Methods: Using purposive sampling, data were collected from 295 low-wage employees working in private organizations located in Seoul and Gyeong-gi areas in 2013. After excluding 39 individuals who earned more than two thirds of the median income, two individuals who were self-employed, and four individuals who did not respond to the main variables, the final sample included in the study was 250 low-wage workers. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the mechanisms of the effect of workplace flexibility on turnover intention. Mediating effects of work-family and family-work conflicts and job satisfaction were examined.
Results: The average age of the sample was 44.8 years (SD = 11.9) and about 76% were women. Half of the sample had an educational level of high school or less, and about 53% were nonregular workers. 68.4% worked full time, over a half (53.2%) of the sample had a tenure of less than 3 years in their current job. Approximately 74% of the participants reported that they had access to five or fewer workplace flexibility options. The structural model (χ2(95) = 208.848, p < .001, CFI = .933, TLI = .916, GFI = .907, and RMSEA = .069) indicated the significant paths from workplace flexibility to turnover intentions. Access to less workplace flexibility was associated with higher work–family conflict (β = -.35, p < .001) and family–work conflict (β = -.26, p < .001). Higher work–family conflict decreased job satisfaction (β = -.54, p < .001), and lower job satisfaction was significantly associated with higher turnover intention (β = -.24, p < .01). Results of bootstrapping analyses showed that work–family conflict and job satisfaction were significant mediators in the effect of workplace flexibility on turnover intention.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings highlight limited access to workplace flexibility among low-wage workers in South Korea. Considering the significant protective role of workplace flexibility in reducing turnover intentions of low-wage workers, it is imperative for organizations to provide diverse options of workplace flexibility options to low-wage workers.