Working time autonomy as a management practice

Allowing workers to control their work hours (working-time autonomy) is a controversial policy for worker empowerment, with concerns that range from increased shirking to excessive intensification of work. Empirical evidence, however, supports neither view. On the one hand, working-time autonomy promotes under certain circumstances worker and firm performance. It can also improve the attractiveness of a firm as an employer. On the other hand, some workers might abuse working-time autonomy by reducing their work effort and the policy itself might not be appropriated for certain occupational groups. But overall, worker and firm benefits seem to exceed the relative costs. In combining working-time autonomy with performance targets, managers should set realistic goals and avoid target ratcheting or stretch goals.

The objective of our research is to explore how working-time autonomy affects firm and worker productivity. Moreover, we want to highlight under which circumstances working-time autonomy is beneficial for employees and employers.

Get more information by downloading the research papers listed below.

Beckmann, Michael (2018): Does self-managed working time affect firm performance?. Mimeo.

Beckmann, Michael; Cornelissen, Thomas; Kräkel, Matthias (2017): Self-managed working time and employee effort: Theory and evidence.Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 133: 285-302.

Beckmann, Michael (2016): Working time autonomy as a management practice.IZA World of Labor: 230.

Rupietta, Kira; Beckmann, Michael (2018): Working from home: What is the effect on employees’ effort?. Schmalenbach Business Review 70: 25-55.

Rupietta, Kira; Beckmann, Michael (2016): Arbeit im Homeoffice: Förderung der Arbeitsbereitschaft oder Einladung zum Faulenzen?PERSONALquarterly 03: 14-19.