Importance Of Work-Life Flexibility InBusiness Operations

Work-life Balance Replacement over Work-life Flexibility in Business Organizations

Business organizations nowadays face increasing pressure for producing higher quality products and services in order to survive in competitive environment. As such, businesses tend to adopt innovative ways of carrying out their operational activities with the optimum utilization of resources. Businesses, in this context, are emphasizing on adopting new patterns of working that is able to achieve congruence between business and employees needs and expectations. In this direction, flexible working is emerging as an innovative way to achieve employee satisfaction without compromising on business needs and requirements. There are different ways of flexible working provided by the employer to the employees so that they can attain personal as well as professional life balance. The flexible nature of working is the major workplace change that is impacting the nature of business operations to a large extent. Businesses are relying on flexible working pattern for enhancing employee’s organizational commitment and thus achieving customer satisfaction by providing them higher quality products and services (Clutterbuck, 2003). This research paper is based on discussing and providing an understanding of the significance of the concept of ‘work-life flexibility’. The main purpose of the present research paper is to emphasize and analyze the replacement of work life balance with work-life flexibility in competitive business environment of today. The research paper is based on the theme of analyzing the increasing importance of work-life flexibility over work-life balance in businesses worldwide.

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The employees nowadays have growing need of attaining balance between work and personal life for effectively carrying out their personal as professional duties. As such, the employees tend to achieve work-life balance by properly prioritizing between their work and personal life responsibilities. The trend of achieving work-life balance is growing among the employees as it impacts their well-being and is essential for their welfare and development. The businesses have also recognized the importance of work-life balance for employees as it impacts the employee’s performances at workplaces. Thus, developing a balance between work-life is not only requires for promoting well-being of employees but is also related with the productivity of the employees. The employees with maintaining a balance between their personal and work life can be more efficient as they have reduced mental stress. The employees are able to concentrate properly on their job by achieving a balance in their work and personal life (Black, 2009).

The employers have also properly understood the negative impacts of increasing work pressure on the employees. The work stress can negatively impact the personal life of employees and thus they can become less productive with increased level of mental stress. In this context, the boundary theory in organizational behavior states that drawing a line between personal and professional life is essential for reducing emotional exhaustion and improving job satisfaction of employees. The boundary theory helps both the employees and employers in developing an understanding of the need of achieving a balance between the work roles and demands of personal lives (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011). The concept of work-life balance is becoming a contemporary issue as it is impacting the quality of community life. The increasing pressure on employees from their job roles is deteriorating their home and community life. As such, the employers are emphasizing on providing flexibility to employees so that they can achieve a balance in their work-life and thus achieve satisfaction in their societal life also. The employers in this context have implemented strategies such as decreasing the number of working hours, promoting breaks, providing family benefits and providing vacations and paternity leaves to the employees. However, the employees despite of all the strategies adopted by businesses nowadays for achieving work-life balance are struggling to attain congruence in their personal and professional life (Lewis et al., 2016).  

Different Forms of Flexible Working

The flexibility way of working has evolved as a better alternative for employers in order to provide work-life balance to employees. Flexible working can help employers to match the business needs with the employee’s societal life and thus enhancing their productivity at workplaces. Flexible working can be described as working pattern offered to the employees as per their individual needs and requirements. The major benefit of flexible working to the employees is that they can effectively meet their personal liabilities besides carrying out their job roles. This helps the employees to develop a greater sense of responsibility, ownership and control over their working life. The employers will be able to develop more loyalty and commitment in the employees by providing them flexible working opportunities. Flexible working offers the opportunity to employees to select their duration of working and place of work as per their convenience. Thus, employees can attain a better work-life balance by aligning their personal and professional roles as per their needs and requirements (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011).

There are various forms of flexible working provided by the employer to the employees such as part-time work, flexitime, job sharing, short work and working from home. The part-time work is when the employees have the contract of working less than the normal full-time of working. For example, in Britain it has been estimated that 25% of total workers have adopted part-time pattern of flexible working. The major advantage of this type of flexible working besides work-life balance is that employers can use machinery and other equipments more efficiently. However, the major disadvantage is that employers may incur high cost in recruiting and training the part-time employees. The flexi-time allows employees to select their own limits of working that is they have the authority to work as per their requirement. Employees can work during core times for determine number of hours as per their convenient timings. The major benefit of this type of working to employers is that they can provide standard hours of working to all the employees. However, it is also associated with drawback of increased administrative costs involved in maintaining record of employees (Lewis et al., 2016). .

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Besides these, there are other forms of flexible working as well. The job sharing is also regarded as a type of part-time flexible working involving two or more people to share the responsibility mutually of a full-time job. The benefits of the job are shared in equal proportion between the employees working to complete the job. The major benefit of this type of flexible working is that employees can attain flexibility in working during peak times and thus can reduce the workload effectively. The major drawback involves high cost of induction incurred to the employers for detailing the job requirements to several employees. In the other hand, shift work represents the pattern of flexible working in which an employee replaces another person in a job within a period of 24 hours. Thus, shift teams rotate their hours of working as per their morning, afternoon and night shifts (Sweet, 2013). The major benefit of shift works to the employers so that it reduces the unit costs as capital equipment can be used more effectively in shift working. Also, employers can provide flexible working pattern to employees during the core times of work. However, it also increases the labor costs for employers as they have to recruit higher number of employees for different shift hours of working. The employees are also provided the opportunity to work from home by the employer so that they can properly carry out their personal life’s responsibility. Employees can flexible work from home as per their convenient timings that result in achieving a greater balance between their personal and work life. The major benefit of work from home flexible working to the employers is gaining access to wide pool of competent employees who are physically unable to come to the office premises. The major drawback associated is communication issues and difficulty in monitoring performances of employees (Shermon, 2016).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Flexible Working

