Connect with us

World

Flexible work arrangements, a benefit to all – ILO report

Flexible working hours can advance economies and businesses while helping employees and families achieve a better work-life balance, according to a new report launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Friday.

Avatar

Published

on

Issues surrounding working hours and conditions are “at the heart of most labour market reforms and evolutions taking place in the world today”, Branch Chief Philippe Marcadent said in the foreword to ILO’s Working Time and Work-Life Balance Around the World.

“The number of hours worked, the way in which they are organized, and the availability of rest periods can significantly affect not only the quality of work, but also life outside the workplace”.

Recording hours

The study, which is the first to focus on work-life balance, examines the affects that working hours and time schedules have on the performance of businesses and their employees.

Advertisement
A woman works remotely in Bali, Indonesia.

Unsplash/Daria Mamont

A woman works remotely in Bali, Indonesia.

Advertisement

Covering the periods before and during COVID-19, the report reveals that more than a third of all employees are regularly working more than 48 hours per week, while a fifth of the global workforce is labouring fewer than 35 hours per week, on a part-time basis.

“The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon has placed work-life balance at the forefront of social and labour market issues in the post-pandemic world”, said lead author Jon Messenger.

Varying arrangements

The report analyses different work schedules and their effects on work-life balance, including shifts, arrangements for being on call, compressed hours, and hours-averaging schemes.

Advertisement

Innovative working-time arrangements, such as those introduced during the COVID-19 crisis, can bring great benefits, including greater productivity and improved work-life balance, said Mr. Messenger.

“This report shows that if we apply some of the lessons of the COVID-19 crisis and look very carefully at the way working hours are structured, as well as their overall length, we can create a win-win, improving both business performance and work-life balance”, he added.

However, the report cautioned that the benefits of some flexible arrangements, such as spending more time with the family, may also be accompanied by greater gender imbalances and health risks.

Advertisement
Average hours of work per week, disaggregated by sex and geographic region, based on 2019 data from 160 countries.

Working Time and Work-Life Balance Around the World, ILO

Pandemic responses  

The report also looks at crisis response measures which governments and businesses took during the pandemic to help keep organizations functioning and preserve jobs, which found that more workers on reduced hours helped to prevent job losses.

Advertisement

The study also highlights long-term changes.

“The large-scale implementation of telework nearly everywhere in the world that it was feasible to do so, changed…the nature of employment, most likely for the foreseeable future” it asserts.

The COVID-19 crisis measures also yielded powerful new evidence showing that by giving workers more flexibility in how, where and when they work, can be positive both for them and for business, with significant productivity gains.

Advertisement

Conversely, restricting flexibility brings substantial costs, including higher staff turnover.

“There is a substantial amount of evidence that work–life balance policies provide significant benefits to enterprises, supporting the argument that such policies are a ‘win-win’ for both employers and employees”, stated the report.

Observations

The report includes a number of conclusions, such as that longer working hours are generally associated with lower productivity, while shorter hours are linked with greater output.

Advertisement

It also upholds that laws and regulations which set an upper limit on hours worked and statutory rest periods, contribute to the long-term health and well-being of society.

Sebabatso Nchephe (right), 18, chats remotely with her mentor, Pretty Jagivan (on screen) at the offices of Roche Pty Ltd in Sandton, South Africa.

© UNICEF/Karin Schermbrucker

Sebabatso Nchephe (right), 18, chats remotely with her mentor, Pretty Jagivan (on screen) at the offices of Roche Pty Ltd in Sandton, South Africa.

Advertisement

Recommendations

According to Working Time, countries should continue to support pandemic-era initiatives such as inclusive short-time work schemes, which not only saved jobs but also boosted purchasing power and helped cushion the effects of economic crises.

It also advocates for a public policy shift to reduce the number of working hours in many countries, and promote a healthy work-life balance.

Advertisement

And finally, the report encourages teleworking to help maintain employment and give workers more agency.

