Alternative Work Schedules: Integrating Individual and Organizational Needs

Alternative Work Schedules: Integrating Individual and Organizational Needs

Alternative Work Schedules: Integrating Individual and Organizational Needs

Alternative Work Schedules: Integrating Individual and Organizational Needs

Excerpt

When we first became interested in alternative work schedules in 1971, they were generally viewed by many as simply additional benefits to make organizations more attractive to their employees. Although some literature on compressed workweeks and flexible working hours was beginning to appear, it was largely descriptive. Nor did we, like most others at the time, see in the schedules much more than a new and mildly interesting effort by personnel departments to try something different.

It soon became clear to us, however, that these schedules had in them a potential for producing widespread organizational change from the bottom up that was not understood and was therefore being overlooked. We believed we had discovered a tool for organizational development that had considerable significance.

Because we had started by looking at flexible working hours, which allowed the most day-to-day control for the individual, we were also slow to see that other schedule arrangements had similar potential. It was only when we began to ask who would benefit from particular schedule arrangements that we suddenly saw that a judicious offering of schedule choices could be both very freeing for individuals and helpful for organizations. We wanted this book to help others see the link between work schedules and the place of employees in the adult life cycle, so that more people could better the work/nonwork choices in their lives.

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