Impact of flexible scheduling on employee performance regarding stress and work-family conflict Raja Abdul Ghafoor Khan (Corresponding Author) MS Scholar, University of Lahore, Islamabad, Pakistan E-mail: [email protected] com Furqan Ahmad Khan MS Scholar, University of Lahore, Islamabad, Pakistan E-mail: [email protected] com Dr. Muhammad Aslam Khan Associate Professor, Preston University, Islamabad Pakistan E-mail: [email protected] com Mohsin Shakeel MS Scholar, University of Lahore, Islamabad, Pakistan E-mail: mohsen. [email protected] om ABSTRACT Stress, work-family conflicts and flexible scheduling are three of the most important elements in organizational studies.
The focus of current study is to understand the effect of Stress, workfamily conflicts and flexible scheduling on employee’s performance and also to understand whether flexible scheduling helps in reducing stress and work-family conflicts or not. The back bone of this study is the secondary data comprised of comprehensive literature review. A survey has also been conducted to strengthen the idea comprising of a sample of 70 employees from different organizations.
3 of them responded and the respond rate was 75%. Descriptive statistics is used to analyze the data. Results show that stress and work family conflict negatively affect the employee performance and flexible scheduling has a positive effect on employee performance. Primary study as well as literature review showed that flexible scheduling also helps in reducing stress and work-family conflicts. However, results are strongly based on the literature review i. e. secondary data. Keywords: Work-family conflict, flexible scheduling, work-family balance, employee performance. Paper Type: Research Paper
INTRODUCTION Work family balance is one of the most emerging concepts in the field of business and in the corporate world. Organizations are trying to reduce this conflict for the betterment of organization as well as for the employees. Western researchers have done a considerable work on this concept of work-family balance (Berg et al. , 2003; Frone, 2003; Rossi, 2001; Marcinkus et al. , 2007; Young, 1999). Actually work-family balance is used to reduce the work-family conflict. Normally work-family conflicts come into action when an employee cannot make a balance between his/her work and family.
This conflict has now become very popular in press 1 Far East Journal of Psychology and Business Vol. 4 No. 3 September 2011 (Conlin 2000; Hammonds, Furchgott, Hamm, & Judge, 1997; Morris, 1997) and in academic literature (Ernst & Ozeki, 1998; Grant-Vallone, 1998; Roman & Blum, 2001; Secret & Sprang, 2001; Senecal, et al. , 2001; Wallace, 1999). Most of the work has been done in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Flexible scheduling which is an alternative work schedule as compared to regular work arrangement i. e. rom 9:00am to 4:00pm; which have been in use for number of years. As mentioned above that it is an alternative work arrangement which gives employees some relaxation so that they could complete the given assignment according to their own work schedule. Many organizations have adopted this arrangement to their work place. It is because of the fact that many of them believes that flexible work arrangement helps their employees to overcome the problem of conflict between their work and their family (Almer, et al. , 2003; Cohen & Single, 2001, Hill, et al. , 2001, Meyer, 1997).
Most of the organizations adopted flexible scheduling practices and they have become more family-friendly because of the fact that the flexible work arrangements are common components of many family-responsive human resource policies (Glass & Estes, 1997; Glass & Finley, 2002; Grover & Crooker, 1995), and because of this kind of scheduling these organizations became more popular (Sara A. Rogier, et al. 2004). Stress is also a very important factor in effecting the performance of the employees. Most of the previous researches show that stress has significant effect on the performance of the employee.
It has negative effect on the employee performance like the work-family conflict. Previous researches show that flexible scheduling also help employees in reducing their stress. A Survey of “Members of World at Work and AWLP October”,( 2005) indicates that 58% of the respondents are of the opinion that flexible scheduling helps them to reduce their stress, only 11% gave a negative response and other 31% remained neutral. According to some previous studies employees are confronting these two problems of workfamily conflicts and stress in a rigid 8 hours dialing working during 5 or 6 days in a week schedule.
