What is Work Life Flexibility?

Work life flexibility is important to have an effective and productive work at the workplace. It is seen that there are various advantages on having flexibility in work life. Having an appropriate work life balance is also essential to have a healthy lifestyle and a successful career. Work life flexibility helps the employee to be more responsible towards his family and adjust himself in various situations.

The traditional method of job is found to be from 9am to 5pm. This is usually found as working hours in office. However, this traditional method of office hours is dying with time. In the modern world, people think that this traditional method of office hours does not make any practical sense. It is seen in the modern world that both the parents of a family are working. They need to stay outside the house more than they can give time to their family. It is seen that it becomes difficult for the parents to give time to their children and understand and fulfill their needs. This results to dissatisfaction among the family members and the children as the parents could not give ample time to their children. On having flexibility in working hours, these parents can provide time to their family and children whenever they need them and pursue their professional life thereafter.

Flexibility in working hours means that the employee does not have to arrive and leave his office at the same time. The employee can arrive and leave the office as per his convenience. However, the employee has to finish his work during his stay in office. Flexibility in working hours also refers to completing the work on time and maintaining the decorum of the company even though the person is physically not present in the office. Sometimes, it is seen that the family members of the employee is unwell and the employee has some urgent work in his office. The condition of his family does not permit the employee to leave the person back at home. This would not allow him to play the role of a responsible family man. However, the work at his office is equally important and he cannot afford to betray the trust of the company. Under this situation, if the company provides the person to work from home, it would help the person to play the role of a responsible family men as well as he does not have to betray the trust of his company and do his work from home. This type of flexibility helps the person to be happy as he can provide time to his family as well as can perform his duty towards the office simultaneously. Thus, it would help the person to maintain his work life balance and flexibility can be seen as an alternative to the balance between work life.

Work Life Flexibility

There are various theories that are based on the knowledge of work life flexibility. This includes spill over, compensation, ecological theories and other theories. These theories give an idea about the advantages and disadvantages of flexibilities of work life over work life balance. The theory of spill over is focused on the spillover of moods, values, behaviors and skills. Two interpretations of spill over are found in this case. The first one is positive association between the satisfaction of work and life and values of work and life. The second interpretation is between transferences in whole of behaviors and skills among various domains like fatigues from work place, or when the demand of family interfere the demand of work. The theory of compensation refers to the efforts involved in having the negative experience in a particular experience when the person have increased effort in positive experience in another domain. There are two categories of the compensation theories; supplemental and reactive. When a person gets insufficient positive experience at work, he pursues it at home. This is known as supplemental compensation. When the positive experiences at home makes up for the negative experiences at work, this is called reactive compensation. It is seen that people who experience negative effect in their family, tends to be more engaged in their work place and they are consistent in their work. The theory of ecology refers to the fact that life and work are joint function of person, process, context, and characteristics of time. It is seen that each function creates an additive effect on the experience of work and life. It is seen that when a person can provide time to both his family and work, he becomes the happiest person on earth. The person can focus completely on his career and he do not have to worry about his home and family during office hours. Similarly, when a person provides time to his family and can satisfy the needs of the family members, he feels to complete his duty as a family man. The person does not have to worry about his office work when he stays with his family. This shows that there exists a relationship between work and life and joint function of these two aspects makes a man happy and he has a healthy relationship in their social, physical and natural environments.

Another aspect of work life flexibility is that it helps to reduce the stress of a person. Providing flexibility in the work arrangements reduces the stress in employees and it helps them to stay fit and healthy. It is also seen that flexibility in work life helps the employees to stay more satisfied with their life, more satisfied with their jobs and experience a better balance between work and life. It is seen that the employees who have flexibility in their work life, have higher fitness of work life than the people do not have the flexibility. Flexibility in work life is seen to have an advantage over its non flexibility part. It is seen that the people who experience flexibility in work life have more concentration in their work and they are seen to be highly engaged in their work. It is also seen that these people less likely look for a change in their job and enjoy their current job by planning to build a career in their current job. It is also seen that these employees have a better mental health, better overall stress and lower levels of stress.

Flexibility in the work life provides the worker with more control and choice which helps provides a positive impact on the health of the employee. It is found that employees who are open to flexibility in their workplace are more creative and they are less likely to have cardio vascular diseases. It is also seen that the employees who have flexibility in their work life can sleep more than the people who do not have flexibility in their workplace. Flexibility helps the employees to have a better level of health and this helps them to show a better level of creativity at their work place. It also helps the employees to have a better lifestyle behavior and would help to reduce the absentees at their work. The employees tend to have reduced level of stress and work related impairments. They also have better mental health as it is seen that there exist a strong correlation between flexible arrangements of work and better status of mental health. Thus, flexibility in work life helps to have a better lifestyle and creativity in work and it could be seen as a replacement to work life balance.

Its also found that flexibility in work life helps to reduce negative spillover. It was seen that employees who have higher level of stress in their jobs or are highly involved in their job and spend most of their time in job tends to have higher level of interference of work with their family life instead of the interference of the family in their job life. However, employees who have flexibility on their schedule are found to experience lower amount of spillover of their job stress in their family life. Flexibility in the work life also improves the balance in their work and family life as it allows the employees to spend time with their family members whenever the need and they there is less family interference with work and work interference with family.

However, it is also seen that there is a negative impact of the flexibility in the work life. It is seen that flexibility at work place can do harm to the employees as it encourages the culture of “always on” and this culture takes a heavy toll on their physic. Flexibility at work life increases the risk of poor working conditions and can isolate them from various opportunities of career and social networks. It is also seen that flexibility at work place keeps the level of stress hormones at dangerously high level. Flexibility also interrupts the body cycle and of the employee and it creates various health issues for the employee. There are various negative impacts of the flexibility at work place. However, the advantages of the flexibility at work life exceed the negative issues. Thus, flexibility at work life can be used to replace work life balance.

It can be concluded that flexibility in the work life have various positive impact on an employee. It is seen that flexibility reduces the stress of an employee, reduces the negative spillover between work and family and increases the positive spillover in the form of financial security of his family and avail various opportunities for personal growth and be a better family member. Flexibility at work life is seen to improve the balance between family life and work life and reduces the conflict of work and family. Flexibility at work life also increases the balance between work and life and the employee gets time to enjoy his personal space. It is seen that flexibility at work life provides a better physical and mental well being to the employee. The employee can focus completely on his work and also provide his best attention to his family members when they need him. Thus, it can be concluded that flexibility in work life can replace the work life balance.

It is recommended that companies must provide the option of flexibilities in the work life of their employees. This would help them to provide a better work culture to their employees and the employees can provide their best work to the companies. It is recommended that the employees must also avail the option of flexibility in their work life so that they can lead a happy family life and can balance between work life and family life.

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