Workplace flexibility can lead to fewer physical encounters, impacting the extent to which employees can help others. This is important because giving help to coworkers facilitates engagement. This study draws on two-wave panel data from 329 employees to examine the relationship between workplace flexibility and engagement through helping behavior. Furthermore, the role of communication control—that is, an employee’s ability to regulate the use of work-related communication technologies—is examined, as it may buffer the negative associations between workplace flexibility and helping behavior. The results demonstrate that spatial flexibility is detrimental to engagement because it reduces helping behavior. Importantly, this negative impact may be alleviated by high levels of communication control (as opposed to low levels). Furthermore, the study provides insights into the independent effects of spatial and temporal flexibility on helping behavior and supports the notion that doing good may lead to feeling good, as helping behavior is positively associated with engagement.

communication control, helping behavior, spatial flexibility, work engagement, workplace flexibility,
International Journal of Business Communication
Erasmus University Rotterdam

ter Hoeven, C.L, & van Zoonen, W. (Ward). (2020). Helping Others and Feeling Engaged in the Context of Workplace Flexibility: The Importance of Communication Control. International Journal of Business Communication. doi:10.1177/2329488419898799