Blog

Flexible working: The way of the future? Think Kent Talk by Heejung Chung

December 14, 2015

The way we work has changed considerably in recent years with an increasing number of people gaining access to flexible working and more control over their work schedules. But in reality, has such flexibility given employees more freedom and autonomy?

Dr Heejung Chung explores the benefits of flexible working and the potential negative effects it can have for workers, especially in the context of increased competition, high unemployment and the decline of worker and union power.

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Tagged : consequences| flexible work| future| video

Art, Gender and Work-Life Balance: finding time from work for childcare, or from childcare to work?

September 24, 2015

For Working Families’ National Work Life Week, Jonathan Ward discuss how flexible work isn’t necessarily evenly experienced by both men and women in the cultural industries.

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Tagged : Childcare| Work Intensification| Work-Life Balance

Working Paper 1: The Provision of Flexitime

August 7, 2015

The Work, Autonomy, Flexibility and Work-Life Balance (WAF) Project today releases its first working paper by principal investigator Heejung Chung.

This paper examines the provision of flexitime in companies across a number of European countries. The results show that company composition, structure and agency factors all play a role in explaining the provision of flexitime. However, the factors explaining the provision of flexitime within each country are not necessarily the same as those explaining how companies provide it to employees.

Cross-national variance in the provision of flexitime in 2009 can be explained mostly through national level demand: female labour market participation rates, cultural norms on work, as well as the affluence of the country. This is a change from 2004, where the most important factors explaining the provision of flexitime were government efforts in providing family policy and the size of the public sector.

Overall, this paper shows that the more relevant factors in explaining why companies provide flexitime, especially as related to cross-national differences, seem to be based on the demand for such policies and the available resources to meet the demands.

You can download the full working paper here.

Tagged : Academic| Determinants| Europe| Flexitime| National Context

Helping men get work-life balance can help everyone

August 3, 2015

Laura Good, Deborah Towns and Jesse E. Olsen, from the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne, discuss work-life balance, workplace gender inequality, and an innovative Australian programme to encourage more men to take-up flexible working arrangements.

Women’s increased participation in the labour force over the past 50 years has outpaced changes to work organisation and social attitudes. This is true for issues of work-life balance, which continue to polarise workers and managers.

But work-life balance and gender equality are not only women’s issues. They belong to men, too. Read more »

Tagged : Australia| Gender| Implementation| Stigma| Work-Life Balance

Making choices between policies and real lives

June 24, 2015

Barbara Hobson draws on the research of a team within a large European Network of Excellence, Reconciling work and welfare (RECWOWE), many of whom are authors in the recent book, Worklife Balance: The Agency and Capabilities Gap, focusing on the individual/household, firm and managerial level and welfare state policy context across European countries and Japan. In this post she discusses the choices faced by those who seek to take advantage of work-life balance policies. Read more »

Tagged : Europe| Family-Friendly Policy| Flexitime| Gender| Germany| Management| Schedule Control| Stigma| Work-Life Balance

Autonomy in flexibilized working time schemes? Factors that inhibit autonomy and where it succeeds

February 24, 2015

Yvonne Lott, of the Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Institut (WSI) in Germany, questions whether working time flexibility can really deliver employee autonomy. 

Flexibility in working time makes it possible to reconcile work with the affairs of private life. Whether this is caring for children or elderly parents, or pursuing a qualification alongside work – flexible working times give employees freedom to organize their time. In particular when employees can themselves determine how to organize their working time, their autonomy at work can seem unlimited. Self-determination of work schedules promises control over one’s own working time and thus autonomy over one’s time in general. Employees with such working times should, then, have relatively stress-free (work) lives. Right? I am skeptical. Read more »

Tagged : Autonomy| Gender| Germany| Implementation| National Context| Netherlands| Part-Time| Schedule Control| Sweden| United Kingdom| Work-Life Balance| Working Time

Flexible Policies, Closed Minds: Flexibility Stigma and Participation in Family-Friendly Programs at Work

January 21, 2015

Dr. Jade S. Jenkins is currently the academic assessment coordinator at Texas A&M – Texarkana. She earned her Ph.D in social and industrial-organizational psychology from Northern Illinois University, and her research interests include occupational health psychology, stereotypes, and the self . Here she writes about how those who utilize family-friendly policies may face stigma from colleagues and managers. Read more »

Tagged : Barriers| Flexible Working| Implementation| Management| Outcomes| Stigma| Trust

Heejung Chung on BBC Radio Kent’s Julia George Show – 24 September 2014

September 25, 2014

On Wednesday 24th September, Heejung Chung appeared on Julia George’s BBC Radio Kent show to talk about work-life balance, work-family conflict, and how flexible working can mean work extends into all aspects of life.

Clip courtesy of BBC Radio Kent.

Tagged : Blurring Of Boundaries| Childcare| Flexible Working| Media| Outcomes| United Kingdom| Work-Family Conflict| Work-Life Balance
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