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Flexi-week: Is it worth it?

Published:Monday | February 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Steve Lyston, Contributor

SOME HAVE said that flexi-week gives workers greater scheduling freedom. Others have said it is positive for productivity, and allows employees more family time. But are we really capable of handling flexi-week schedules?

Divestment of chief assets such as bauxite, sugar, airlines and our energy company, sends the message that our managers and politicians are incapable of properly handling our resources. Many of these have gone to foreign interests. If they are not capable of managing the nation's most important resources, how are they expected to properly drive a flexi-week situation? Will they import foreign managers to run that within the nation on such a large scale?

Regardless of what is implemented, if you don't have innovative managers and politicians to manage and drive the flexi-week, then it will prove disastrous and result in utter failure.

Flexi-week can work in the service industry - in hotels, airlines, essential services, and also in the gambling industry. But if not properly managed it can be devastating for families and other industries. For example, where each parent works in a different industry, there is no guarantee that they will be working on the same shift. Hence, the family time is sacrificed and that will prove destructive for the children and for the family unit itself!

It has been said that employees can schedule their own times, but what would happen in a peak period, a time when employers would need either the best or the most workers, or both? What if there is an imbalance when workers schedule their time and it is contrary to the needs of the organisation?

Many say it will bring great savings to this economy, provide much needed jobs and boost production to the benefit of the economy, but the records have shown that it is not the lower-level employees that contribute to high overheads.

Flexi-week opportunities

There are opportunities that can result from the implementation of the flexi-week.

Union busting;

Changing of work culture/environment;

Forcing the hand of the religious sector to change its mode of operations;

Eliminating overtime;

Forcing the schools to change its timetable;

Forcing persons who refuse to work on weekends to open their own businesses.

Flexi-week threats

We don't generally have a disciplined work force. Companies that operate beyond 6 p.m., therefore, may have a huge security bill and possibly an increase in crime on their hands. There is already a shortage of police personnel. Furthermore there will be:

Spiritual bankruptcy - at this point, meditation, yoga and other methods of peace-seeking will not be enough to help or fill the void.

Family division, particularly so if the employer is an atheist and has no respect for religion of any kind; or where the employer is single and does not have the variables of a family in his or her personal equation.

Loss of revenue in religious institutions - if this happens, economic woes will increase and so will the divorce rates!

Already, we are seeing 'flexing' issues that are causing numerous problems. Lecturers who have full-time sessions, for example, are doing additional jobs on weekends, forcing some students to abandon their family lives and days of worship in an effort to finalise their tertiary level education. It has resulted in a high level of divorce, increase in youth crimes and spiritual backwardness!

Could it be that we need to look more closely at a staggered shift system rather than a flexi-week? Are we ready for the sacrifices that come with the implementation of flexi-week?

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.