Flexible work (flexi-work) arrangements have been widely practiced in the developed countries and have proven to be beneficial to both employers and employees. Different types of flexi-work arrangements have been documented that are currently being adopted by corporations around the world including Malaysia, Singapore, and showcases practical examples of companies which have successfully implemented flexi-work arrangements. The common flexi-work arrangements include: flexi-time, permanent part-time work, job-sharing, compressed work week, teleworking, and annualised hours. The successful implementation of flexi-work arrangements contributes to a conducive and supportive work environment. This enables companies to attract, motivate and retain valued employees who are dedicated and committed to playing an important role in helping their organisations achieve business success. This sharing information provides features the origins of the various flexi-work arrangements, their salient features, the benefits and challenges and key implementation considerations.
1. FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS (FLEXI-TIME)
Flexi-time constitutes the first major divergence from the standardised 44 hour week, 9 to 5 workweek. The concept of allowing employees some individual choice as to starting and quitting times was first introduced in Germany in 1967. At that time, it was seen as a means of relieving transit and commute time problems. Shortly after, flexi-time began to gain adherents in Switzerland as a way to attract women with family responsibilities into the workforce. Hewlett Packard was generally credited with introducing flexi-time in the United States in 1972, after having first tried it in a German division.
DEFINITION OF FLEXI-TIME
Flexi-time usually refers to a scheduling programme for full-time employees which allows them to choose their starting and finishing times daily, provided they complete a stipulated number of hours. In most instances, all employees may be required to be present during certain “core hours”, which is usually fixed at a period between the latest permissible starting time and earliest permissible finishing time.
Workplaces may be able to extend its operating hours without an increase in salary cost. Reduce Time Wasted
Less time is wasted at the beginning of the workday. If people arrive at different times, the “settling in” period may be less disruptive. Better Personal Responsibilities
Employees are better able to meet their personal responsibilities. For an example those with young children who need to be taken to/from school, or employees who needs to leave early to attend evening classes. This arrangement helps employees to balance their work and personal lives better, thereby increasing their motivation and productivity.
Set and Maintain
Setting up and maintaining a time-keeping system may incur additional cost. Places a Heavier Burden
It places a heavier burden on managers in terms of communication, supervision and scheduling of employees’ working time. Resist Implementation
Some staff may resist its implementation, especially if a certain amount of leeway and tolerance has already been allowed under the existing system. Cause Resentment
Certain categories of staff may be excluded from the flexible system in order to maintain business continuity (eg. customer service staff ) and this could cause resentment among those not selected for the programme.
KEY IMPLEMENTATION CONSIDERATIONS
Efficient Time-Keeping System
An efficient time-keeping system is essential in the implementation of flexi-time No Compromise
Flexi-time arrangements should be implemented without compromising the organisations’ goals For an example service to customers must be maintained and operational requirements must be met. Unnecessary Training
There is a need to provide the necessary training to line managers to...
References: Ivancevich, J.M and Robert Konopaske (2013), “Human Resource Management”, McGraw Hill.
Dessler, G.(2013), Human Resource Management: 13th ed.Pearson.
www.human resource management.com
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