Hard Working Coworkers: A Multi-Level Cross-National Look at Group Work Hours and Work-Family Conflict

Hoda Vaziri, Ph.D., George S. Benson, Ph.D., and Maritza Salazar Campo, Ph.D.

Abstract:

This study investigates the relationship between coworker work hours and perceived work-to-family conflict (WFC) in a multinational sample of professional service employees. Building on recent research on the ways in which workgroups influence individual WFC, we demonstrate that the average hours worked by coworkers has a significant relationship to reported WFC independent of an employee’s own work hours. While this finding is universal across the multinational sample, national cultural differences were found to moderate the relationship, such that employees in more collectivist countries are more strongly influenced by average coworker hours than their counterparts in less collectivist countries. The multilevel analysis was conducted using a sample of 7,600 professional service employees in 497 different workgroups across 20 countries. The results provide support for the effect of culture on the relationship between group average hours and perceptions of WFC. We conclude with a discussion of how national culture affects WFC.