Flexibility in the Workplace

Introduction

Flexibility in the workplace refers to a working schedule outside the normal working pattern that allows employers and the employees to organize suitable work arrangements about working conditions. The arrangements involve changes and variation of working hours, place of work, and finding an appropriate working means for the employee. Choo et al. hold that provision of flexible working conditions improves work-life balance, promotes employee performance, and commitment to the organization (23).

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Organizational culture has significantly been the major contributor to the lack of flexibility in the workplace. Several factors shape the organizational culture that includes the nature of business, productivity, job policies, client, and customer needs. These factors promote fixed working patterns that involve regular working hours, fixed place of work, and a defined service delivery process that ultimately shape the organization’s work culture.

Evidently, there is no flexibility in the workplace because employers and employees have less autonomy of choosing and exercising a level of flexible working conditions. Therefore, this essay argues that customer service, the nature of business, productivity, target market, and work policies contribute to lack of flexibility in the workplace within organizations.

Customer Service

The variation in business activities within different organizations demand varied approaches to service delivery. Customer service focus on delivering business results through a well-maintained interpersonal relationship between employee and the organization’s target customer. Lee et al. state that the factors that contribute most to the establishment of close, satisfying customer relationships are affective variables that include face to face employee-customer experience, availability, and ease of access to organization’s products (3).

Customer service processes within an organization aim to influence productivity through enhanced client satisfaction leading to client retention and widening of customer market share. The organization’s target customers dictate business opportunities and greatly affect the flexibility of a workplace. One of the crucial factors that determine customer service experience for an organization is the primary business activity.

The central business activity of an organization directly dictates the need to provide a fixed desk or unit for employees, service delivery, and product sell point leading to lack of flexibility on the working conditions (Lee et al. 6). Additionally, the presence of a physical location for an organization attracts clients who find it more convenient to make an office or workplace visit to get a service. Thus, the promotion of customer satisfaction hinders the agility of working conditions.

In addition, the design of a physical location for an organization aims to guarantee and communicate the long-term plans and objectives of the organization to its customers, which significantly help to build customer trust, loyalty, and promote organization’s brand. The business-selling concept significantly influences the establishment and expansion of an organization, its continuity, and profitability while limiting workplace flexibility. Overall, the need to improve customer experience significantly influences organization’s demand for a physical location that reduces workplace flexibility while building trust, loyalty, and product brand that consequently enhances market niche.

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Productivity

Business productivity is a key factor in success in every organization. Organizations have adopted different strategies to monitor and evaluate both employee productivity and business performance. According to Alammar and Picardi, improvement of employee productivity directly influences the overall business performance of an organization (23). The productivity measures adopted by an organization in promoting employee performance and maintaining individual productivity involve close employee supervision, monitoring, and periodic appraisal schemes. Organizational managers prefer a business in a physical location for it ensures improved supervision standards for the employees.

Employees have different and varying individual behaviors. The need to maintain a disciplined team requires strict and constant monitoring of employee on daily routine work. Therefore, the physical business location provides organization managers with a close manager-employee workplace relationship, which significantly promotes employee supervision, discourages employee carelessness in spending work time in doing personal work, and promotes consistent employee productivity.

Additionally, the presence of all staff in a given business location is essential in promoting a close interpersonal relationship between employees and their managers. This aspect allows managers to get along well with employees and enable them to identify and help improve various weak points of employees in delivering their duties. Moreover, the inflexible business location provides managers with the appropriate environment and sufficient time to engage and discuss goal settings and continuous appraisal improvement strategies of employees.

The organization managers enjoy, through the presence of all staff in the same vicinity, the liberty to have frequent discussions and reviews of goals with employees at any given and stipulated time, and thus, it helps in maintaining a consistent performance (Lee at al. 5). Overall, the need to maintain an improved business performance requires constant and close monitoring of employees in an accessible setup, therefore, hindering workplace flexibility.

Nature of Business

Some organizations provide business activities that involve selling products and services for direct customer consumption within the business premises, which calls for the presence of a physical business location. Factors that dictate the nature of business include customer convenience, diverse customer needs, and customer quality preference (Lee et al. 4). Organizations that provide direct consumer-choice products such as hotels and shopping malls limits employee flexibility of work due to the need to provide customers with instant products and services at the point of sale. Though clients have diverse needs, their behaviors dictate the consistent presence of employees within their working environment.

One aspect of concern is the changing shopping habits of customers in different working and home environments. Most customers have tight and busy schedules making them prefer convenience. This customer behavior pattern affects and shapes the processes that different organizations operate and offer their services.

