The Federal Government defines “Alternate Work Schedules” in two different descriptions. Each of the definitions stands for a different type of variation from the conventional normal ‘9 am to 5 pm’ working schedule. The conventional working schedule commences and ends at the same times daily for five days a week.
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‘Flexible Work Schedule’ creates a platform for both employers and employees. Employers celebrate the increased productivity and boost in the morale of their employees. On the other end, the employees benefit from the flexibility of work presented by the system. Hence, both parties benefit from the schedules.
Statement of the problem
Employees in the federal government are bound to a fixed working schedule. Unlike in the private sector where alternate working schedules have been embraced, the federal government is still reluctant of initiating this change. According to previous studies on the benefits of alternate work schedules on employees, it is apparent that significant change in the employees’ morale comes out clearly.
The civil servants under the federal government have been performing very poorly in service delivery. The federal government has been hesitant to embrace alternative work schedules. According to the federal government, alternative work schedules are a waste of time and promote laziness in the workplace.
Flexible work schedules are also referred to as substandard arrangements of work. This type of working schedule provides several opportunities that provide the employee with choice and control abilities. Employees can determine on their own how to work and where to undertake their work.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the extent to which the adoption of flexible work schedules would improve the morale of employees in the public sector. The study will look into the advantages of embracing the alternate work schedule in the federal government as well as the disadvantages. The findings of the study will be vital as they will be used by the government in public planning and policy implementation. The study overall is expected to lead to improvement in service delivery in the public sector (Hutchens, 2007).
Presentation of proposed ideas
Idea one: Flexibility in the number of working hours
- Work part-year: This is a form of flexible schedules. It is a type of arrangement in which employees work for a specified amount of time in a year, for instance, the teacher would work for nine months a year. This form of flexible schedule is mostly used in circumstances in which employees are required to attain short-term needs or goals (Hewlett & Sherbin, 2002).
- Phase into retirement: The enacting of an Act to protect issues of pension as well as adjustments in pension plans prepared by employers may allow older employees to stage into full retirement via subsidized working hours and responsibilities related to the job.
- Overtime pay: the majority of employers are supposed to pay for extra time employees find themselves working. The extra time pay should be half of the normal salary calculated per hour.
- Job sharing: this is a working arrangement where normally two individuals are maintained on a reduced-time basis to work that is usually done by one person working at the normal fixed-time schedule.
Idea two: Flexible Location
- Work off-site: this is normally referred to as ‘work at home jobs. This is a working schedule where employees undertake their employment tasks from home. The arrangement may either be part-time or full-time. This arrangement is normally advantageous to employers.
- Working partially from the job one-site: This is the situation where employees work from the site of work for some time per year. The other part of the year may be undertaken from another site. Employees are not permanently based on one job location.
Idea three: Options for off-time
- Care-giving leave: This type of leave is normally given to women during their late pregnancy period. It is also known as maternity leave. Women are supposed to stay on leave until their recover their health.
- Sabbatical leaves: Employers should know that their employees have to be given leaves on Sabbath days. For Christians, this is taken on Sundays; for SDAs, it is on Saturday, while for Muslims it is normally on a Friday.
- Education/training leave: This is a leave that employees need to advance their education or go for training. These leaves are important to both employees and employers.
Strengths of the proposed ideas
First, employees can get extra days off every working week. They help them when planning appointments, time with family and friends, and can have some additional resting days before they can get back to their normal job.
If the federal government embraces flexible working schedules like in the private sector, many employees will not have to go to work daily. This will mean that few vehicles will be operating on the roads since few employees are commuting to the site of work. This then helps in the maintenance of the environment, hence beneficial (Allen, 2008).
Embracing flexible work schedules will help the employees cut their expenses on transport or commuting to their working sites. The marginal propensity to consume will reduce, and the disposable income will increase (Hayman, 2001).
Shortcomings of the proposed ideas
Many employees find it very difficult to embrace flexible working schedules since they have been used to fixed schedules. Employees who have other duties at home such as looking after their young children or have health problems may find it very hard to work extra hours. This will mean that employers will have to exempt workers with personal issues from the plan since they cannot fit in it.
The disadvantage to the employer is also considerable. The offices will have to be active during the extra working hours. This will demand an addition in the operational cost of the organization or company which turns out to be difficult and unbearable. Moreover, employers may not be available during the additional hours of work, which makes the schedule very difficult to embrace (Groeneman, 2008).
Description of the researcher’s qualifications to undertake the proposed investigation
The person willing to undertake the following proposed study is a master’s student in Political science and public administration. The main reason for conducting the study is to contribute to civil society and public service.
With a bachelor’s degree in political science, and currently pursuing a relevant course of study, he is viable to conduct a significant study. It is recommended that the researcher be considered because the study will not only be helpful to him but also to the country at large.
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Data collection and analysis 300$
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Schedule of activities
|Time Frame||August – November (2012)|
|Main Research: data collection and analysis|
|Presentation of Research Findings|
Allen, T. (2008). Family-supportive work environments: The role of organizational perceptions. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 58(3), 414-435.
Groeneman, S. (2008). Staying ahead of the curve 2007: The AARP work and career study. Washington, D.C.: AARP Publishers.
Hayman, J. (2001). Flexible work arrangements: Exploring the linkages between perceived usability of flexible work schedules and work/life balance. Community, Work and Family journal, 12(3), 327- 338.
Hewlett, A. & Vandy, S. (2002). Off-ramps and on-ramps. Harvard Business Review, 83(3), 43-54.
Hutchens, A. (2007). Phased retirement: Problems and prospects. Chestnut Hill: Boston College Press.