The present work explores if and how the actual use of supports made available by state, organisations and families help workers reduce the perceived WFC, explored from both WIF and FIW perspectives. The study is based on a survey which involved 2,029 employees in six large Italian firms. To test hypotheses a hierarchical regression analysis was performed. WFC should be explored considering its bi-directionality, since supports have different impacts on WIF and FIW. Workplace instrumental support have mixed effects on work-family conflict, whereas workplace emotional support and familiar support reduce both family interference with work and work interference with family. The study is limited to the Italian national context and data were collected in a single moment of time, which did not allow observing changes in employees’ lives. Human Resource managers as well as policy makers can find results useful to design effective work-life balance policies and supports, where attention is mainly devoted to promote workplace emotional supports and facilitate familiar help. The study highlights that to reduce the pressures from work and family responsibilities which generate WFC state, organisational and familiar supports have different effects which should be carefully be considered when defining policies and interventions. The study is one of the few which compares the role of supports provided by actors in different sectors on FIW and WIF, thus allowing understanding whether the bi-directionality of the conflicts is a relevant perspective.
- Work-life balance