More than two out of five (36%) of firms today say flex-work initiatives are their top resort to curbing staff absenteeism.
But how effective are such initiatives really?
Not really, according to a study by Nottingham Business School, which surveyed over 5,000 households in the UK.
The study highlighted that working part-time for a longer period and working flexible hours were associated with lower job satisfaction among women, but greater satisfaction among men.
The main issues that contributed to this dissatisfaction included a feeling of being trapped in ‘restrictive’ flexible employment.
Plus, women felt they were only able to gain a low skilled employment and experienced limitations in career progression.
In comparison, the use of flexible working arrangements was often perceived more as a choice for men.
For example, flexi-time, the most common arrangement used by men, allows them to help with the management of household responsibilities while maintaining full-time employment.
However, while job satisfaction was negatively affected, the results did actually suggest that women working part-time experienced more leisure satisfaction.
“In practice, work-life balance and flexible working continue to be viewed as a ‘women’s issue’, as women more often reduce hours or work part-time as a result of constraints imposed by their greater household contribution” commented Dr. Daniel Wheatley, the main researcher on this survey.