W6 Assignment BA420

Jun 13th, 2014
SoccerBoss
Category:
Business & Finance
Price: $15 USD

Question description


W6 Assignment "Alternate Work Arrangements"


Alternate
Work Arrangements



Various
alternative work arrangements exist for use in businesses and other types of
organizations; included among the options are compressed work weeks, flexible
work schedules, telecommuting, and job sharing. This case focuses on
alternative work arrangements in general rather than on a particular one
exclusively; however, telecommuting does receive additional attention.



The
case revolves around the potential advantages and disadvantages that are associated
with alternative work arrangements, and the factors that are contributing to an
increased use of various alternative work arrangements by employers. With
respect to the various advantages and disadvantage that are identified in the
case, the positives seem to outweigh the negatives. “Organizations that offer
flexible working arrangements are, and will continue to be, employers of
choice. ¼ Employees consistently rank flexible schedules high on their list of
desired benefits; employers who are reluctant to offer these popular perks will
find themselves falling short in the bidding wars for talent.” The case
identifies three underlying factors that are driving the movement toward the
increased utilization of alternative work arrangements in many different
workplaces. These factors are: (a) the needs, desires, and expectations of
workers for greater flexibility at work; (b) fuel costs and fuel consumption
associated with commuting, and the related carbon footprint impact; and (c) the
restrictive impact of the 2008-2009 economic recession on job opportunities.



The
case concludes by pointing out that many nations have experimented successfully
with various flexible work programs and some countries have enacted legislation
promoting alternative work arrangements. It then poses the question: “Will the
United States government and American businesses be adequately prepared to meet
future economic challenges, at least in part, by embracing the movement toward
increasing use of alternative work arrangements?”



Case Study - Alternative Work Arrangements: Possible Solutions for
a Plethora of Problems?



Alternative
work arrangements, such as compressed work weeks, flexible work schedules,
telecommuting, or job sharing, can have positive and negative consequences for
employers and employees. In general, alternative work arrangements can generate
beneficial outcomes, particularly for employers, such as “increased employee
retention, loyalty and morale; higher productivity; improved recruiting of
highly qualified workers; decreased employee tardiness and unscheduled
absences; and maximum use of facilities and equipment.” On the employees’ side,
telecommuting—one type of alternative work arrangement—has favorable effects on
perceived autonomy, the resolution of work–family conflicts, job performance,
job satisfaction, and the experience of stress. What is more, it does not harm
perceived career prospects or the quality of workplace relationships. On the
downside, however, are the challenges associated with making these programs
work for both employer and employees: handling issues regarding employee
training, work monitoring, and performance evaluation; maintaining lines of
communication with bosses and coworkers; and changing the attitudes of managers
who might be uncomfortable with anything other than traditional working
arrangements.



On
balance the positives seem to outweigh the negatives. “Organizations that offer
flexible working arrangements are, and will continue to be, employers of
choice.¼ Employees consistently rank flexible schedules high on their list of
desired benefits; employers who are reluctant to offer these popular perks will
find themselves falling short in the bidding wars for talent.”



Although
alternative work arrangements can be highly beneficial for both employers and
employees, we need to ask the question: “What seems to be the underlying
factors that are driving the movement toward the increased utilization of
alternative work arrangements in many different workplaces?” One factor
reflects the needs and desires of workers. “Many people today are seeking
flexibility at work. Parents ¼ may want more time for family. Students hope to
fit employment into a busy class schedule. And some people look for work after
retirement. Whatever their situation, they’re not alone in wanting a job that’s
a better match for their lives.”



Younger
workers and those nearing retirement age are two particular segments of the
workforce that can be meaningfully targeted by employers offering various
alternative work arrangements. Younger workers are entering the workforce with
different expectations than previous generations of workers. Whereas their
parents were work-centric, most members of Generations X and Y give priority to
their personal lives; or at the very least they desire to balance their work
lives and personal lives. Sharif Khan, vice-president of human resources at
Microsoft Canada, says, “Gen X and Gen Y are coming into the workplace with the
expectation that they’re going to be treated as individuals, [who] ¼ want to be
able to fit their life and their work together comfortably, as opposed to
focusing on work and dealing with life after the fact.”



Another
important demographic group in the workforce consists of those individuals
nearing retirement. “Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age. While many
Boomers may choose to stretch their retirement date based on some combination
of lifestyle choice and recent market developments, many are opting for
less-demanding positions or reduced workloads.” “By 2020, 16 percent of the
U.S. population will be age 65 and over, up from 12 percent in 1999. ¼ Yet
leaders of many organizations ignore aging workforce issues despite the
potential problems they see coming, and some damage seems likely to occur
before the issues receive appropriate attention.” “[T]he size of the Baby
Boomer demographic group exceeds current graduating classes, and replacing
their experience will be a challenge for most firms.”



Increasingly,
business and governmental organizations are adopting alternative work arrangements
for economic reasons. For example, a May 2008 poll conducted by the Society for
Human Resource Management indicated that 18 percent of responding organizations
offered telecommuting in order to help employees with rising fuel costs. Four
months later, with fuel prices continuing to soar, the percentage of
organizations offering the telecommuting option had risen to 40 percent. In
October 2008, when gasoline prices were peaking, Ann Bednarz, writing in
Network World, reported that “[g]as shortages in the Southeast United States
are prompting companies to consider expanding their telework programs so
employees can conserve fuel. Other options workers are weighing include greater
use of carpools and public transit, along with alternative scheduling arrangements
such as four-day work weeks.”



In
addition to the dramatic increase in fuel costs in the summer and autumn of
2008, concerns about global warming and long commutes have fostered interest in
alternative arrangements. Moreover, two recession-related factors could lead
more employees to seek out long-distance telecommuting options for at least
part of their time on the job. First, the slow housing market limits people’s
ability to move to new jobs. Consequently, rather than physically commuting a long
distance for a new job, part-time, long-distance telecommuting could be an
option. Second, the weak job market that has been caused by the recession
appears to be increasing the number of commuter marriages wherein the spouses
work in different cities. Here too, part-time, long-distance telecommuting
might be a viable option.



Many
nations have experimented successfully with various flexible work programs; and
indeed, some countries have enacted laws to make alternative work arrangements
more accessible to employees. Although the United States has not enacted such
legislation, the demographic and economic changes that are occurring may result
in alternative work arrangements laws that “could play an important role in
preparing the U.S. economy for the future.”



Will
the U.S. government and American businesses be adequately prepared to meet
future economic challenges, at least in part, by embracing the movement toward
increasing use of alternative work arrangements?



This
case was written by Michael K. McCuddy, The Louis S. and Mary L. Morgal Chair
of Christian Business Ethics and Professor of Management, College of Business
Administration, Valparaiso University.



Write a 2- 3 page paper.  In your paper
discuss the following questions with concepts from the course:



1. 
How can employees benefit from alternative work arrangements?
 Why?



2. 
What are some of the possible negative outcomes for employers
and/or employees regarding alternative work arrangements? Please explain your
answer.



3. 
What types of factors are influencing organizations to consider
using alternative work arrangements? Explain how alternative work arrangements
can address the problems/issues that are raised by these factors.



4. 
Should the availability of alternative work arrangements to
employees in the United States be mandated by law? Why or why not?



Include
a title page and 3-5 references.  Only one reference may be from
the internet (not Wikipedia). The other references must be from
the Grantham University online library.  Please adhere to the Publication Manual
of the American Psychological Association (APA), (6th ed., 2nd printing)
when writing and submitting assignments and papers.



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