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The costs and benefits of "the New World of Work" - A model based on he cost and benefits regarding "the New World of Work"

Kraijenbrink, Jorien (2012) The costs and benefits of "the New World of Work" - A model based on he cost and benefits regarding "the New World of Work".

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Abstract:This research can be considered as a business case, and focuses on two sides; 1) on the one hand the hard side of The New World of Work (abbreviation NWW) was researched. The costs of the virtual and physical dimension provide interpretation on the hard side. The mental dimension involves the soft side of the NWW. The soft side is aimed at the effects of NWW on the components trust, social cohesion and result-oriented leadership. The above-mentioned sides of NWW are treated separately in the research. The central question of this research is the following; which influences do the mental, virtual and physical dimensions have on the cost and benefit analysis based on the New World of Work for the Pension & Life division of Achmea? During this research the NWW was subdivided into three components; 1) flexibility, 2) virtual teams and 3) working at home. The literature study extensively discusses what kinds of benefits are significantly measured after implementing the three mentioned components. These benefits can be roughly divided into two types of benefits (Baane et al., 2010). On the one hand, benefits which can be realized in the short term, which is called denominator management. On the other hand benefits that can be realized in the long term, numerator management. Denominator management is aimed at cost-reduction. The associated components are a decrease of absenteeism, a higher productivity and of course cost-reduction itself. Baane et al., (2010) also regarded savings on travel costs and savings on housing costs as components of denominator management. Numerator management can be linked to job satisfaction, job performance, job motivation, productivity, work-life balance, and personal-family success. In addition to the benefits of NWW, the literature study also discusses the operationalization of the virtual, physical and mental dimensions. To start with the hard side of NWW; the physical dimension is operationalized in 1) ergonomical design, 2) renting and furnishing external working areas, 3) renovation costs and 4) implementation costs of advisors. In the elaboration of this dimension, the current costs were compared with a situation where NWW has been fully implemented. The highest saving regarding this dimension can be realized in the cost centre ergonimical design. The assumption of 0,7 fte per work desk was made here. When this number is taken into account, a saving of 155.860,- per month can be realized. The virtual dimension was operationalized in 1) digitalizing, 2) system and process optimization, and 3) advanced ICT facilities. The basis of this calculation is based on three types of employees; knowledge, production, and mobile workers. The needed facilities were inventoried and formed that basis of the calculation. To enable an employee to work time- and place independent, an investment of 100,- is needed per month. To take both dimensions into consideration, the Pension & Life division could save 150,- per employee per month when NWW is fully implemented. The robustness of the costs is large; a number of assumptions had to be made in order to come to a cost calculation. Therefore caution is required with interpretation of these results. The mental dimension was operationalized with the components; trust, social cohesion and result-oriented leadership. These components were measured with the use of quantitative research. A questionnaire was distributed to all the employees of the Pension & Life division (1129). The response rate was 49,2% which amounts to 555 employees. The aim of this questionnaire was to get insight into the components of the mental dimension and the components of NWW. Therefore this research can be regarded as diagnostic. Statistical analyses have proved that NWW provides benefits for the Pension & Life division. The results were controlled for the different locations in which the division is distributed. The regression indicated that the Tilburg, Leeuwarden and Apeldoorn PWA locations showed significant results. The Apeldoorn CBM location did not show a significant result. In addition to the control variable location, another control variable was added; type of employee. The regression test with the inclusion of the type of employee was also significant. The first moderating variable that was tested was result-oriented leadership. The more the manager manages on result, the better the performance. However, this relationship is not significant. The second moderator variable was social cohesion. The more employees experience social cohesion, the better the performance. However, this relationship is not significant. The last moderator variable was trust, which showed a positive regression and a significant relationship with the dependent variable performance. These regressions were also tested for both control variables. The control variables location showed significant results. The level of trust in management is significantly higher at the Tilburg location than at the Leeuwarden location. The control variable type of employee did not show significant results. An important question is; are there still benefits for the Pension & Life division when the mental dimension needs investments? Yes, is the answer because a lot of knowledge regarding NWW is already available. The Tilburg location has documentation and workshops available that can be unrolled at the other locations. The consultancy company Veldoen has also provided advice at some of the locations; therefore a lot of resources and workshops are available. The project group (see point 3, Recommendations) is inter alia responsible for this part. It only brings costs in the case of time. The researcher recommends the following to the management of the Pension & Life division: 1) Innovation starts at the top, an important role is reserved for the management of the Pension & Life division. Management must act as the driving force behind this innovation. 2) After the management, when the more general principles of NWW are being formulated, the middle management comes into the picture. Middle management takes care of the facilities that employees need to work time and place independent. Management is responsible for the policies regarding the facilities, and middle management needs to arrange this with the employees. In addition, middle management needs to carry out exemplary behaviour. 3) Management and middle-management need to be supported by a project group, which already exists in the division. The project group consists of employees who represent a dimension.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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