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Work-life Balance and Flexible Working Arrangements. Věra Kuchařová, Research Institute For Labour and Social Affairs. Contents. Basic questions about the use of f lexible w orking a rrangements - FWA Demand- supply relations (E-ers x E-ees) Expectations and reality of FWA

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work life balance and flexible working arrangements

Work-life Balance and Flexible Working Arrangements

Věra Kuchařová,

Research Institute For Labour and Social Affairs

contents
Contents
  • Basic questions about the use of flexible working arrangements - FWA
  • Demand- supply relations (E-ers x E-ees)
  • Expectations and reality of FWA
  • Positives and negatives of flexibility
data sources
Data sources
  • Primary data:
  • GGS – Generation and Gender Survey (2005)
  • FEE – Family,Employment, Education (2006-2007)
  • Published data:
  • Eurostat
  • European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
basic questions on incidence and extension of flexible work arrangements
Basic questions on incidence and extension of flexible work arrangements
  • Where – which spheres of labour market
  • Who I – which groups of employees or social groups use/can use particular forms of employment
  • Who II – which employers (sector, branch, type of ownership)
  • When I – in what life situations employees/groups of employees use FWA
  • When II – under what conditions the employers introduce FWA
  •  Possibilities of interrelationship of employees’ and employers’ interests – a distribution of tensions
forms of work flexibility main
Forms of work flexibility (main)
  • Flexibility of place: regular/irregular,working from home
  • Flexibility of time:
  • Part-time jobs(based on daily or weekly basis, or organised as changing weeks or as temporary work)
  • Flexitime(flexible starting and finishing time, compressed work week, working time account)
  • Work sharing(job sharing, job splitting)
  • Work on call
  • Negative flexibility: work overtime, shift-work, work in unsocial (unusual) time
features of work from home
Features of work from home
  • Homeworking – manual work prevails,more often demanding lower skills, which corresponds with people’s demand – namely among caring people and people coping with unemployment, those who are repetedly on maternity/[parental leave; disabled people; foreigners, those who need to lower „side costs“ of their employment (e.g. on commuting);
  • Teleworking – connected with IT→ higher education – people’s interest is growing

There are not significant differences by gender in general, more important is current individual situation

the pros and cons work from home
The pros and cons– work from home
  • Under questions:

Extend of free choice, impacts on further career, adequacy of financial remuneration and other forms of evaluation

  • Positives: free working hours, work close to family, compatibility with other activities
  • Negatives: social isolation, inaccessibility of benefits, employee bears a part of costs Risks: often non-use of contracts, (un)certainty of employment + ambivalence ofadvantages and disadvantages
part time job
Part-time job
  • The most frequent form of FWA, although it is used by 8 % of women and 2 % of men
  • Complicated relations between supply and demand :
  • employees: strong reasons bothin favour (family, health, style of living, life-cycle) and against (finances, career)
  • for employers most important are characteristics of a working position (differences by occupations, branches etc.), employees’ needs reflected to a different extend
slide12

Influence of the phase of family cycle – family conditions Share of women working full-time according to number of children and age of children(GGS, %)

slide13

Part-time jobs – experience by position in a family(FEE)

Reasons for refusal/non use of part-time jobs:

  • Lone mothers: not interested (31%); not possible at the current employer (11%); finances (40%)
  • Married mothers: not interested(47%); not possible at the current employer (21%); finances (17%)
  • Married fathers: not interested(45%); not possible at the current employer (7%);finances (43%)
slide14

How partners combine full-time and part-time work, age 20-49, at least one of them employed(Eurostat)

flexible working time
Flexible working time
  • Has beeen becoming more demanded, prefered to part-time work – it reduces risks of PTJ (financial, social, career)
  • Organisations offer less often than PTJ
  • Main risk for employees: difficult predictability
  • Not used according to employees’ preferences , but rather the employers’needs(GGS)
slide18
Extend of satisfied interest in a length of working time – men and women - parents of children up to 7 years (FEE)
job sharing
Job sharing
  • Very rare form
  • Employers do not see advatages, find it complicated (difficult organization), do not understand the principle
  • Employees – neutral/ambivalent attitudes (as those concerning part-timer jobs)
negative flexibility
Negative flexibility
  • More ferquent than ther types of flexibility
  • Work overtime: 19 % women, 27 % men
  • Shift work: 27 % women, 24 % men
  • Work in unusual time-e.g. on Saturdays (most often): 35 % women, 47 % men

(Source: regular Sample survey of labour fource)

work overtime
Work overtime
  • Longterm high incidence in Europe incl. CR
  • Employers – a measure of flexibility
  • Employees – source of higher income vs. worse quality of life – interest in WO has been decreasing
  • May be misused by employers, but also mixed with „positive“ flexibility measures
work in unsocial unusual time
Work in unsocial/unusual time
  • Ineterests of employees: financial, variable time arrangements, work-life balance (less effective than other forms), possibility of a second job
  • Impacts: exhaustment, health, family life
  • Inerest of employers: ekonomy in investments, technological changes
slide24

Summary

  • High declared interest of employees
  • Diskrepancy of expectations of employers and employees is sometimes dificult to get over
  • Insufficiant knowledge of employees about cosequences of flexible regimes
summary continues
Summary– continues
  • ¾ employers find the extend of a supply of FWA as sufficiant from the point of view of organisations
  • and 1/5 of them find the extend of a supply of FWA as sufficiant from the point of view of employees’ interests; only 5 % plan changes
  • Employers’ refusal sometimes based on little practice and information
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