In respect to this dynamic business environment, most organizations have championed the skill of fast, reliable, and convenient service delivery processes to venture into new markets, maintain, and retain their customers. These business processes significantly hinder flexibility in the workplace, as it requires a consistent presence of employees in the business and supply chain mechanism to ensure customer satisfaction and promote business performance.

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Additionally, the rigid customer demand for certain standards of service and product quality has increasingly influenced the need for close employee supervision and continuous monitoring through appraisal schemes to ensure the improvement of the quality of service in the business industry (Choo et al. 7). In light of this factor of employee evaluation and quality improvement that influence customer attraction and retention, the working conditions in an organization demand the presence of a close supervisor-employee relationship. In essence, this factor of staff relationship promotes the need for organizations to have its employees within an office and physical business locations, resulting in a lack of flexible work conditions among staff.

Target Customer Market

Target market entails specifically identified beneficiaries of organization’s products within a market population. The on-demand economy and business operation professional line is a significant factor that determines the target customer of an organization and influences the nature of business establishment and location. Organizations have, therefore, adopted the establishment of central and outlet physical locations with premise employees to enhance coordination of customer needs, follow-up on complaints, and respond to customer distress at any given time (Alammar and Picardi 28).

In the transport industry, for example, the on-demand customer economy significantly influences the fixed presence of employees within their business locations to help enhance competitive advantage over their rivals. This operational requirement hinders employee autonomy of defining flexible business operation procedures, schedules, and mechanism.

Moreover, the line of professional service delivery under which the business operates determines the target customer needs and presence of service providers. This aspect of the professional line of business operation brings groups of individuals together for specific projects significant in promoting performance and operational success, as in the health and medical sector, and entertainment industries (Alammar and Picardi 27).

Thus on the target customer market, organizations are faced with the need to establish a working environment with inflexible working conditions that tie employees within the vicinity to provide the required knowledge and skills of service. These systems of organizational operations have fixed timelines that hinder the flexibility of employees working hours.

Work Policies

The corporate managers within an organization are responsible for structuring the policies that govern the short-term and long-term business activities. These principles guide the decisions that essentially influence the achievement of a rational outcome of business conduct. The codes of conduct apply to all employees to help limit biases and bring equity on work schedules thus deterring flexibility in the working environment. Alammar and Picardi argue that creation of a positive working environment is essential in enhancing job satisfaction among employees and has a direct positive effect in improving the organization’s overall performance (25).

Therefore, policy regulation in defining working environment is essential in formulating and enforcing the set principles and guidelines that direct the daily business activities within the organization. The principles include organization’s operation strategies and business processes. Organization managers whose fundamental task is to strengthen the control of pursuance of long-term goals set guidelines that bring organization’s staff within a given location to facilitate effective supervision, inter-employee support, and teamwork.

Additionally, the business managers have the task of continuous evaluation, monitoring, and control of business processes to ensure the business outcomes are in harmony with organization’s strategic goals. The concept of business processes limits employee decisions that can harm the operations (Choo et al. 28).

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Thus, the limited employee decision-making capacity on process activities within the organization reduces employee flexibility to engage in other processes outside the laid down procedures that are may be helpful in enhancing efficiency, and thus, they limit their overall flexibility in the workplace. Moreover, as processes get set and the business objectives achieved, the managers too, in their busy schedules face fixed working conditions that deter their flexibility. Consequently, establishments of organization policies that govern routine processes and facilitate implementation of business strategies deter flexibility in the workplace among all employees in an organization set up.

Conclusion

Flexibility in the workplace refers to a working schedule outside of a normal working pattern that cut across management employees and other organization’s staff. In a workplace set up, several factors deter workplace flexibility. However, the aspect of organizational culture is significantly the major contributor to the lack of flexibility in the workplace. The factors that shape organizational culture include; the nature of the business, productivity, job policies, client, and customer needs. These factors promote fixed working patterns that involve regular working hours, fixed place of work, and defined service delivery process that ultimately shape the organization’s work culture. Thus, in conclusion, there is lack of flexibility in organization workplace.

Works Cited

Alammar, Ammar and Carrie Picardi. “Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction among an Organization’s Staff.” Global Journal of Management and Business Research: Administration and Management, vol. 16, no. 7, 2016, pp. 20-26.

Choo, Jasmine et al. “Flexible Working Arrangement towards Organizational Commitment and Work-family Conflict.” Studies in Asian Social Science, vol. 3 no. 1, 2016, pp. 21-36.

Lee, Yu-Cheng et al. “An Empirical Research on Customer Satisfaction Study: A Consideration of Different Levels of Performance.” SpringerPlus, vol. 5, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-9.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, January 7). Flexibility in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/flexibility-in-the-workplace/

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