It is difficult to find engaged workers in an organization. According to the Employee Worktime report of 2008, 91% of the workers in the globe agreed that flexible working arrangements influence the their engagement as well as job satisfaction. However, most employers in the United States have been slow to impose the policies associated with flexibility. Shannan King, the Principal of Specialty Business Solutions said, Recent national surveys show that three-fourths of U.S. employers allow some employees to adjust the times they start or stop work, and almost two-thirds allow some employees to work from home occasionally. Studies also show that employees of all ages, family backgrounds and jobs value work/life flexibility. engaged in their institutions (King, 2003) Also, in New Zealand a country with most engaged workforce at 23%, there are cases with employee disengagement in the workplace.
Engaged employees are those who progress their institutions through driving innovation. In contrast to the disengaged members of staff who damage the status of their employers and have the aim of working with discontent, they attract more clients in the businesses. Human resource departments in numerous organizations thrash about disengagement (Isaac, 2008). Moreover, there are problems with directors to discussing the challenges resulting from disengagement.
Given that numerous organizations are finding it difficult to evaluate every worker as a provider to progress, they topple the contemporary archaic model. Further, many workers do not examine their personalities when working (Golden, 2001). Having awareness that their directors and their colleagues deference them can have an impact their perceptions towards the business organizations (Lirio et al.,2008). The best way to solve the problems affecting the workplace engagement is through the flextime approach.
The Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration in 2001, as a technique to improve employee engagement initiated flextime perspective. King stated that, The changing nature of work and the workforce is driving the need for more innovative and effective work arrangements in all sectors of the economy. Organizations that want to attract and retain high-performing employees understand the benefits of using workplace flexibility to increase employee efficiency and productivity (King, 2003)
Flextime approach consists of various policy actions, which transform the job autonomy as well, design to allow more regulation of how the human resource managers schedule the tasks to the employers. Also, it involves policies and practices that govern allocation of time (Lirio et al.,2008). In most of the cases, technology is used to communicate outside the restrictions of the central place of work. Schedules can be formal for an individual or group or established informally with the discretion of the human resource manager.
Employees utilizing the Flextime have optional start and end times. However, the duration of working is the same as that of full-time workers. Most of the research studies have found the workplace flexibility has benefits to the employees because it increases job satisfaction, their welfare, decreases stress associated with working for many hours as well as improve the job performance. Some of the popular organizations applying the flextime approach in the world are as shown in the table below.
Organization Approach Number of Workers Affected Effects of the Policy on Employee Engagement (As a Percentage of the Organizational Output
Apple Inc 5 by 4 1127 2.1
A&T All 929 0.84
Verizon Wireless All 1463 1.229
Virgin Atlantic All 592 0.06
The flextime provisions are able to affect the employees by varying the bank time as well as the duration off-work in the future. When the employees or the human resource managers take up to this policy, they have to accomplish the preservation of coverage hours by the main office, and Specify the tasks at the period when the supervisors and the business managers are absent from their duties (Amort and Emmerson, 2000). Also, they have to measure the performance of the employees, track the working hours as well as establish effective channels of communication. Most of the research studies have established that the employees who benefit from the flextime approach in surveys conducted in the United States are:
Alternative to adjust the time of arrival and departure from the place of work- 84%
Choice of taking leaves off work- 77%
Time off to attend on personal and family issues- 73%
Time off to attend specific training as well as education- 79%
Returning to the job gradually after child adoption and birth- 72%
Based on the report of Employees Foundation in 2014, it was established that there is an increase in the number of workers preferring the workplace flexibility in most of the organizations as opposed to full time schedules. Also, it was found that the human resource departments using this approach are on the rise because of its perceived benefits. Therefore, the flextime approach is effective when proper plans are implemented by the business organizations.According to the statement of Fang in 2007, The globalization of business also requires employees to be accessible outside traditional work hours. Conference calls often take place across time zones, early in the morning or late at night. Rather than participating in these early morning or late night calls from the primary worksite, many employees prefer to be at home (Fang and Lee, 2007). About the benefits of flextime approach, the aspect of work and life conflict is an issue for all employees regardless of their individual involvements, age as well as other personal characteristics. For instance, young employees will take the advantages of flextime their own ways like avoiding traffic jams or attending the night classes (Kossek, 2006). Moreover, to the employees, this approach offers a chance to change their working schedules in ways that are beneficial to them. To most of the people, this strategy makes them work better since it reduces the stress, anxiety and tension, and assists in increasing job satisfaction (Golden, 2001). Also, they are able to attend to their individual issues given that numerous services in the public and private sectors are offered during the working hours.
By initiating flexibility, employees eliminate the problems associated with job scheduling and other related issues like decreasing the duration of travel from and to the work. From the aspect of the management in the organization, improved job motivation in the institutions eases the work of the administrators and supervisors (Berg et al.,2003). Further, this approach offers a chance to training the employees depart and arrive they arrive from their working sites at different periods of the day and week (Fang and Lee, 2007). Evidence shows that there is effective communication with this policy because the human resource managers can focus on the employees at different time. When easing identification associated with uneven workloads, the management can initiate adjustments and also consider of promotion based on the output of specific workers. Flextime reduces the overtime hours translating to decreased cost of organizational operations. Based on the statement of the global head of Corporate Services Group, Northern Trust, Martin Clarke, Our Company for some time has offered alternative work options such as flexible hours, home working and job sharing, supported by established HR policies. Most recently, we began trialing the WorkSmart initiative, which recognizes the changing nature of work and the workplace. Employers are now looking to attract and retain talent from multiple generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials (King, 2003)
However, the critics of the flextime approach state that these plans may have a negative impact on the institution because it is not always efficient for all individuals, units as well as sectors (Batt et al.,2003). Also, this approach can be ineffective to employees with no willingness to undertake their job tasks able and utilize full-time schedule since there are temptations of engaging in other activities not related with work (Ferrer and Gagne, 2006). Some of the research studies have established that there is decreased output, increased overhead costs as well as poor customer services with the flextime policy. From the analysis above, it is clear that there are specific benefits associated with the approach. Also, there are disadvantages of utilizing the perspective if there are no plans established in line with the needs of the organization. Therefore, it is crucial for the businesses to evaluate their needs prior to the implementation of the policy.
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Fang, T., and B. Lee. 2007. Family-friendly Benefit Programs and Employee Labor Market Outcomes. 82nd Western Economics Association Annual Conference. Seattle, Washington, June 29-July 3, 2007.
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Kossek, E. E. 2006. Work and family in America: Growing tensions between employment policy and a changing workforce: A thirty-year perspective. Chapter commissioned by SHRM Foundation and University of California Center for Organizational Effectiveness for the 30th anniversary of the State of Work in America.
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