The business organizations have been using flexible work arrangements for many years now, one of the reasons advocate their usage is that flexible work arrangements help the employees to better balance between their work and life needs (Almer, Cohen, & Single, 2003) . Also organizations that provide flexible work arrangements are more attractive to applicants and better in retaining its employees than other organizations that not offer such arrangements (Rau & Hyland, 2002; Bevan, Dench, Tamkin, & Cummings, 1999).
In our study we will focus on flexible work schedules as a sort of flexible work arrangements. The objective of this study is to understand the impact of schedule work schedules on the employees’ performance and if the job type is affecting the relationship between the flexible work schedule and employees’ performance. Literature Review Definition of flexible working hours Flexible working hours is a way of arranging working hours to allow the employees to select their working hours themselves or even choose the number of hours they will work on a day (Hoffmann & Greenwood, 2001).
Bevan and colleagues (1999) suggest that organizations that don’t recognize and address the work/life balance issues are at competitive disadvantage; some organization require a core time that all employees should be existing and outside this core time the employee have the flexibility to choose his/her working time (Eldridge & Nisar, 2011). According to Beers (2000) jobs with high frequency of using flexible work arrangement are those don’t require starting and ending at specific time to do the job effectively.
For example, flexible work arrangement is common among who work in executive, administrative, managerial and sales occupations. On the other hand the use of flexible work arrangement is lower for groups where the nature of job dictates a specific start and end time. For instance, nurses, teacher, and manufacturing operations. Flexible work arrangements usability differs among the employees working in different industries, flexible work schedule usability is limited in the education sector. In private sector the flexible work schedule is highly used in service producing organization than in good producing organization (Beers, 2000).
Types of Flexible working hours There are different forms of flexible working hours; flexitime form is a system under which the employee decides each day when to start the work, without changing the total working hours that the employee should commit to (Haar, 2007) Another form of flexible working hours is the variable hours; it removes the specified hours of work from the flexitime system, employees are free to define how number of hours to spend in their working day or week (Hoffmann & Greenwood, 2001).
Staggered working hours is another form of flexible working hours systems; under this form of flexible working hours different employees groups can arrive at different times with predetermined working hours for the day which creates an overlap of different employees groups schedules (Hoffmann & Greenwood, 2001). Compressed working hours is yet another available form, in which the daily working hours are increased more than the standard 8 working hours a day to produce a shorter working week (Wedderburn, 1996).
Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements While there has been a fear from flexible working hours systems that by allowing employees to choose the working hours that suits them will lead to reduction in the organization productivity, Lee and Young (1978) Suggested that a flexible working hour arrangement can provide the context for a more efficient utilization of the human 24-hour clock and can decrease stress of not being able to balance between work needs and life demands; and it helps reducing the employees absenteeism (Eldridge & Nisar, 2011) .
Hayman (2009) explored the relationship between the perceived usability of flexible working hours and work/life balance on 710 office based employees, the results showed direct relationship between perceived usability of flexible working hours and the three dimensions of work/life balance (work interference with personal life, personal life interference with work, and work/personal life enhancement). The same research observed that the employees working under flexible work schedule system reflected a better work/life balance than their colleagues working under the standard working hours.
Rau and Hyland (2002) found that applicants are more attracted to organizations that offer flexitime. However this result is moderated by the level of the role conflict experienced by the applicant, the more role conflict the applicant experience the more the attraction to organizations with flexitime arrangement, while applicants with low level of role conflict their preferences were unaffected either the organization offering flexitime or not.
Pierce and Newstrom (1980) Observed that researches indicate employees who are participated in experimentation about flexible working hours showed satisfaction of this system than the standard working hours and prefer not to return to the standard working system. Another study showed that there is a positive relationship between flexible work schedule and job satisfaction (Saltzstein et al, 2001). Elbing, Gadon and M.
Gord (1975) categorized the benefits of flexible working schedule into Organizational, Societal, and Employee benefits; the benefits for organizations from flexible working schedules as cited by McGuire and Liro (1987) are favorable impact on employees attendance, productivity and satisfaction; and they listed the benefits for employees as opportuninty to accommodate employee’s bioclock (working on the hours he/she is most efficient) , reducing the pressure of arriving to work specific time, avoiding traffic congestion, encouraging teamwork among employees to accommodate the flexible schedules, accomodating the family responsibilities and educational need.
Studies showed that flexible working schedules helped in reducing the casual sick leaves and better retention due to the employees being able to balance between their work needs and family needs, and increased productivity (Bevan et al, 1999). Disadvantages of Flexible Work Schedules Eldridge and Nisar (2011) found a negative relationship between flexible work arrangements and job security that the employees worked on a flexible working hours system showed a higher level of feeling insecure regarding their job. Flexible working schedule and Job type Flexible work schedule might not be best option for positions that require direct interaction with other employees or there is high dependability on the employee existence in specific time like in support positions (Pratt, 2006).
From this review we find that there are numerous studies have tried to understand the impact of flexible working hours on employees and organization in the west but we could not find many studies in the Egyptian or Arab world; hence the purpose of this research to address the flexible working hours impact in the Egyptian companies. Theoretical Framework Employee Productivity Employee Productivity Flexible Working Schedule Flexible Working Schedule Dependent Variable Dependent Variable Independent Variable Independent Variable Job Type Job Type Moderating Variable Moderating Variable Research Questions * Do flexible working schedules increase employees’ performance? * Is the job type of employee impact the usability of flexible working schedules and employees’ performance?
Hypotheses H1: Employees who are working on flexible working schedules system have better performance than other working on standard working schedule system. H2: The employee job type affects the relationship between flexible work schedule and the employee performance. That some jobs like customer interface jobs are affected negatively by Flexible work schedules. Methodology Data collection for this research will be through field experiment study by forming two groups, 1 experimental group that its members will be given flexible working schedules and another control group that contains the employee who will be kept using the standard working schedule.
Employees in the experimental group will be allowed to arrive to work from any time starting 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM and leave 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM , the core time any employee should be existing in the work is from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. The “Job Type “ independent variable will describe the nature of the participant job as one of the following types (Data Entry – Administration – Technical support function – Sales – Supervisory and management), the researcher will use the organization’s human resources records for this information. The employee performance will be measured through the employees’ monthly KPIs results that kept at the HR department. Population and sample:
The study will be applied on LINKdotNET (Internet Service Provider) which has 1500 employee; two groups will be formed, Experimental group and Control Group, the participants of both groups will be selected from all the company divisions and departments using simple random sampling technique to avoid any selection bias then the selected sample will be assigned to both groups using random assignment technique to avoid any bias in assigning the participants to the groups. According to Krejice and Morgan (1970) sample size table, our sample size will be 306. The study will apply time series design by using the historical employees’ performance records for the 3 months prior experiment start date (secondary data) and allowing flexible working schedule for the experiment group for 3 months to avoid any historical effects or seasonality patterns.