Analysis and Review of Literature on Flexibility in work


According to this literature, in the following work will be given a definition of flexibility in the workplace and there will also be a reference in the past. Then we will analyze the forms of this phenomenon and will give an example of a country in which we observe the flexibility to work. Finally, we will give a conclusion to explain the better functioning of this phenomenon.

To begin with, at the ancient times, the work of humans, has become an institution, so they can provide the resources to survive not only for them but for their families too. Over the years, by the evolution of technology, the work began to lose the degree of difficulty. About two centuries before the technology does not leave room for improvement in the ways in which each worker can be facilitated in the way it works. Nowadays, however, there are so many alternative ways of working which give the employee the opportunity to work under better conditions, having more free time, covering also his requirements. As the technology enters the workplace, both discovered a new standard of flexibility in it. This phenomenon has "walked" in the "heart" of business in the decade of 1970 and took dramatic dimensions at the 1990's, where companies faced severe problems of organization. Finally, a very important subsection of flexible working is zero-hours contracts. Because of this, employers have some people waiting. If for some reason an employee can not work, it is decided that another deputy should meet the demands of work. This result does not fall behind the manufacturing process and does not create difficulties in the operation. (Κουζής, 2001, Lake, 2009)

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Flexible working is a complex concept which refers to a variety of new working practices, including flexible working hours, workplace flexibility, flexibility in labor contracts, part-time and more. (Δήμητρα, 2011)

Flexibility in work managed to become an institution, helping the employee and employer to achieve its objectives, in order to benefit the maximum extent for the rise of the company. Flexibility in the workplace differs from many models. The key is temporal, locational, functional, numerical, financial and distancing.

The model of temporal differs from many subcategories. The most famous and important is the part-time. Through this the workers present at the workplace is much less than basic. A great amount of people use it as a way to combine work with other hobbies and interests. Some employers according Lake (2009) create flexible programs, in which the employee may form his hours of work and his responsibilities as other commitments outside of work. Another subcategory is flexible hours. According to what the employee has been fixed and predetermined times for work. While normally, according with the law, there is no set time for work, with flexibility the employee may agree with the employer what hours can attend the workplace, depending of course on what responsibilities are entrusted by his employer. Another subcategory is about the compressed working hours. Under that employees work fewer days than the default. Thereby reducing travel costs and avoid problems. For example, if you have to travel by public transport both escape travel costs and also avoid any strikes, which makes them spend much time outside. Another important subclass is the annualized hours contracts to be worked by the employee each year. Annual hours are specified for the entire year. These times are fixed and have been converted by the end of the year. This is helpful for the employee, as he knows exactly what he may gain during the year, but with flexible hours to fill the required hours at another time that is available. (Lake, 2009)

Regarding the model flexibility locational divided there are some important subcategories. A subsection is hot-desking. With this service workers have no fixed position in the office. They share their positions with each other to ensure space and change working environment. So it becomes boring job and there is appetite for work. Also working at home is equally important. As an employee once you gain the trust of your employer, you can work at home. In this case things are more simple and convenient for you, since you can work in a familiar environment and shape the way it works. But an employee should not be entrained by factors or other occupations, especially if he has a family. That is why, sometimes the requirements are increased and mandatory. Still another subcategory that is current picture is movile sorking. With today's tools that are invented by technology, such as laptops and smart phones, the worker and the employer have the opportunity to avoid a difficult situation. For example, if not over a significant task or obligation, can exploit the available free time wherever they are to achieve their goal. Moreover teleworking is another area that plays a key role in the workplace. Usually done by far, especially at home. An employee having all means of technology at his place, can deal with tasks that do not need to be located on his working site. With the basis of this sector in recent years has developed the industry of online marketing, through which each person can create and promote his own product from any location. (Lake, 2009)

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Finally another subcategory associated with the technology is virtual network. There is team spirit and cooperation because it can be helpful in many fields. This flexibility combined with technology makes it as easy as it can be, in each team member, individually, to work from home for the same purpose even without knowing all the members of his group.