However, to contain potential negative effects, it warned that these and other flexible working arrangements need to be well regulated, to support what is often called the “right to disconnect” from work.

The news is provided by the United Nations, © 2022 United Nations, published by EMEA Tribune210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Entertainment1 hour ago

Sundance 2023: All the buzzy titles at this year’s festival, from Brooke Shields and Michael J. Fox docs to new movies from ‘Star Wars’ stars

Clockwise from l to r: Little Richard: I Am Everything, Polite Society, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie and Sometimes...

Entertainment2 hours ago

Jennifer Lopez says ‘PTSD’ from failed 2003 Ben Affleck wedding led them to elope

Jennifer Lopez, at Wednesday’s Shotgun Wedding premiere, says Ben Affleck arranged their Las Vegas wedding to alleviate stress they had...

Entertainment3 hours ago

Alec Baldwin will be charged with 2 counts of involuntary manslaughter in ‘Rust’ shooting

Actor Alec Baldwin faces criminal charges for the death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images) Alec...

Entertainment3 hours ago

‘Alice, Darling’: Anna Kendrick came out of a long, toxic, emotionally abusive relationship, then made a movie about one

Anna Kendrick in ‘Alice, Darling’ (Lionsgate) Anna Kendrick has spoken openly about the fact that she can relate far too...

Entertainment5 hours ago

Ghostface goes for an NYC slice (and dice) in Scream VI trailer

In Scream VI, the four young survivors from last year’s Scream — played by Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy...

Entertainment6 hours ago

AP Top 25 Movies: Breaking down our panelists’ picks

Fiercely original films, female-focused stories and theatrical-first releases had the clear edge in The Associated Press’s inaugural Top 25 Movies...

Entertainment6 hours ago

AP Top 25 Movies, ranking 2022’s best: What made the cut?

With hundreds of new movies released each year, many of us depend on the expertise of film critics to help...

Entertainment6 hours ago

BAFTA Noms Snubs & Surprises: ‘All Quiet’ Blazes A Trail While ‘The Fabelmans’ & ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Sink In Major Categories

Six months ago you would have got sky-high odds on the BAFTA nominations being dominated by a German-language film and...

Advertisement

Latest Sports

Sports1 hour ago

Andy Murray wins career longest match to reach Australian Open third round – latest reaction

Andy Murray soldiered deep into the night to conjure another extraordinary win at the Australian Open.

Sports1 hour ago

Should Bears trade No. 1 pick? History tells us …

Chicago doesn't seem to be in the market for a quarterback, so trading the top pick in the NFL draft...

Sports2 hours ago

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott defends use of item to mark kicking spot

Last week, officials were told to watch for kickers and holders using a foreign object during kick attempts. On Wednesday,...

Sports2 hours ago

Andy Murray vs Thanasi Kokkinakis, Australian Open live: early-hours epic into a fifth set

Andy Murray vs Thanasi Kokkinakis, Australian Open live: early-hours epic into a fifth set

Sports3 hours ago

Andy Murray vs Thanasi Kokkinakis, Australian Open live: early-hours epic heads to a fifth set

Andy Murray vs Thanasi Kokkinakis, Australian Open live: early-hours epic heads to a fifth set

Sports3 hours ago

The craziest thing about Brock Purdy’s improbable rise? The praise is deserved

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback is surrounded by superstar talent and a mastermind coach. But he looks like exactly the...

Sports4 hours ago

Tennis’s weird rule prompts ten-minute shouting match between Jeremy Chardy and umpire

Dan Evans, the British No 2, has a knack for attracting controversy – although he did his best to stay...

Sports4 hours ago

Why Eagles top draft picks better off (mostly) not playing, while an undrafted guy shines

Why Eagles rookies will be further ahead by watching as opposed to playing on a team not in the playoffs?

Technology Hot News

Technology14 hours ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Technology1 day ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

Technology1 day ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

Technology2 days ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Technology2 days ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

Technology2 days ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

Technology4 days ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

Technology4 days ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...

Advertisement