Flexible Work Arrangements
By Margaret Powers
August 29, 2011
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Introduction to Flexible Work Schedules
To meet family demands companies must consider the bottom line and endorse these policies for workers and families. The overall benefits will out weigh any skeptical reasoning and the U.S. companies will have a willing ethical workplace for generations to come. State legislature supports the flexible work schedule to extremely help with traffic congestion; decrease fuel consumption, flexibility for employees gives more time with their families, increases morale, and improves the working environment. Change takes time to reprogram minds set on a 9 to 5 work day for some the choice is much needed to make individuals succeed in their careers as well as their family life. Flexible work schedules will increase employee morale, engagement, and commitment to the organization. Other advantages are reduced turnover, reduced absenteeism and tardiness, reduced consumption of employee commuting time and fuel costs, traffic and the stresses of commuting during rush hours, and a positive feeling of personal control over schedule and work environment. The obvious benefit to an employer is the ability to accommodate employees who have trouble balancing their jobs and their families.
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The demand for flexible work schedules have increased expectations to manage work, families and to be competitive in the global market, employers must be flexible to allow control of their work schedule. Flexible work hours is an alternative work schedule that allows a fulltime employee to eliminate at least one work day every two weeks by working longer hours during the remaining days. The two most popular flexible work schedules are working four 10 hour days and the fifth day off or 80 hours in nine days with the tenth day off. Other schedules include seven days in two weeks and three days a week (Flexible Work Hours Policy Guidelines, 2007). Flexible work schedule is a policy that a company has endorsed so the employee can turn to when something happens in life and the employee needs to change their schedule without quitting or being fired. Employees are considered the backbone of a company and the employees should have the right to pick a schedule that coincides with their lives. The review of statutory employment rights in 21 high-income countries including the United States which shows little improvement for workers. Although there has been progress United States sill lacks the flexibility in the work place. Of 21 countries reviewed, the report found that 17 countries have statutes that allow parents to move to part-time work or otherwise adjust their working hours; 12 have statutes to help workers adjust work hours for training and education; 11 allow reduced hours with partial pension prior to full retirement; 5 allow working time adjustments for those with family care-giving responsibilities for adults; and 5 countries give everyone the right to alternative work arrangements (Crum 2008). Most of these countries are encouraging regulations for family first, old age and lifelong learning.
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In the past 30 years in the U. S. medium age of workers has increased from about 35 years to 41 years as the rate of growth in the labor force has declined (from a rate of 2.6 percent in the 1970s to the current rate of 1 percent)( Hardy, 2008). The 21 countries surveyed were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States (Crum 2008). Women in the U. S. workforce make...