18-11-09 Flexible working hours decrease issues with staff
Partly thanks to the crisis, HR managers have grown more aware of the fact that talent can be kept on board by introducing flexible working hours. Because research into the effects of flexibility on HR management is limited, Heejung Chung of the university of Tilburg conducted a study into how companies in 21 European countries deal with flexible working options.
Flexibility, but for who?
In the course of her research Chung discovered that flexible working schemes are opted for both in function of the employer and the employee. Companies who choose to work with flexible working hours for the benefit of their employees have fewer HR issues than companies who opt for employer-focused schemes. Companies who offer flexibility in function of the employees needs tend to also relatively employ more women. Finally, in countries where female employee numbers are relatively higher, more companies work according to flexible working hours.
Collective Labour Agreement has positive influence
In countries with a strong union presence and a decentralised negotiation system, more companies have employee-oriented structures. Countries with weaker unions and a centralised negotiation system, on the other hand, have more employer-oriented structures. Chung discovered that the presence of some form of employee-representation (e.g. an employees council) or a collective labour agreement has a positive effect on the development of flexible work arrangements.