An insider's point of view: how a system of flexible working hours helps employees to strike a proper balance between work and personal life

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Abstract

Increasing numbers of organisations offer flexible working hours to help employees balance work and personal life. However, studies about the effects of flexible working hours on work-life balance and organisational outcomes are ambiguous. The aim of this study is to gain greater insights into how employees experience the influence of flexible working hours on their work-life balance. A qualitative research was performed by in-depth interviews with a variant sample of 15 employees and thematic analysis of the data. The more family responsibilities the respondents have, the more they tend to perceive flexible working hours as a necessity rather than an extra benefit. According to the interviewees, the system creates a situation which is advantageous for both employer and employee. The extent to which this is achieved though depends on how organisations apply and implement it. It is concluded that when flexible working hours are supported by management and fit the work culture, they are highly appreciated both for private and work-related reasons. Moreover, its meaning for the private life varies according to life stage. Findings are important for policy makers and human resources managers alike in order to implement and deal with flexible working hours effectively. Consequently, this will help employees strike a proper balance between work and personal life generating beneficial organisational outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1111
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume25
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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