chapter 5 flexible work arrangements at hewlett packard

Alternative work arrangements, which allow employees to have greater control of their time and how they fulfil their obligations, are associated with greater productivity and employee satisfaction. Employees who need to satisfy various specific needs and seek answers to the work-life issues are the people who are more likely to be motivated by alternative work arrangements. Among the common reasons is the recognition of the difficulties that many employees have in balancing their family obligations and their work duties.

Flexible work arrangements provide a way to increase employee loyalty without making major changes in the operations. As what Reed said, “We support employees so that they can contribute to their full potential.” Employees whose needs are well addressed are more likely to be contented and productive. Among the significant benefits to employees is the ability to control the level of interaction with others, and support for family or personal needs. Yet the greatest benefit to the organization is the increased motivation experienced by the workers when they feel supported by their employer.

The increase in the productivity of employees is shown as a positive impact of the programs implemented. Even among companies that do have employees using flextime, job sharing, and telecommuting, they are aware that challenges would arise. A certain arrangement doesn’t work for every organization and it isn’t attractive to all workers. Difficulties are encountered such as in scheduling meetings and other activities that require personal appearance and those aside from the core time of workers. Others feel isolated and miss the social interaction of the workplace while simply lack self-control and ends up procrastinating. Another issue involves workplace safety.

The employer could also be held accountable for employees’ unsafe behaviors, such as plugging too many electrical devices into one power outlet. The alternative work arrangement is only worth keeping if it benefits HP’s financial, strategic, and production goals. A key to making sure that those needs are met is to maintain control of the program. Businesses should evaluate their alternative work programs on a regular basis. Business managers and owners need to practice continuous improvement in their flexibility programs, just as they do in other aspects of their operations. Employees and work teams can be very helpful in shaping flexible work guidelines, but business owners and managers should be cautious of handing over too much control. In my “job” as a student, I can’t really decide where would I be more effective, but I think it will be leaning more towards being less effective if I will do more telecommuting.

Given the chance to telecommunicate, I will have greater autonomy, more flexibility with my schedule, and can work in a comfortable work environment (at home or a coffee shop maybe). The issue here is that in telecommunicating, my patience will really be tested in resisting the temptation of procrastinating. Being in a comfortable place, especially at home, when you’re near the bed or TV is oftentimes so hard to resist. It would also make me less effective because I am a type of person who likes to be surrounded with friends. I believe that the student integration process, which comprises both academic and social experiences in college, is essential for student success.

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