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ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES ON EMPLOYEE STRESS LEVELS AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN CAMEROON

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ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES ON EMPLOYEE STRESS LEVELS AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

As work and family life evolve, one significant challenge individuals encounter, both presently and in the foreseeable future, is finding a balance between work commitments and family obligations. The implementation of flexible working hours is increasingly recognized as a crucial aspect of organizational responsibility towards its employees. Historically, harmonizing work and family life in Cameroon hasn't been straightforward. However, the adoption of flexible working arrangements has facilitated this integration. Employers and human resources professionals must adopt the benefits of flexible working schedules to prevent employees from overexertion, thereby preserving their effectiveness and mitigating the risks of turnover and job-related stress. Furthermore, flexible working schedules serve as a strategic tool for employers aiming to alleviate employee stress, enhance performance, and foster job retention (Anderson & Kelliher, 2019). However, embracing flexible work-hour schemes, including options like part-time roles, shift work, job sharing, compressed workweeks, telecommuting for nursing mothers, five-day workweeks, sabbaticals, career flexibility, and various types of leave, is paramount for the human resources department of any organization. This approach aids in mitigating the work-life conflict experienced by employees, boosting motivation, and enhancing overall performance. Widely regarded as an innovative practice in human resource management and the business landscape, flexible working schedules are typically championed by effective and forward-thinking leaders who grasp the nuances of an ever-evolving global business environment. (Idowu, 2019). On the other hand, Griep et al., (2023) argue that flexible work schedules, such as adjusting leave entitlements or modifying working hours, present an opportunity to synchronize individual needs with those of the workplace. These adjustments may involve reconfiguring job roles, introducing part-time or full-time employment options, incorporating contract work, and adopting various other flexible work practices. Jackson & Fransman (2018) noted that a significant portion of organizations implementing flexible working hour policies have experienced a shift towards greater family-friendliness, as such arrangements are now integral components of many family-oriented human resource policies. Flexible working hour agreements have been recognized as effective tools for harmonizing job commitments with other personal responsibilities (Aruldoss et al., 2021).

Despite concerted efforts by employers to enhance employee performance, retain skilled workers, and mitigate work-related stress, some organizations still grapple with these challenges due to insufficient investigation into underlying reasons. This study aims to explore the impact of flexible working schedules on employee work-life balance, retention, and stress levels. However, implementing flexible working schedule and policies across all types of organizations, both private and governmental, can offer solutions to the conflicts between work and family responsibilities. Nevertheless, prioritizing flexible working hour arrangements by human resource managers to alleviate employee workload and address work-family balance issues can significantly reduce these challenges. Flexible working conditions can serve as a pivotal factor in attracting and retaining top talent across various sectors if managed effectively. Cohen and Single (2021) contend that companies face increasing pressure to adopt family-friendly practices, recognizing that such initiatives aid individuals in balancing their professional and personal lives (Rogier & Padgett, 2020). Panda & Sahoo (2021) argue that flexible work schedules are instrumental in mitigating stress and preventing burnout. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate the relationship between job design and employee job satisfaction in large organizations in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Organizations have recently focused a great deal of attention on flexible working hours as a family-friendly strategy. Employers these days are attempting to foster a culture of trust by providing flexibility in the workplace for their staff (Anderson & Kelliher, 2019). Furthermore, some researchers contend that flexible work schedules help people balance their personal and professional lives, and that these schedules are advantageous for both men and women in light of changing family dynamics (Asumadu et al., 2018; Gragnano et., 2020) Additionally, there is a problem with work-life balance in today's worldwide society. The ability to work flexibly around the clock has been made possible by technology and flexible work schedules. It allows workers to arrange their lives anyway they see fit. On the other hand, this puts pressure on everyone to always be available and to work without taking a break. It affects people's well-being, and further research is necessary to determine how flexible work schedules and work-life balance relate to one another.Hence, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to investigate the relationship between job design and employee job satisfaction in large organizations in Cameroon.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between job design and employee job satisfaction in large organizations in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

1.Evaluate the prevalence and types of flexible work arrangements adopted by organization in Cameroon.

2.Determine the perceived stress levels among employees with access to flexible work schedules compared to those without.

3.Investigate the influence of flexible work schedules on employee stress levels and work-life balance in Cameroon.

4.Assess the factors hindering the successful implementation of flexible work schedules in various organizations in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is the prevalence of flexible work arrangements in organizations operating in Cameroon, and what types of flexible work arrangements are commonly adopted?

How do perceived stress levels differ between employees who have access to flexible work schedules and those who do not in Cameroon?

How do flexible work schedules impact employee stress levels and work-life balance in Cameroon?

What are the primary factors that impede the effective implementation of flexible work schedules across different organizations in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho: There is no significant impact of flexible work schedules on employee stress levels and work-life balance in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant impact of flexible work schedules on employee stress levels and work-life balance in Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the Study

Government agencies and policymakers will use research findings to inform labor regulations and policies related to flexible work arrangements. Also, it will empower employees to advocate for flexible work arrangements that align with their personal and professional needs, leading to improved job satisfaction, reduced stress, and better work-life balance.

 Furthermore, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the relationship between job design and employee job satisfaction in large organizations in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the relationship between job design and employee job satisfaction in large organizations in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will evaluate the prevalence and types of flexible work arrangements adopted by organization in Cameroon, determine the perceived stress levels among employees with access to flexible work schedules compared to those without, investigate the influence of flexible work schedules on employee stress levels and work-life balance in Cameroon and assess the factors hindering the successful implementation of flexible work schedules in various organizations in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees of Buea, Cameroon

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Stress: refers to the psychological and physiological response to external pressures or demands, often resulting in feelings of tension, anxiety, or overwhelm.

Flexible work schedule: refers to an arrangement where employees have the option to adjust their working hours or location to better accommodate personal needs or preferences.

Work-life balance: The equilibrium between a person's obligations in their working life and their personal lives outside of work

Employee: is an individual who works for an organization or company in exchange for compensation, such as a salary or wages.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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