Explain the concept of flexible working and evaluate the disadvantages and advantages to employers and employees

Essay by darrylhpUniversity, Bachelor'sB, October 2004

download word file, 8 pages 3.3


Dispelling some popular myths, flexible working is not a new concept, since some of the world's leading companies have been offering flexible working schemes for more than ten (10) years. When implemented properly, it can possibly make a difference to the performance of a business. It is noted that

Many people still have an image of traditional working patterns which involve spending Monday to Friday in a workplace with contractual provisions for a 36-40 hour work weeks' holiday.

(Foot & Hook, p.164)

Flexible working aims to give employees the freedom to work anywhere at anytime, with access to all the resources associated with the traditional office environment. It is an approach in organising the way people work together and may affect organisations both internally and the way they interact with trading partners.

The nature of work is being redefined and this has created strong pressures for greater flexibility in patterns of work organisation and in the workforce.

(Mullins, p.579)

Despite the obvious benefits, there are still many obstacles that make flexible working an unpopular option with employers and employees.


The labour market theory include areas such as the analysis of existing resource, human resource demand forecasting, human resource supply forecasting and human resource planning.

These activities are carried out on an ongoing basis. The planning phase cannot be effective for as long as five years, it has to take into consideration the new trends that emerge, while forecasting cannot be precise in knowing the demand or supply of labour. Policies based on such forecast are always adjusted to new information. Taking this into consideration it is said that

The concept of flexibility has developed as a central theme in discussions of how to reshape organisations' labour markets.

(Beardwell & Holden, p.97)