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Compressed lives: How “flexible” are employerImposed compressed work schedules?

Hyatt, E ORCID: 0000-0002-2446-4569 and Coslor, E 2018 , 'Compressed lives: How “flexible” are employerImposed compressed work schedules?' , Personnel Review, vol. 47, no. 2 , pp. 278-293 , doi:

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine employee satisfaction with an employer-imposedcompressed workweek (CWW) schedule within a US municipality (City).Design/methodology/approach: The study utilizes an employee survey (n ¼ 779) to test factors related toemployee satisfaction with the CWW, a four-day, ten-hours/day workweek (4/10 schedule).Findings: Employee satisfaction with the schedule is influenced by previous 4/10 pilot experience, workschedule preference, and happiness with the 4/10 schedule’s implementation. Additionally, sick leave figuresand survey results regarding informal substitute work schedules suggest that worker fatigue may limit theoverall organizational value of the 4/10 schedule.Research limitations/implications: The study is opportunistic in nature and therefore constrained bythe City’s HR Department concerns for survey length and respondent anonymity. This meant an inability tocollect demographic data or to utilize validated scales.Practical implications: Analysis suggests that the potential work-life benefits of flexible work schedulesmay not apply equally to employer-imposed vs employee-chosen compressed work schedules. Further,CWWs engender greater fatigue despite employee satisfaction, an issue managers should consider whenweighing schedule costs and benefits.Originality/value: The study highlights the importance of employee choice in conceptualizing flexibilityand for capturing CWW benefits, namely: an initiative’s voluntary or involuntary nature should beconsidered when determining whether it is likely to be beneficial for employees.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hyatt, E and Coslor, E
Keywords: work-life balance, compressed workweek, alternative work schedule, fatigue, work schedule satisfaction
Journal or Publication Title: Personnel Review
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN: 0048-3486
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited

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