Alternative Work Arrangements
In the recent past, alternative work arrangement concept has gained popularity among businesses. Many organizations are now focused on employee needs and have shifted from the standard work week system to more flexible work arrangements that allow workers to create a balance between work and their daily lives. Examples of alternative work schedules include compressed work weeks, job sharing, telecommuting, among others. This paper analyzes the benefits of alternative work arrangements to employees and employers. It also highlights some of the negative impacts of alternative work arrangements to both employers and employees. Factors influencing organizations to consider alternative work arrangements have also been addressed in this paper, as well as the positive impacts of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.
Alternative work arrangements have got numerous benefits to employees and employers. For instance, alternative work arrangements can assist employee to resolve work-family conflicts and to reduce the level of stress associated with fixed standards of work. Furthermore, with alternative work arrangements, employees are able to enjoy the freedom of choosing the best work option to consider, which increases job satisfaction and enhances their performance (Lutz, 2012). Alternative work arrangements generate positive outcomes to employers in the sense that, it enables employers to recruit highly qualified workers, use resources effectively, and to ensure that no employee remains idle. Additionally, alternative work arrangements assist employers to increase loyalty and employee morale, and to reduce the rates of employee turnover. Generally, alternative work arrangements strengthen the relationship between the employer and the employees, thereby promoting quick achievement of business goals. According to Lutz (2012), if alternative work schedules are implemented while paying attention to the interests of both the employer and the employee, they can greatly increase efficiency and empower workers to manage their time.
Alternative work arrangements also have some negative outcomes for employers and employees. For instance, employers may want to implements programs that facilitate alternative work arrangements but their employees may not be conversant with what is expected from them by their employers for successful implementation to occur. In such a case, employers are faced with the challenge of training workers to prepare them for the alternative work arrangement programs. In addition, employers face the challenge of work monitoring and evaluation of performance if they implement alternative work arrangements because employees may work in different shifts distributed throughout the day and throughout the night. Again, when employers implement alternative work schedules, they find it difficult to change the attitudes of their managers and employees considering the traditional working arrangements (Lutz, 2012). Alternative work arrangements place great challenges on employees because they find a problem identifying the correct lines of communication with their fellow workmates and their managers. A detailed comparison between the positive and the negative outcomes of alternative working arrangements for employers and employees reveals that the positives outweigh the negatives, an indication that modern organizations should consider implementing alternative working arrangements (Lutz, 2012).
A number of factors influence organizations to implement alternative working arrangements. The most important factor that drives organizations into implementing alternative working schedules is the new needs and desires of modern workers (Kossek and Michael, 2008). For example, parents are now looking for organizations that will allow them to work as they perform their family responsibilities at the same time. Alternative working arrangements such as compressed work weeks will help parents to create a balance between work and family responsibilities. Again, some people are interested in continuing with work even after retirement, a need that they can effectively fulfill through alternative working programs. Students are also willing to work as they continue with their studies. Organizations which offer options for alternative work schedules assist these students to find jobs that match their lives (Kossek and Michael, 2008).
Personally, I think that the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 will be very useful for the federal government and its employees due to a number of reasons. First, the Act will increase work opportunities for employees because it will result into the recruitment of new workers to make use of technology. Second, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 will assist the federal government to retain valuable talent and to enhance productivity in various situations such on matters related to national security and other emergency situations. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 will have a beneficial impact for America in general because it will enable federal governments to maximize the use of alternative work arrangements. Additionally, the Act will ensure that employers meet the work needs of their employees and this will translate into improved productivity (McGuire, Kenney and Brashler, 2010).
In my opinion, I think the availability of alternative work arrangements for the private sector employees in the United States should be mandated by law. This will prevent organizations in the private sector from forcing employees to work under standard work weeks that may prevent them from creating a balance between work and life. Even though the Great Recession may restrain the growth of alternative working arrangements in the private sector, employers in this sector should support implementation of alternative working arrangements in order to help meet the needs of all workers.
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