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Flexible working, teleworking and diversity

Examine the evidence behind the claim that flexible working arrangements support inclusion and diversity

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge increase in remote working. This is an important form of flexible working arrangements (FWAs), which enable employees to determine how, when and where they work. Here, we examine the evidence underpinning the impact of FWAs on inclusion and diversity (I&D) through an evidence review and shorter evidence summary.

How do FWAs support I&D?

FWAs are argued to support workplace inclusion and diversity because they help people manage work and family responsibilities. This in turn is explained by employees being able to manage their resources to balance the demands of work and home life. In addition, because of social exchange, it is theorised that people are likely to give back and be committed to employers who help them. 

What is the effect of FWAs?

Reduced work-life conflict and increased job satisfaction and commitment

FWAs do indeed help employees reduce conflict between balancing family and work roles. The effect is small, however, and is determined by the type of FWA, with flexibility of time more likely to help than flexibility of location.

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