Tag Archives: Netherlands

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

Working in bed at the weekend

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. Continue reading

Flex Workers Less Happy Than Permanent Employees – NL Times

Reporting on new data from the Netherlands, this article notes that flex workers are less satisfied with their jobs and lives than those with permanent working contracts. Flex workers are less satisfied with their pay, training and career opportunities when compared to permanent staff.

It goes on to note that while in 2002 80% of workers had permanent working contracts within six to ten years of entering the workforce, that has now extended to between ten and fifteen years.

Read more at NL Times.

The economics of temporal and locational flexibility of work – Possenriede

Using Dutch panel data, the author argues that flexitime increases work-life balance and job satisfaction. However, teleworking improves only job satisfaction, and part-time only working-time fit.

The author also finds that remote working may harm careers since fewer promotions and employer-paid trainings are awarded to regular teleworkers. In their analysis of absenteeism, they demonstrate that schedule and location flexibility decrease the frequency and length of sickness absences.

Possenriede, Daniel (2014) The Economics of Temporal and Locational Flexibility of Work, Ph.D Thesis, Universiteit Utrecht

Available at: http://www.uu.nl/faculty/leg/EN/current/events/Pages/d-possenriede.aspx

Dutch workers and time pressure: household and workplace characteristics – Ver der Lippe

The author argues that both workplace and household characteristics must be considered when analysing employee time pressure.

They point to data that suggests job design with deadlines and a large degree of autonomy increases feelings of time pressure. These feelings are also increased for workers with young children.

These are experienced unevenly between genders, however. Men are more responsive to workplace factors, and women to those in the household.

Van der Lippe,  Tanja (2007) “Dutch workers and time pressure: household and workplace characteristics” Work, Employment and Society, 21(4)

Available at: http://wes.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/21/4/693

Non-standard work arrangements and national context – Kassinis and Stavrou

Using a sample of 1,893 companies across 15 countries, the authors examine the relationship between public expenditure on national family-leave policies, employment legislation and culture, and use of flexible working.

They find that these three areas of expenditure influence the use of flexible working, but that this depends on both context and type of flexible working. As such, they stress that researchers should consider both the national and institutional environments when designing and interpreting research on flexible working.

Kassinis, George I.; Stavrou, Eleni T. (2013) “Non-standard work arrangements and national context” European Management Journal, 31

Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263237313000479

Contesting Time: International Comparisons of Employee Control of Working Time – Peter Berg et al.

Drawing from interviews with managers, public sector policy-makers and administrators, and union leaders, this article demonstrates that workers‘ control over working time is affected by

  • the institutional and regulatory environment within the country
  • labor market conditions
  • management and labor union strategies

Employees in countries, such as Germany, Sweden and Netherlands, with extensive collective bargaining, high labour union density/coverage, and labour representatives focussed on working time issues, have increased collective control over working time.

Employee control over working time is unevenly distributed in countries with weaker labour institutions, and tends to reflect more closely the employers interests.

Berg, Peter; Appelbaum, Eileen; Bailey, Tom; and Kalleberg, Arne L. (2004) “Contesting Time: International Comparisons of Employee Control of Working Time” Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 57(3)

Available at: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/vol57/iss3/1

International Flexible Working Survey 2013 – BakkerElkhuizen

This survey of flexible work in Germany, England, Belgium and Netherlands found that 64% of English firms have implemented some kind of flexible working. This more than Germany (57%), the Netherlands (48%) and Belgium (38%).

The reasons cited for not implementing flexible working were that:

1. Companies are still looking into the possibilities of flexible working;

2. Staff are tied to a fixed place and time because of their specific duties;

3. The organisation feels that the presence of staff is necessary.

Notably, the reasons for flexible working differed by country. In Belgium and England, organisations to implemented flexible ‘to satisfy the wishes of staff’. In Germany, the most important argument for flexible working was that it leads to ‘higher staff satisfaction’. In the Netherlands, ‘cost-savings on buildings, accommodation and workstations’ was key for organisation.

Read more here.