Flexible scheduling is one of the tools to help them to overcome these two problems. There are many other advantages of flexible scheduling on work place. According to (Johnson, 1995), Employees who face work-family conflicts due to the rigidity of their job schedule are likely to consider quitting their jobs three times more than those who don’t face such problem. Flexible Scheduling also helps to reduce organizational cost related to stress which is 2. 5 times higher than the workers who do not feel stress and depression (Goetzel et al. 1998). In this study we will see in the light of previous studies, how flexible scheduling helps employees in making a balance between their work and family to overcome the problem of work-family conflict stress to improve their performance. This study will also help out to see that how many different types of flexible work arrangements can be adopted by an organization to improve the performance of their employees who face the problems regarding stress and work-family conflicts due to rigid and tight work arrangements.
This study has another aspect of importance in the sense that every employer wants to increase the performance of his employees. As Flexible scheduling reduces burnout; A US Company found in its survey that flexible scheduling reduces the burnout of employees from 39% to 28% (Northwestern National Life Insurance Company, 1992). In this study we will keep in mind of Far East Research Centre www. fareastjournals. com the previous researches how flexible scheduling plays its role in reducing the stress and workfamily conflicts to improve the performance of the employees.
LITERATURE REVIEW Human resource is the backbone of every organization. Researchers are trying their best to increase the performance of this main resource which are actually the employees of the organization. Many researches took place in this regard to know how to improve the performance of the employees and how to make the organization an employee friendly organization. Cahen & Single, (2001) argue that there is a lot of pressure on the organizations to become more family friendly.
The basic thing behind this argument is that because of a family friendly organization people can make a balance between their family and work (Sara A. Rogier, et al. , 2004). In these days most of the organizations are working on this phenomenon of work-family conflict to retain their employees and also to improve their performance. Most of the previous researches have taken place to see the impact of flexible scheduling on organizational performance (Baltes, et al. , 1999). Stress is also damaging the performance of the employee. Many researches show that by reducing stress we can increase the performance of the organization.
Increase in productivity depends on the phenomenon that when employee is free to work according to his/her own will without any stress then his/her performance and organization productivity will be increased (Baltes, et al. , 1999; Pierce & Newstrom, 1980). It means lesser the stress greater the performance. A free mind without any stress and difficulty can do a job in a better way as compared to a stressed mind. Researchers have also found out that organizational commitment becomes positive when there is a flexible time schedule is being adopted by the organization (Grover & Crooker, 1995; Scandura & Lankau. 997). Those organizations which adopt a flexible work arrangement achieve very good reputation in the market and people are attracted towards such organizations. A research conducted by (Glass and Finley, 2002) indicates that flexible work schedule has positive effects on organizational commitment, retention and job satisfaction. Rau & Hyland, (2002) found in their research that organizations which are offering flexible scheduling are more attractive to the people as compared to other organizations which are not offering any kind of flexible scheduling to their employees.
This shows that organizations which are providing flexible scheduling to their employees attract employees of other organizations from the market. Flexible scheduling plays a vital role in decreasing the work family conflict and stress both of which are affecting the employee’s performance. Galinksy, et al. , (1996) has found out in their research that the adoption of flexible scheduling at the work place will reduce the stress and ultimately will result in form of better performance. Almer & Kaplan, (2002) also suggests that flexible scheduling helps to overcome stress and burnout.
All these studies show that stress and work-family conflict have significant effects on the employee’s performance and by reducing these two factors we can improve the performance of the employees. A study took place by Meyer, (1997) also came to the decision that flexible scheduling at work place helps in reducing work-family conflict. Another study which was done by (Hill at al. , 3 Far East Journal of Psychology and Business Vol. 4 No. 3 September 2011 2001) also came to the decision that flexible scheduling helps to improve the work-family balance, which ultimately results in reducing the work-family conflict.
From all above previous researches it is clear that work-family conflicts and stress are very significant in reducing the performance of employee. They negatively affect the performance of the employees. To reduce this negative effect of stress and work-family conflict many researchers suggested the flexible work arrangement which ultimately improves the performance of the employees. Due to stress and work-family conflicts people feel it difficult to make a balance between the job and their social life.
There are also so many other independent factors due to which we can reduce the stress and work-family conflicts. Social support for the women is very essential at the beginning of the business (Marcinkus et al. , 2007; Frone et al. , 1997). Social support helps to maintain balance between work and family affairs and diminishes stress (Cohen and Syme, 1985; Deelstra et al. , 2003). In such countries where people feel bad for a women to have a job, social support is very much important for a women to continue her job.