The flexibility way of working results in increased motivation of employees through achieving their job satisfaction. In this context, the two-factor theory of motivation proposed by Herzberg’s that helps in developing an understanding of the factors in the workplace that results in increased job satisfaction of employees. The most important factor as per the theory responsible for increased motivation of employees at work is empowerment. The employee empowerment refers to providing more authority to employees for making the decisions related to their working life. Thus, employers can achieve employee empowerment by providing them opportunity to work flexibly and thus attain congruence between their personal and professional life. The work-life flexibility will provide greater authority to employees over their work life and this will result in increasing their organizational commitment resulting in their greater productivity at work. Thus, it can be inferred from the Herzberg theory of motivation that employees can be motivated to work hard by providing them empowerment to take the decisions related to their nature of working at workplaces (Promes, 2016).

The concept of work-life flexibility is greater replacing the concept of work-life balance with the adoption of newer forms of flexible working. The employees nowadays largely emphasizes on work-life flexibility instead of work-life balance as it provides them an opportunity to achieve balance in their work life. The concept of work-life balance does not necessarily integrate the method of flexible working for achieving a balance in the quality of personal and professional life. The work-life balance emphasizes on achieving balance in the personal and professional life of employees through other means besides flexible working such as through providing leaves and vacations. However, the employers at present are emphasizing on integrating the concept of achieving work-life flexibility that helps them to attain work life balance without providing the benefits of leaves and vacations. The employers can attain congruence between the personal and professional life through adopting flexible working life (Sweet, 2013).

Flexible working life will provide greater benefits to both the employer and employees. The employees can spend more quality time with their families and also will have sufficient time for involving in leisure activities thus achieving mental satisfaction. The mental peace will enable employees to perform their work role more appropriately and thus improving the profitability of business organizations. The employers can also achieve job satisfaction of employees through providing them opportunity to work flexibly. The businesses nowadays are under increasing pressure to meet the rapidly changes needs and demands of customers and thus attaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace (Ozbilgin, 2015). As such, they are increasingly placing focus on providing a healthy work environment to the employees that helps them to enhance their productivity and thus appropriately meeting the customer needs and demands. Thus, flexible pattern of working is providing an interesting opportunity to businesses to achieve employee satisfaction at work by helping them to achieve work-life balance (Promes, 2016).


The businesses continually adapt to the changes in the external market place for staying competitive in nature. The organizational changes tend to modify the business procedures for meeting the customer needs adequately. As such, flexible pattern of working is becoming major organizational change that is impacting the business operations of organizations worldwide. The organizations are rapidly integrating the concept of work-life flexibility for their increasing profitability and maintaining their competitive advantage in the marketplace. The adoption of flexible working policy is helping businesses across the world to improve their production levels, providing better customer service and achieving greater employee retention and satisfaction. The flexible hours of working help employees to make advancement both in their career and societal life thus maintaining their life quality (Shermon, 2016). Therefore, it can be said that work-life flexibility is increasing gaining importance over the concept of work-life balance in business world presently.

On the basis of above discussion, it is recommended to the business organizations that they should provide the opportunity of flexible working to the employees for increasing their organizational commitment level. The work-life flexibility is essential for the employees as they are facing increasing pressure of achieving balance in their work related and personal duties and responsibilities. The longer duration of working at workplace often results in increasing level of mental stress to the employees thus negatively impacting their societal life. The increased mental stress as such impacts their productivity at work resulting in their poor performance at workplace. The businesses nowadays are recognizing the significance of work-life balance in the life of employees and thus integrating the concept of flexible nature of working. The work-life flexibility helps employees to carry out their job and personal roles properly and thereby promoting their personal health and satisfaction (Ramsdal, 2016). This in turn increases their productivity at work and helping businesses to appropriately meet the customer needs and requirements. However, businesses should carefully analyze the negative impacts of flexible pattern of working before its implementation. The drawbacks include increased administrative costs for employers in recruiting and training employees that often work only for specific hours. Thus, business should adopt the best method of flexible working as per their needs and requirements after proper analysis of both its benefits and drawbacks (Lake, 2016).


It can be summarized from the overall research paper findings that work-life flexibility is becoming an attractive opportunity for businesses nowadays for proving work-life balance to the employees. The businesses initially use to emphasize on achieving work-life balance for the employees through several methods such as vacations, leaves, counseling and many more. However, with the introduction of flexible working pattern businesses can now easily provide a chance to the employees to manage their work and personal life simultaneously without compromising on their home life. The work-life flexibility concept integrates the pattern of flexible working such as part-time, flexi-time, shift work, job sharing and work from home. These flexible methods of working help the employees to properly allocate their time for their personal and professional life and thus striking an accurate balance between both. The businesses as such does not emphasizes on the concept of work-life balance but instead focus on providing work-life flexibility to the employees. The concept of work-life flexibility helps the employees to achieve a work-life balance without the need of providing the extra benefits to employees in the form of vacations and leaves. Thus, work-life flexibility is increasingly becoming important to both the employer and employees in competitive business environment of today. 


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