Identifying the Unmet Needs in Family-Friendly Policy : Surveying Formal and Informal Support on Work-Life Conflict in Hong Kong

Lina VYAS*, Francis CHEUNG, Kee lee CHOU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Organizations utilize various options to help employees reduce work-life conflict, from formal family-friendly benefits to non-institutionalized measures. Although these forms of organizational support are beneficial in theory, few studies examine the circumstances under which these options could become useful to employees in Asian corporate culture. This study explores how formal and informal supports affect employees’ work-life conflict across companies in Hong Kong. Using a repeated cross-sectional survey with longitudinal design, we find that different combinations of family-friendly policies affirm higher levels of control over working time. However, having control over working time shows little effect as the moderator in reducing work-life conflict, whereas the presence of a supportive supervisor is more important in this scenario. These findings suggest that provision and uptake of family-friendly policies should be coupled with supportive supervisors to create an informative corporate culture and wider social conducts at the workplace, when addressing employee work-life conflict. The findings of the study offer companies in Hong Kong some unique insight into the effectiveness of formal and informal family-friendly practices in fostering a family-supportive work environment. The findings of the study also impact policy debates in Hong Kong by offering concrete recommendations for restructuring the present family-friendly policies and the work environment, and to improve the work-family conflict of Hong Kong employees.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by Public Policy Research (PPR) funding scheme of the Hong Kong SAR Government (2014.A5.007.15 A). The authors would like to thank all of the respondents for their participation, and the interviewers for their excellent performance during the data collection process. The authors are also indebted to Professor Samuel Aryee for his helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V.


  • Control over working time
  • Family leave
  • Family-friendly benefits
  • Gender
  • Work-life conflict


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