Flexibility in working and balancing the work-life are two important present-day agendas persisting in organizations which have both negative and positive impact on the organization and its work. Due to the increased work load, many employees are leaving the job (Richmond., 2008). So to decrease the rate of joblessness in the organizations, many organizations are making many strategies. For that the interests got hiked in the concept of the flexibility in the workforce and the advantages that the employees will get by enjoying more personal time which will reduce the costs of employees for the employers (Bergqvist & Vestin., 2014).
Below in the study, we are going to discuss about the work life balance in organization and different responses of the employees about it. Based on the case study “Flexibility and work-life balance: who benefits?” some questions were answered and data were analyzed.
First the discussion will be about, if Juliet Bourke is correct about the using flexibility concept has gone on some another track. In earlier time, there was an increased demand of talents but now a days employers are not interested in talent or work. Their main focus is to reduce the work week and arrange the works in more flexible ways so that they can retain the staff (Insights., 2012). So the employers are now reducing the staff to increase the opportunity to create new positions in the company and finding new ways of jobs so that the employees will get enough time to maintain their work life by working flexibly.
Observing the flow of the write up, it is clear that Juliet Bourke is not at ease with the “reshaped” argument for flexibility is on progress. According to Juliet, the flexibility at work place, which is intended to reduce overheads and boost the productivity is actually a shift from the target and is not for betterment of the organization (Best., et al., 2003). As per Bourke, the shift in workplace flexibility paradigm can lead to result in serious consequences, as the control is getting decentralized and the line of thinking can be more changed. Her views on the flexibility and work place can be found at her website, which she created to help industries and corporates. At times of economic crisis the employees can visualize the use of flexibility at work as a golden opportunity in a negative way. By doing this the employers can reduce the working time of the employees who are not required at that time and can give the workload to those who have to work for longer hours. This will lead to increased work load on the long working workers and will give a negative effect to the organization as well as on the health of the employees (Peppers, & Rogers., 2012).
As the only advantage across the organizations to support the concept of work life balance is flexibility, so for balancing the new requirements, some organizations should create long lasting solutions working flexibility and utilizing the job design (Al-Saidi., 2015). In the duration of time some situations arises when the client reduces the demand due to down time of the market. Due to this the employers reduces the working time by using the working flexibility arrangements and can increase the chance of improving the balance of work life. The main element of this plan is the programs for the flexibility of the employees and employee assistance. This will work for the development of the varied and high executing staff to meet the present and future goals of the company. To avoid the rate of redundancy, the option of taking leave should be there with proper distribution of the salaries. But there are also some organizations where even after proper work/life balance, redundancy cannot be avoided. There are also some benefits which the organization found out from the strategies of work life balance i.e. the executives are taking this time to discover new ways of working to reduce the costs and the redundancy rate. According the view of the executives a company needs staff which are committed to the work so as to get profit and continue the process of being profitable. If the working culture supports the work-life balance then the engagement of the employees will be high. (Friedman., et al., 2001)Whether the staff is working part time or full time, the flexibility will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the of the workers.
In case of the slowdown, posting and flexibility in work, all the reductions in staff is done during the recession and during that time employees have to be alert about the surroundings. During this time the employees have an idea that they have to work more and more hard and long to get the profit and increase their demand when the downtown will end (Linzer., n.d). As, most of the companies work to gain more from the less, they have to work and redesign the program for redundancy, otherwise they can harm themselves by their own strategy.
From the above discussion we can conclude that the concept of flexibility has increased and moved to a greater extent which is required at this age and can’t be avoided. As everything has the pros and cons, this also have its own merit and demerits and to get the profit from it, a suitable management and strategy us required to lead the staff to a direction of being an efficient workforce having a work life balance (Ong., 2010).
Now the discussion will be about the effects of the excessive workloads on the employees’ as well as the managers’ performances. The working style of different employees is different so as to complete the tasks and responsibilities given to them. The excessive hours of working has been divided into different categories depending on the following requirements (Anttila., 2005):
Mostly this has negative effect on the performance of the employees along with all the people related with them and this also includes the family members of the employees. From study of many researchers it is always indicated that the employees related to long working hours have the highest rate of complexity in relationship associated with risk (Berg., et al., 2003). This happens as the long working hours come with many different influential factors like job, performance, controlling employees, responsibilities other than work and social life deformities. The negativity of the long working time also includes problems like, sleeplessness, contribution of less time for the family and other responsibilities related to personal life. All these factors have hostile effect on the health of the employees like fatigue, turmoil, uneasiness and negative attitudes towards the work which will lead to the decrease in the performance quality. Low quality of performance will affect the employer in a negative way, like the increase in production cost and reduced quality of product and services. The people who works about 24 hours shift or around that time, consequences in the decline in alertness, lack of concentration and attention which in result shows the effect in health and errors and detection of different diseases in the reports. Working for long hours sitting on a place and using mobile phones can cause the problem of stress and stressed nerve cells which in turn fallouts in the deprivation in both the business as well as the employees’ performances.
