Monday 19 August, 2019

'Public sector workers positively affected by flexi-work arrangements'

Head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, Danny Roberts. (Photo via JIS)

Head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, Danny Roberts. (Photo via JIS)

A significant 70 per cent of public sector workers who are engaged in flexi-work arrangements have expressed that their personal and family life have been positively affected.

Workers have also found that flexi-work arrangements have resulted in them achieving higher levels of motivation.
The findings are contained in a study that was undertaken by the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute at The UWI Open Campus.

It also found that nearly 60 per cent of workers and 55 per cent of supervisors and managers believed that engaging in flexible work arrangements has also helped to reduce absenteeism from work.

Employees of the National Housing Trust, National Water Commission, National Works Agency and the HEART Trust/NTA, participated in the study.

Head of the Institute, Danny Roberts, said just over 50 per cent of workers, supervisors and managers stated that flexible work arrangements also contributed to a reduction in the levels of stress encountered at the workplace.

“Among the employees working under flexible work arrangements, only 50 per cent were convinced that it led to more employee engagement, while about 40 per cent of supervisors and managers believed that it did,” Roberts said. 

“The study further showed that only 40 per cent of workers and 35 per cent  of supervisors and managers were convinced that the implementation of flexible time in their respective organisations impacted employee commitment,” Roberts added.

Only 10 per cent of managers and supervisors were of the view that flexi-work arrangements led to improved wages while 17 per cent of workers thought they did.

However, more employees (60%) than supervisors/managers (52%) were of the opinion that flexible work arrangement was helping to improve productivity, while 68 per cent of employees and 54 per cent of supervisors/managers believed that better customer service quality as well as improved customer satisfaction can be achieved under flexible work arrangements.

Roberts has cautioned that these findings should be taken cautiously and treated as preliminary work for further action.  He noted that some of the areas measured by the survey, such as productivity and absenteeism, are based primarily on subjective findings.  Other areas like customer service satisfaction are best answered by the customers themselves Roberts said.

Flexible working gives employees flexibility on how long, where and when they work. Employees access flexible working through human resources policies, which usually require supervisory approval.


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