Flexible Working Arrangements Are a Motivational Approach to Employee Relations.

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Discuss and critically evaluate if flexible working arrangements are a motivational approach to employee relations.

Introduction:

In the past decade, especially in northern countries of European Union, some major changes have occurred regarding labour matters. One of the most popular challenges has been the implementation of working arrangements which provide flexibility in a number of areas such as working time, place of work, task or job content, rewards (Papalexandris, and Kramar 1997). Flexible work arrangements are defined as “employer provided benefits that permit employees some level of control over when and where they work outside of the standard workday” (Lambert, Marler, & Gueutal, 2008, p. 107).

Flexibility in working time includes a variety of arrangements for part-time work, job sharing, flexi-time, fixed-term contracts, subcontracting and career/employment break schemes. As a result, more women are joining the workforce and dual career couples are becoming increasingly common (Moorhead, Steele, Alexander, Stephen & Duffin 1997). These working arrangements are also often referred to as family-friendly, work–family, or more recently work–life policies. This implies an employee focus, but the extent to which these policies primarily benefit employees or employers, especially in the 24/7 economy (Presser, 1998), Work according to Terkel (1977), is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor, in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday to Friday sort of dying. It is “this sort of dying” that organisations must seek to avoid. In their quest for a flexible, motivated, committed and willing workforce, success factors must be placed upon good people management practices and positive psychological contracts which may then result in the desired productivity, profitability and agility (Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD), The trend to flexible working...
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