Employers in Serbia are generally not in favour of introducing flexible working hours, while global research shows that this model, known as “rational working time,” has a positive impact on the employee motivation, which, in the end, translates as significantly higher profits for companies.
This trend was first launched in the Scandinavian countries, and several decades ago, it was implemented in the United States too from where it spread to India, Spain, Germany …
The data collated by the Spanish National Commission for the Rationalization of Working Hours (Comisión Nacional para la Racionalización de los Horarios Españoles) show that worker productivity increased by 19% in companies that promoted work flexibility while, at the same, the operating costs in the companies that introduced flexible working time have declined.
However, most employers in Serbia are not in favour of the idea of introducing part-time work, and once that are in favour of it, would like to receive tax and general business exemptions for it.
The Serbian legislation says that it is possible to re-arrange working hours, but within the required 40 hours of work per week, and in special cases, like difficult jobs, employees are allowed to work 36 hours a week.
Flexible working time, according to the widely accepted interpretation, implies the workers’ right to choose when they will work during a week or a working day, although certain legislations stipulate something that is called the core period, that is, the day in a week on which all workers have to be at work. The rest is called “flexi time “, i.e. the time where each employee can choose their working hours but in accordance with the daily, weekly or monthly timetable.
In Germany, for example, an increasing number of companies offer the possibility of flexible working hours. According to the Federal Ministry of Economy, four out of five companies agree to flexible working hours.
It has been proven that if employees are offered the possibility to harmonize their family obligations and working hours in accordance with the requirements of the companies they work for, their employers get more satisfied workers, who are more engaged in work which ultimately positively affects the company’s profit.
Global corporations such as Bosch, BASF or Volkswagen have been appealing to the workforce for years by offering special benefits in terms of working hours. According to a research, this practice does have a downside, namely for the workforce, because in some way, the line between private and work life becomes blurred since, in all actuality, they are working throughout the day, and only use the break to spend time with their families which sociologists and psychologists regard as a negative phenomenon.
The so-called Eight Hour a Day Movement (eight hours of work, eight hours of rest and eight hours of sleep) has long since been abandoned in the modern economies, and the societies that have not fully accepted “the Western concept of work” are having difficulty warming up to the idea of part-time work.
In our region, flexible working hours and work from home are still debatable.
When it comes to the work from home, employers often argue against such practice because they are not be able to supervise their workers and fear that they might be sued if there is an injury in the workplace, or – at home.
This post is also available in: Italiano