New way of working can be found frequently in public administrations all over the world.
Allowing staff to work flexibly whether part-time, to different hours or from home is increasingly seen as a valuable means of retaining employees through different stages of their life and giving parents in particular the opportunity to negotiate work-life balance a little easier.
Advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have opened up new possibilities about where, when and how work is done. This has resulted in different forms of flexible work arrangements or a new way of working.
Empirical studies show that new way of working in terms of temporal and spatial flexibility has the potential to improve working conditions, work outcomes and quality of work.
Flexible work arrangements can take different forms, depending on the type of flexibility that is introduced.
Four aspects of flexibility are often differentiated: spatial, temporal, functional, and numerical flexibility. Spatial flexibility refers to the employees’ opportunity to work from home and basically any location that allows for internet connectivity.
With the replacement of rigid working time schedules by trust-based working hours, employees are more autonomous over their work schedules, contributing to temporal flexibility.
Flexible working arrangements give employees a meaningful level of control over when, where and how work is accomplished.
It’s also linked to higher productivity, creativity and motivation in the workplace.
A key part of making flexibility work is communication and cooperation between individuals, managers and teams.
Supportive line management is critical for the successful implementation of flexible work as the, managers and supervisors play an essential role in interpreting and implementing flexible work policies and practices.
Flexible work is even more important as the nature of work changes. Emerging trends indicate that in the coming decades process and administrative work will increasingly be automated and workplaces will be more collaborative and networked.
These trends indicate that a mobile and flexible workforce is needed to stay ahead of the scenario.