Moreover, in those organizations where there is a flexible schedule women can work more easily as compared to other organizations. Basically Work-family balance helps to reduce the work-family conflict (Frone, 2003; Rossi, 2001; Grzywacz and Marks, 2000). We have already discussed that flexible scheduling improves the work-family balance and this phenomenon ultimately results in the reduction of work-family conflicts. Many of the researchers believe that the said phenomenon increases the employee’s performance. A Survey of
Members of WorldatWork and AWLP, (October, 2005) on flexible work schedule indicates that 73% of the respondents agreed that flexible work schedule improves the quality of life for the employees as well as for their families. Only 6% disagree and 21% remained neutral. This indicates that when there is a good balance between the work and the family of an employee he and his family both will be satisfied. Hence there will be no conflicts. In the same survey mentioned above (A Survey of Members of WorldatWork and AWLP October, 2005), results shows that 73% of the respondents agreed that flexible scheduling improves work-family balance.
Only 7% of the respondent disagreed to this fact and 21% remained neutral. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK By studying all these previous studies it is hereby clear that stress and work-family conflict have significant effect on employee’s performance. All these studies show that work-family conflicts and stress affects the performance of the employee negatively. Many researchers worked on it to reduce the stress and work-family conflict. The induction of a flexible work schedule in the organization can help the organization to reduce stress and work-family conflict.
By all this literature review and by the study of different variables we are now able to develop a theoretical frame of work. This theoretical framework largely depends upon the work already done and the related variables on this topic. All the elements and variables are taken from the previous studies which are done in this field of study by other researchers. Far East Research Centre www. fareastjournals. com Figure 1 HYPOTHESIS DEVELOPMENT In each study development of hypothesis is very much necessary. Acceptance or rejection of hypothesis shows the significance of the study.
After all the literature review and by studying different variables we came to develop the following hypotheses. These hypotheses will help us in producing our results and will show us the significance of flexible scheduling at the workplace. H1: Stress has significant effect on employee performance. H2: Work-family conflict has significant effect on employee performance. H3: Flexible Scheduling has significant effect on employee performance. METHODOLOGY The study sample comprised of 70 employees of different organizations of Islamabad-capital of Pakistan. The sample was mixed like both male and female.
The data was collected through a questionnaire consists of 17 questions. All questions were close ended with the use of a five point Likert scale consisted of strongly disagree to strongly agree. All questionnaires were distributed and collected personally from the offices of the organizations during the office timings. 5 Far East Journal of Psychology and Business Vol. 4 No. 3 September 2011 Questionnaires were collected after one day interval. 53 of them gave the response to our questionnaires. After checking them all of them were found correct and the respond rate was 75%.
All of 53 questionnaires were included in the study. The analysis of the questionnaires was undertaken using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). All mean and medians were calculated using SPSS. Descriptive statistics was used to determine the independent variables and to conclude the results on the basis of secondary and primary data. Most of the results consist of secondary data. Discussion Flexible Scheduling provides so many benefits to the organization such as increase in the job satisfaction of employees, organizational commitment and productivity.
Moreover, it also helps to reduce absenteeism and turnover of the employees (Sara A. Rogier, et al. , 2004). Flexible scheduling also helps the employees in reducing their work family conflicts by making a good work family balance (Sara A. Rogier, et al. , 2004). All these results show that flexible scheduling has a duel effect. It does not affect only the employees but also affects the organization in a number of ways. Increase in job satisfaction, organizational commitment and productivity are all the direct effects of flexible scheduling on the organization.
It means when employee is mentally free and he is not feeling any kind of stress on the work place while doing his job he will do well and his good work ultimately results in better organizational performance like increase in productivity and job satisfaction. Table 1 Descriptive Statistics N stress stress stress stress stress stress work conflict work conflict work conflict work conflict work conflict work conflict 53 53 53 53 53 53 family 53 family 53 family 53 family 53 family 53 family 53 Mean 4. 2453 4. 2642 3. 7736 3. 6038 3. 1132 4. 2453 4. 0943 3. 5283 3. 8868 4. 887 2. 9245 4. 2453 Std. Deviation . 80636 . 68363 1. 20322 1. 13238 1. 36805 1. 07248 1. 16461 1. 13686 1. 03144 1. 28687 1. 28376 . 82987 Variance . 650 . 467 1. 448 1. 282 1. 872 1. 150 1. 356 1. 292 1. 064 1. 656 1. 648 . 689 Far East Research Centre www. fareastjournals. com flexible scheduling flexible scheduling flexible scheduling flexible scheduling flexible scheduling Valid N (listwise) 53 53 53 53 53 53 4. 3208 3. 3396 4. 5283 4. 4528 4. 5094 .77889 . 99891 . 50398 . 60657 . 50469 .607 . 998 . 254 . 368 . 255 Table 2 z-Test: Two Sample for Means Variable 1 4. 45283019 0. 64 53 Mean 0 0. 131567559 0. 447663173 1. 644853627 0. 895326347 1. 959963985 Variable 2 4. 264150943 0. 45 53 Mean Known Variance Observations Hypothesized Difference z P(Z significant effect on employee performance; and it is clear from the secondary data that stress has significant effect on the employee performance and by reducing stress we can improve the employee performance and it will ultimately result in increasing the organizational performance. Descriptive statistics also shows that the response of our respondents is in between the brackets of 3-4 and 4-5.
They do believe that by reducing stress we can improve the employee performance. The z value also shows the significance of our results as the z-calculated lies in the critical region. Here we put the results of two constructs related to stress. This phenomenon proves our first hypothesis; H1: Stress has significant effect on employee performance and literature review proves that by reducing stress we can improve employee performance. 7 Far East Journal of Psychology and Business Vol. 4 No. 3 September 2011 Table 2 z-Test: Two Sample for Means Variable 1 Variable 2 Mean 3. 86792453 4. 188679245 Known Variance 1. 34 1. 21 Observations 53 53 Hypothesized Mean Difference 0 z 1. 376296349 P(Z increase in employee performance. This phenomenon proves our second hypothesis; H2: Work-family conflict has significant effect on employee performance. By reducing work family conflict we can improve the employee performance. The Descriptive statistics also shows that the maximum response rate lies between the brackets of 3-4 and 4-5. People think that less work family conflict can help us in improving our performance.
The value of z-statistics also lies in the critical region which proves the significance of our results. Empirical data also proves our second hypothesis that is H2: Workfamily conflict has significant effect on employee performance; and by reducing this we can improve the employee performance. Far East Research Centre www. fareastjournals. com Table 3 z-Test: Two Sample for Means Variable 1 4. 452830189 1. 34 53 Mean 0 0. 258055565 0. 398182012 1. 644853627 0. 796364024 1. 959963985 Variable 2 4. 509433962 1. 21 53 Mean Known Variance Observations Hypothesized Difference z P(Z esults as the calculated z-value lies in the critical region. Hence we can say that our third hypothesis i. e; H3: Flexible Scheduling has significant effect on employee performance; is proved by the empirical study as well as by secondary data. But our results strongly depend on secondary data. Rosemary et al. , (2003) says in the results of their research that long work hours are significantly associated with higher work-family conflict. These results show that rigid timings at work place increase the work-family conflicts resulting in increasing stress and decreasing employee performance.
Rigid work timings have so many draw backs. Increase in stress and increase in work-family conflicts are two of them and are very common which we have chosen to discuss in this study. This study proves all of our hypotheses i. e; Stress, work-family and Flexible Scheduling has significant effect on employee performance. Another type of study shows that stress and depression increase health cost (FLEXPATHS 2004). Flexible Scheduling also helps to reduce organizational cost related to stress which is 2. times higher than the workers who do not feel stress and depression (Goetzel et al, 1998). These results show that stress also increase the organizational costs. Research on the Impact of flexible scheduling on employee performance (FLEXPATHS, 2004) shows that flexible scheduling helps to reduce this cost by reducing the stress. 9 Far East Journal of Psychology and Business Vol. 4 No. 3 September 2011 Malik, et al. , (2010) say that there is a strong relationship between social support and workfamily balance for the working women in developing countries.
By providing social support we can reduce the work family conflicts of the working women in developing countries. Malik, et al. , (2010) also suggested that employee performance has a highly significant relationship with work-family balance. The study shows that work-family improves the employee performance. These results also prove our second Hypothesis; H2: Work-family conflict has significant effect on employee performance. The increase in the work-family balance results in decreasing the work-family conflicts and it will ultimately increase the performance of the employee.
