Original Research

Work–life balance policies: Challenges and benefits associated with implementing flexitime

Caroline Downes, Eileen Koekemoer
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 9, No 1 | a382 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v9i1.382 | © 2011 Caroline Downes, Eileen Koekemoer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 April 2011 | Published: 06 October 2011

About the author(s)

Caroline Downes, School of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Eileen Koekemoer, School of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, South Africa


Orientation: Helping employees to balance their work and family lives is a business imperative. Work–life balance policies (like flexitime) aim to support employees to do so. However, implementing these policies is problematic.

Research purpose: The aim of this article is to report on the challenges and benefits associated with implementing flexitime as a work–life balance policy.

Motivation for the study: Organisations must develop and implement work–life balance policies. This requires human resource practitioners to investigate and understand experiences and perceptions about the challenges and benefits of flexitime.

Research design, approach and method: The researcher used a qualitative research design with an exploratory approach. She drew a nonprobability purposive and voluntary sample (n = 15) from the financial sector. She used semi-structured in-depth interviews to collect the data and conducted content analyses to analyse and interpret them.

Main findings: The researcher extracted four main themes (individual and general challenges, the aspects organisations need to implement flexitime effectively and the benefits that would follow its implementation) from the data. Its benefits vary from work–life balance to employee loyalty and commitment. Some challenges are maintaining productivity, a shortage of critical resources and understanding flexitime.

Practical/managerial implications: The research identified requirements that human resource practitioners should attend to in order to ensure that organisations use flexitime more effectively.

Contribution/value-add: The researcher obtained unique findings about the minimum requirements for implementing flexitime effectively. They could assist organisations to address the challenges that employees face.


financial sector; flexitime; human resource management; qualitative research; work–life balance policies


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