Essay on Different Types Of Flexible Work

Essay on Different Types Of Flexible Work

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There are two types of flexible work. They are numerical flexibility and functional flexibility (Kalleberg, 2001). Functional flexibility can be described as modifying tasks and allowing employees to gain skills in order to improve performance. In contrast, numerical flexibility reduces costs by modifying the quantity of employees (Voudouris, 2007). Flexibility as a concept arose from the social and economic changes which meant organisations needed to become more flexible to enhance competitiveness (Kalleberg, 2001). This essay will concentrate on numerical flexibility and in particular part-time work, temporary/fixed-term work and zero-hours contracts. The list is greater but due to word count the focus will remain on this four. I will begin by defining each type. Part-time workers can be defined as employees that work fewer hours than those on a full-time contract. Temporary/fixed-term workers employment will come to end when they are no longer required. The difference between the two is that a fixed-term contract has an end date (GOV.UK, 2014). Zero-hours contracts contain no contractual hours. Workers on these contracts go to work when the employer needs them (GOV.UK, 2015). Bryson and Scurry (2001) say policy makers deregulated flexibility policies that were originally created to improve conditions for workers. This was because of the improvement flexibility can make to business efficiency. Numerical flexibility is mainly in the interest of the organisation with little concern for the employees. Like many management initiatives numerical flexibility carries benefits for an organisation but it can also present challenges or disadvantages. I will examine whether it is sensible for organisations to adopt this po...


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...flexibility instead is insecure and precarious which does not provide employees attractive reasons to remain in an organisation. Conley (2006) said that the majority of resignations tended to come from temporary/fixed-term workers. This is a disadvantage to the organisation because it is not simply the cost of an employee leaving but it is the finding a replacement. Bryson and Scurry (2010) also state that finding a replacement requires the time and money of recruitment and selection. Following these costs the replacement has to be trained which takes time away from work and is costly. Indirectly customer service satisfaction might fall as a result. Rodriguez (2003) agrees that recruitment of temporary workers is costly and has a further cost to the organisation as layoffs of temporary staff reduces morale and an unsettled workforce since it is always changing.

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