In a context where employees increasingly seek to balance their work and personal life as well as a rising competition and concerns for reducing costs, employers increasingly use reduced load work arrangements (i.e., RLWAs) as part of their HR practices. In this study, we draw from job control theory and social information processing (SIP) theory to introduce two novel elements to explore how and when the influence of RLWAs unfold: employees’ perceived job autonomy as a mediating mechanism and the role of RLWA normativeness as a social context and boundary condition. Using a large and representative data set (the WERS, 2011), our findings supported our hypotheses. As a result, this research sheds lights on the mixed findings regarding the effects of RLWAs on employee outcomes and questions the assumptions of an invariant social context by introducing and supporting the role of normativeness of the use of RLWA in a workplace. From a practical perspective, caution is needed in implementing RLWAs as the presumed effects of RLWAs might disappear in a context where it is seen as a norm.