According to Pilbeam and Corbridge (2010), Flexibility can be defined as one of the ways company uses to adapt to changes in its needs and its environment. Thanks to flexibility, organisation can react quickly to industrial evolutions. It involves all the ressources of the company and particularly its employees.
Atkinson's model (1984) propose a « flexible firm » model, this model illustrate how companies should establish flexibility in their hiring process. There is different form of Flexibility : Numerical, Functional and temporal.
Numerical Flexibility allows company to adapt the number of their employees to meet market and customer needs (full time, short-term contract, rolling contracts, outworkers, ect). Then Functional flexibility permit the employers to be multi-skilled, they can also switch between job if needed. The last one is Temporal flexibility who concers the amount of hours the employees will execute per week, month, year... In his model Atkinson has divided employees into 3 different group: Core employees : is essential to the organisation, First peripheral group : contribute to your business but they cover less skills than your core group, Second peripheral group : replaceable, they'll work for the organisation if they need them.
CURRENT STATE OF FLEXIBLE WORKING
Nowadays, every employees have the right to request flexible working (Paul Backhouse, head of personnel policy and benefits at the John Lewis Partnership, 2008).
In fact, in 2003 this right has been introduced at first for the parents with a child under six years old or with a disabled child. But this right has been developed in 2007 for the employees with caring responsibilities, in 2009 for the workers with children under 17 years old and finally, in 2010 for the sake of training or study (CIPD, 2012).
New changes are expected in 2013 and 2015, to parental leave and maternity/partenity leave, those changes will allow parents to get more flexibility (CIPD,2012).
BT is a british multinational telecommunications services company, which has decided to adapt the way to manage its employees with its BT Workstyle project. This project give the opportunity to work from home by developing tools to keep a good communication between the organisation and its employees. Thanks to that practive, BT has increased his productivity, the company has decreased its cost “BT's 11,600 home workers save the company €104 million a year in accomodation costs” (BT plc 2007:6), also the company has been “more green”, by reducing the travel of their employees, and finally this creates competitive advantages (BT, 2007).
Accenture is a multinational in management consulting, they have developped “the Accenture maternity scheme” by using a “Telepresence Facility”. This practice allows women to be paid for nine months during their maternity leave, in addition they'll be able to take 12 more months off after their maternity leave, and the women will still receive money to help them with their children.
This pratice helped the organisation to increase the return to work rate of the women after their maternity leave, who imply a reduction on recruitment and on training. Moreover that sensibly increase the motivation of their workers and decrease absenteeism, who ensure the company to increase its productivity and its efficiency (Top Employer for working families report, 2009).
According to the BBC Flexible working Policy (2009), BBC offers its employees to work from home by completing “the Flexible Working Application online”. Workers will be able to work from home “occasionally” and…