Another form of flexibility is functional ignition under which employees of a company can deal with other responsibilities within the company. Such energy can become reality if some other activities are delegated to more persons. For example, a company that its production process depends heavily on electricity, could have stable staff for this purpose. But it may instruct mobile workshop electricians to come once a week and check the electrical systems of the company, or to invite them, at the company when there is damage. (Marchington and Parker, 1990)

Another important form of flexibility is numerical. According to this account, the employer by having the skills and knowledge of an employee, invite him to work for a period during which, he will need him to work on his business. For example, if for some reason, a job left vacant to avoid endangering the company to lose profit invite a worker concerned. If the employee wishes to work with the benefits of giving the existing employer, then it accepts the proposal. This form is mainly for people who have a wide range of knowledge and can easily be adapted to different working environment at that time. (Lake, 2009)

Equally important is the financial, which plays an important role in assessing fees. The fees were decided collectively for many years. But the system was not objective and fair and did not profit enterprises and collective agreements in conflict with the profit and business objectives. That means that flexibility began to restructure the system for evaluating wages from collective to individual. Thus the maximum and the minimum wage appears as the effort that makes each worker to ascend hierarchically according to the company and how committed he brings profit in it. The reward comes from bonus or promotions. (Κουζής, 2001)

Finally, another important form of flexibility in the workplace is distancing. According to this revised form some workers acquire power in the company. Initially, the company also commissioned some functions to employees, that now cease. Some workers are transported to other areas and they should have as purpose the development of the company. The work of them are external factors to cover. For example, if employees of a company want to send an important package, there is no need to carry it by themselves, because they will lose valuable time. The company has to cope with such an event, recruit crew parcel for quick and damaged power for workers and employers. So the company and certain employers pay attention to other areas and do not spend time by dealing with other issues. (Marchington and Parker, 1990)

Flexibility in the workplace has some key advantages that make it necessary to run the company for the benefit of employees. One of them is less stressful. It makes sense that when the employee works at his house he has less stress. That is why it has control of his boss and is not affected by the rate of other workers. He puts his own space and limitations and becomes more productive to his work rather than being in the company. The employee can also have a better control of his time. Everyone has commitments outside of work. Especially if he has devoted himself to his family and cover all the necessary needs. The employee, by working at home, has the opportunity to handle much better something that might come up during the day and that he would not be able to solve at his workplace. The flexibility at work is also to share some obligations. However, this contributes to the improvement of quality of life of each worker. That is because they can finish all the occupations of the job and deal with hobbies and other interesting things that make them happy. They can escape their routine, a factor that brings the best health and wellness. Finally, another key advantage of having flexibility at work is the reduction of daily trips at work and exorbitant charges for them. The time lost in travel is great, but valuable. That is because instead of being on the streets and traffic, can take advantage of this time, rule other things. (Alan et al, 2001, Lake, 2009, Δήμητρα, 2011)

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Apart from the positive effects of the phenomenon of flexibility, there are some disadvantages, which provokes doubts to people about whether it will implement. One of these is the sense of loneliness that sometimes feels the employee. It is normal to want to chat with one of his colleagues during the work. This is because leaves and relieves the monotony of work. But if they are alienated at home, this can not be done. So easily bored and he is not able to continue his working duties. Also have a site where work is specially designed and decorated so that it can be obtained. If it is decorated with many things, personal items, then there is the danger to be removed and can not work. Beside the decorations, must have the necessary equipment. If you miss the main equipment and technology notes will not be able to complete the job. It should also be a person who has assembled and self-control. If posted then carefully and deal with other things you will not have the desired effect. Another disadvantage of this is that the employee can not objectively evaluate the performance and the result of his work. That would have doubts about whether I would successfully and properly work. In the workplace can be exchanged views on whether they are good views, as compared with others. While at home will be alone and think unilaterally. Also if an employee works fewer hours at home, will show the result of his work if it is bad or good. If the comprehension considering his work will not be effective, this will be reflected at his field and the employer will decide if the employee is good or bad, something that will define his salary. One such case would stand in future promotion and will make them unreliable in important for future decision making of the company. (Alan et al, 2001, Lake, 2009, Δήμητρα, 2011)

