Human Resource Management: Workplace Flexibility Schedules
MGMT2008 Human Resource Management Introduction – Assignment 2 Flexible Work Arrangements: the “New Normal” or Does Face Time Still Reign?
More and more employees are free to work outside of the office, usually facilitated by virtual communication tools such as teleconferences, videoconferences and intranets with remote log-in. Telework and flexible work schedules are the most commonly known and applied workplace flexibility practices. Statistics from the American Community Survey (US Census Bureau) data show nearly 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2011) estimates one in every 12 workers (764,700) did more hours at home than any other single location in their main or second job.
Flexible work schedules are widely adopted phenomena that have been studied quite extensively for their effects on individual and organizations. However, the research does not lead to a simple one way is right and the other is wrong answer. Rather, it clearly establishes that under certain conditions, remote working is in fact preferable, while it simply is not in others. In other words, it all depends!
In fact, some organisations have taken a step away from such workplace flexibility practices. For example, back in 2013, the then new CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, sent out an internal memo that employees would no longer be permitted to work remotely. The memo was leaded to the press as an indication of the disquiet felt by many Yahoo workers, as well as by those supporting flexible work arrangements. This memo has sparked a debate on whether remote working leads to greater productivity and job satisfaction or kills creativity and is just a chance to slack off. Several companies decided to follow Yahoo’s move, for example, Best Buy terminated its ground-breaking flexible work program Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). These companies claim that while work from home was good for some workers, in the macro scheme of consideration, such work arrangement slows down overall productivity. Do you agree or disagree these companies’ change in terms of their flexible working arrangement?
Please Write a 2,000 word essay (you are allowed to go over or under by 200 words >10% of the overall word count)
1. Specify whether you are agree or disagree with the movement to cut back on flexible working arrangement. In doing so:
1) Describe what is flexible work arrangement.
2) Explain three positive effects of flexible work arrangement on employees and organisations.
3) Explain three negative effects of flexible work arrangement on employees and organisations.
2. If companies do not offer employees flexible working arrangements for fear of reduced collaboration and innovation, are there creative solutions that would allow companies to offer some kind of flexibility to reduce this potential negative impact? Please provide at least two recommendations.
Please see below for the Yahoo internal memo
YAHOO! PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION — DO NOT FORWARD
Over the past few months, we have introduced a number of great benefits and tools to
make us more productive, efficient and fun. With the introduction of initiatives like FYI, Goals
and PB&J, we want everyone to participate in our culture and contribute to the positive
momentum. From Sunnyvale to Santa Monica, Bangalore to Beijing — I think we can all feel
the energy and buzz in our offices.
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be
important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all
present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and
cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and
quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that
starts with physically being together.
Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work
in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next
steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please
use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your
day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our
Thanks to all of you, we’ve already made remarkable progress as a company — and the best
is yet to come.
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