So from the above discussion it came out to light that if the workers are continuing to work for long time then there can be negative consequences on the performance along with the health of the workers which can low down their interest in working if adequate incentives are not provided to them. So to keep on the uplift of the performance of the employees, the higher employees should do their best to motivate the employees and try to make them understand about the responsibilities they have given and how important they are for the company (Thorne., & Pellant., 2007). They should also make the workers understand why they have given the responsibilities and are made to work hard. To make the employees work hard for longer time, the managers have to perform some activities and some of the activities are as follows:
So to keep the workers to work for longer time, they should be motivated by proper incentives, extra wages, promotions etc. and by this process the employees will feel their responsibilities and its importance (Tandon., & Tyagi., 2012).
Now the discussion will be about how the employers could implement the work life balance at the time of the downturn. Now a days, the benefits of the work life plan has changed to the psychological need such as employee fitness centers, dry cleaning services, etc. from the previous benefits like company cars, houses, etc. There are any companies who does not want to take or cannot afford the monetary recompenses trend which was prevailing in companies from longer time. After redundancy, managing the remaining work force is very important and this can be done by combining the new benefits with some of the traditional agendas like insurance facilities along with retirement plans (Campbell., & Reyes-Picknell., 2015). The remaining employees will be responsible to bring back the company to its original standard as well as back to the competition.
Due to the increased competition in the work environment and its pressure, the employers and the governments are giving stress to the employees which in turn start struggling between the work and family life (Duxbury., et al., 2003). Sometimes due to the downturn the financial level decreases so much the employers have to deduct the previous announced changes in the policies or even the existing policies, which decreases the interest of the employees and increases the feeling of bitterness about the company within the employees. The stress of workload as well as the increased tension of the job security leads to the different health problem of the employees (Appelbaum., 2013).
To keep the enthusiasm of the workers, the employees have to ensure them that this time of downturn will pass soon and they will be affected less. The employers should make them aware of the positive aspects of the flexibility of the working hour (Messmer., 2011). The workers should know the importance of their presence in the company and the company should tell them the problem it is facing openly and should ensure that they will get their working share and will work for less time as soon as the downturn will end. All these things will make the workers motivated to work hard and take the company out of the recession period so as to get the proper rewards afterwards. Allocation of the resources must be done during the downturn may be it is human resource, capital or time. The workers should be motivated to finish the work in time and should be provided with a work structure (Ulrich., 2013). So to accomplish the work on time, the employees should be given a training of time management as well as should be given knowledge about the importance of the time beforehand. There should be time duration of all the task and the important tasks should be lined of first to make them done in the given deadline.
Due to the increase in the work load many complaints arises, so to balance them and keep the work going in proper manner, an open communication should prevail vertically and horizontally in an organization (Vagadia., 2014). This will also result in a quality teamwork and peace and harmony will prevail throughout the company and the output from this will be great. By the involvement of the employees in the decision making, the employees will feel attached to the employees and the commitment of the employees toward he employer will increase. The employees should be empowered and should be given confidence that they can achieve the goal in the given time. This will lead to proper management of the employees as well as optimum output can be taken out from them. Giving rewards to the employees is very much required in all the cases may be it is during the downturn or during the time when the company is at a good position. Otherwise it can hamper the performance and interest of the employees and they will not at all be profitable to the company as their grievances will be high and they will not be able to maintain the balance of the work life and flexibility will be gone.
The employers should be responsible and attentive all the time and they should treat all the employees equally. The employers should be totally biased free and should not show the partiality nature even if they are impressed by any set of employees and distressed by the other set. They should assign the tasks equally and also not show the partiality while distributing the key tasks. Otherwise there can be development of antipathy in between the employees and thus the output will decline. To lead an effective employment of the contribution of the work, an appropriate decision making is required (Goss., 2015).
By using all the above procedures, the concept of work life balance can be implemented during the downturn of the company even with the help of less employees.
Nowadays people are made to work with changing working time and time limits and this to attain the goal of the business, the company need to implement the flexibility in the working environment. The company have to achieve different requirements like customers’ satisfaction, and achievement of the business needs in the given time as well as the employees’ expectations to make a balance between the working life and the personal life. Along with the positivity of the work life balance and flexible working condition, there are also some negativity in the plan. So to carry out optimum output at the time of downturn the employer and the employee have to work with mutual cooperation by managing the resources and handling the grievances properly.
Al-Saidi, R. M. (2015). The Impact of Advanced Technology on Work-Life Balance for the Administrative Staff at UNRWA-Gaza Field Office.
Anttila, T. (2005). Reduced working hours: Reshaping the duration, timing and tempo of work. University of Jyväskylä.
Appelbaum, E. (2013). The impact of new forms of work organization on workers. Work and Employment in the High Performance Workplace, 120.
Berg, P., Kalleberg, A. L., & Appelbaum, E. (2003). Balancing work and family: The role of high‐commitment environments. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 42(2), 168-188.
Bergqvist, S., & Vestin, M. (2014). MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCIES DISCURSIVE CONSTRUCTION OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE: A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF WEB PAGES.
Best, R., Langston, C. A., & De Valence, G. (2003). Workplace strategies and facilities management. Routledge.
Campbell, J. D., & Reyes-Picknell, J. V. (2015). Uptime: Strategies for excellence in maintenance management. CRC Press.
Duxbury, L. E., Higgins, C. A., & Coghill, D. (2003). Voices of Canadians: Seeking work-life balance. Ottawa, ON: Human Resources Development Canada, Labour Program.
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