But there are some positive results of the phenomenon of work flexibility for the employer. One of them is to save space and costs for the company. If the staff working in the business will be limited due to work from home, running costs of the employer company will be reduced greatly. Also there will be many absences, which cost the company. This is because workers are not considerable delay due to strikes or other factors, since they would be on the road. Even the employer can be seen to increase the profit of the company by employees, whether they are in another location. For example, if the employee should go to another country, he can meet his responsibilities from there. So the employer may receive in the form of correspondence work and to see it. Another important positive impact of flexibility to employers is the use of workers who use correctly flexibility, as an example for all workers. So the remaining employees will be motivated to do the same and the costs of the firm will decrease greatly. Apart from the cost savings for the company, the employer will manage to induce a large proportion of workers and will become a more productive way to work. (Δήμητρα, 2011)

Apart from the positive effects of flexibility for the employer, there are some negative, that make it cautious about the application of this phenomenon in the business. One concern is that employers can not monitor whether the actions to complete a work employees are doing right or wrong for the company. So there may soon prevent a wrong move of the employees to the firm. Nor can check up groups in business and what are its goals. For example, frequent the establishment of unions in companies, which are different to each other. So can not know who wants a good employee of the company and who does not want. Finally another negative flexibility worth mentioning is that in the workplace there are other infrastructure and working conditions, which may differ greatly from those of the residence of the worker. Thus one can work is not done with the correct standards and cost time and money for the employer. (Δήμητρα, 2011)

The phenomenon of flexible working in recent years appears in multiple European countries. One of them is Greece in which this effect becomes more pronounced. But properly applied, and this because there is no proper control by the state and the laws governing it. Also, employers having as their principal objective the profit, regardless whether the employee has the right conditions to implement and use correctly models for this phenomenon. So altered over the years the importance of having the flexibility for the employer and the worker himself. So the state must strengthen monitoring proper implementation of this phenomenon, to function as positive for the employer and the worker himself, as a key part of it. (, 2010)

In summary, the flexibility should be a daily part of the employee, using correct forms, for both, worker and employer. They should be selected from this phenomenon need. Flexibility in work should be chosen with good intentions by workers and employers to contribute together towards a common goal. This goal is the profit of the company, but rather a smooth well-being and creating good relations between employer and employee. And all together, as team should work for the good of their country.

Through this work was one definition of flexibility in the workplace. It became a throwback to the past to emphasize that it began to operate this phenomenon. In further analyzed the forms of this phenomenon, since it is a complex concept. These forms are temporal, locational, functional, numerical, financial and distancing. After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of flexibility in the workplace and the effects they have on the employee and the employer, we finally gave an example of a country that operates this model. Specifically for Greece, which appears highly flexible at work and becomes the conclusion about whether it is good to have this effect.


Alan J. H., Jeffrey H., Maria F. and Michelle W. (2001) ''Finding an Extra Day a Week: The Positive Influence of Perceived Job Flexibility on Work and Family Life Balance''. Family relations 50(1) (January 2001). pp.49-58

Dimitra (2011) ''Τηλεργασία''. Available at: [Accessed: 23 March, 2011]

Κουζής, Γ. (2001) Εργασιακές Σχέσεις και Ευρωπαϊκή Ενοποίηση: ευελιξία και απορρύθμιση ή αναβάθμιση της εργασίας. Αθήνα: ΓΣΕΕ-ΑΔΕΔΥ

Lake, P. (2009) ''Flexible Working''. AGCAS. [PDF] Lecture handouts. University of Hertfordshire

Marchington, M. and Parker, P. (1990) ''Changing patterns of employee relation''. New York: Harvester (2010) ''Επιλέγουν την ευελιξία από ανάγκη οι Έλληνες''. 22 January, 2010. Available at: [Accessed: 22 March, 2011]