Offering employees a certain degree of flexibility to self-determine their working time is often seen a one way of enhancing motivation levels among the workforce. According to the classical OB understanding this will subsequently enhance performance levels, raise degrees of organizational commitment, lower absence rates etc. However, in case employers decide to introduce a flexible working-time schema, guess who defines the conditions of such a schema and therefore defines how the employees and the employer will benefit from it? Well, I guess it is not difficult to find the right answer.
The following discussion paper from the Institute of Employment Research in Germany illuminates the conditions of overtime work and flexible working hours’ arrangements in Germany.
Modern working societies face the challenge to combine the establishments’ with the employees’ needs for working-time flexibility. The authors investigate the determinants of overtime and different working hours’ arrangements using the German Linked Employer-Employee Study of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP-LEE) and logistic regression models. The results show that employer and job characteristics are most important for determining overtime and the different working hours’ arrangements, underlining the power of employers with regard to working-time flexibility. Employee characteristics play the least important role, although employees can flexibly organize their working times and can benefit from certain arrangements, such as self-determined working hours and flexitime within a working hours account. The study provides evidence that working-time flexibility in Germany is mainly employer-oriented. However, through demographic changes and a possible lack of qualified personnel, employee-friendly arrangements are likely to gain importance.
Link to the discussion paper: