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Compressed lives: How “flexible” are employerImposed compressed work schedules?


Hyatt, E and Coslor, E, Compressed lives: How 'flexible' are employerImposed compressed work schedules?, Personnel Review, 47, (2) pp. 278-293. ISSN 0048-3486 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited

DOI: doi:10.1108/PR-08-2016-0189


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine employee satisfaction with an employer-imposed compressed workweek (CWW) schedule within a US municipality (City).

Design/methodology/approach: The study utilizes an employee survey (n ¼ 779) to test factors related to employee satisfaction with the CWW, a four-day, ten-hours/day workweek (4/10 schedule).

Findings: Employee satisfaction with the schedule is influenced by previous 4/10 pilot experience, work schedule preference, and happiness with the 4/10 schedule’s implementation. Additionally, sick leave figures and survey results regarding informal substitute work schedules suggest that worker fatigue may limit the overall organizational value of the 4/10 schedule.

Research limitations/implications: The study is opportunistic in nature and therefore constrained by the City’s HR Department concerns for survey length and respondent anonymity. This meant an inability to collect demographic data or to utilize validated scales.

Practical implications: Analysis suggests that the potential work-life benefits of flexible work schedules may not apply equally to employer-imposed vs employee-chosen compressed work schedules. Further, CWWs engender greater fatigue despite employee satisfaction, an issue managers should consider when weighing schedule costs and benefits.

Originality/value: The study highlights the importance of employee choice in conceptualizing flexibility and for capturing CWW benefits, namely: an initiative’s voluntary or involuntary nature should be considered when determining whether it is likely to be beneficial for employees.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:work-life balance, compressed workweek, alternative work schedule, fatigue, work schedule satisfaction
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Human resources management
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:Hyatt, E (Mr Edward Hyatt)
ID Code:141290
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2020-10-12
Last Modified:2020-11-23

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