A survey of Members of World at Work and AWLP (Karol Rose, 2005) on flexible scheduling shows that flexible scheduling at work place reduces stress and also decreases employee’s mental health problems. The study also shows that flexible scheduling the work-family balance of the employee. This study shows that there is a strong relationship between stress, work-family balance and flexible scheduling, and all these are our main components of the study. By reducing stress and work-family conflicts and by providing flexible scheduling on the work place we can increase the performance of the employees.
If we see all the above results as a whole and combine them we can come to the conclusion that all these results prove our all the hypotheses H1: Stress has significant effect on employee performance, H2: Work-family conflict has significant effect on employee performance and H3: Flexible Scheduling has significant effect on employee performance. Hence we can say that by decreasing stress and work-family conflict and by providing flexible scheduling we can improve the performance of the employees. Managerial Implications Flexible scheduling has a significant importance for our organizations.
The culture of rigidness is overcoming by a flexible culture. Now a day all big organizations are providing a flexible culture to their employees in which employees choose their own hours of work. It means the question is not that how many hours an employee works in the organization but the question is what output he is producing and what is the benefit he is giving to the organization. All the above research and all the material which is used in this research from the previous researches show that a free and a stress less mind can perform the job in a better way as compared to a sick and depressed mind and same is the demand of people.
People want to reduce their work-family conflicts. Most of the turnover comes because employees cannot make a balance between their work and the family and result in quitting the jobs. At the end of this research we have come to the decision that if an organization wants to improve its performance it is necessary for it to provide their employees with a family friendly schedule and an environment with no stress and depression. Now a day all big organizations are adopting these techniques and strategies. They are providing their employees with a flexible schedule and are trying to be a family friendly organization.
The concept of family friendly organization is an emerging concept now a day. This research will be very helpful for those organizations whose employees are facing the problems of work-family conflicts and stress and they are facing problems in making a balance between their work and family. Recommendations In this research we reviewed a lot of materials related to the variables used in this research and at the end we also proved our hypotheses. We also conducted a survey to collect primary data Far East Research Centre www. fareastjournals. com related to our model.
In the light of all this research and all the material which is being used to conduct this research and all the literature reviewed we came to the decision that there should be flexible scheduling in every organization. Although we have reviewed some disadvantages like less employee availability and negative effect on office communication (Hay, et al. , 1997), but the advantages of flexible scheduling are much more than its disadvantages which have been briefly discussed in this study. We recommend that all organizations should adopt flexible scheduling and help their employees in reducing stress and work-family conflicts.
It is priorly discussed that flexible scheduling have advantages not only for employees but for the organization itself. Stress and work-family conflicts affect the performance of the employee in a negative way. If the performance of the employee is not good it will affect the whole organization. A free mind without any tensions can perform much better than a stressed mind. Previous researches show that flexible scheduling helps employees in reducing stress and work family conflicts. So organizations should adopt flexible scheduling rather than rigid work hours.
CONCLUSION Stress and work-family conflicts affect the employee performance in a negative way. Discussion of all the results proves the hypotheses; H1: Stress has significant effect on employee performance, H2: Work-family conflict has significant effect on employee performance, H3: Flexible Scheduling has significant effect on employee performance. Stress and work-family conflict has significant affect on employee performance. Increase in stress and work-family conflicts reduce the employee performance. Flexible scheduling also has significant affect on employee performance. Flexible scheduling improves the employee performance.
Through all the above discussion and through the approval of hypotheses it is clear that there is a strong relationship between stress, work-family conflicts, flexible scheduling and employee performance. We can conclude that by applying flexible work schedule we can reduce stress and work-family conflicts and increase the employee performance. Primary data also shows that stress and work-family conflict has a negative effect on employee performance. As stress and work-family increase the employee performance decreases. Primary data as well as secondary data proves that stress and work-family conflicts are not good for employee performance.
The study also proves that flexible scheduling has a positive effect on employee performance and it also helps in reducing stress and work-family conflicts. Future Study Primary data is collected from a very limited area regardless of gender and the difference between the operations of different organizations. Study can be conduct on different departments of the organizations that in which department there is more work load on workers and which department is good to provide a flexible scheduling taking it in mind that it would not affect the organizational performance.
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