing on a typology that conceptualizes flexibility policies as offering employees control across five dimensions of the work role boundary (temporal, spatial, size, permeability, and continuity), the authors develop a model identifying the multilevel moderators and mechanisms of boundary control shaping relationships between using flexibility and work and home performance. Next, the authors review this model with an intersectional lens. The authors direct scholars’ attention to growing workforce diversity and increased variation in flexibility policy experiences, particularly for individuals with higher work-life intersectionality, which is defined as having multiple intersecting identities (e.g., gender, caregiving, and race), that are stigmatized, and link to having less access to and/or benefits from societal resources to support managing the work-life interface in a social context. Such an intersectional focus would address the important need to shift work-life and flexibility research from variable to person-centered approaches. The authors identify six research considerations on work-life intersectionality in order to illuminate how traditionally assumed work-life relationships need to be revisited to address growing variation in: access, needs, and preferences for work-life flexibility; work and nonwork experiences; and benefits from using flexibility policies. The authors hope that this chapter will spur a conversation on how the work-life interface and flexibility policy processes and outcomes may increasingly differ for individuals with higher work-life intersectionality compared to those with lower work-life intersectionality in the context of organizational and social systems that may perpetuate growing work-life and job inequality.