In the REFLEX project, we investigate the relationship between work-time flexibility and work inclusion.
The combination of work-time flexibility and new information technology like smartphones and laptops has made it easier for many employees to juggle work and home. This is more important than ever as we have an aging workforce.
On one hand, flexible working hours has proven beneficial for seniors, for workers caring for young children or sick family members, and those with health issues. Flexibility, for example in the form of flextime or remote work, can help these groups remain in the workforce and thus promote inclusion.
On the other hand, flexibility in where and when one performs work tasks can lead to continuous connectivity to work, overwork, burnout and sickness absence, and thereby contribute to withdrawal from work. In Europe, one response to these challenges has been a legal right for workers to disconnect from work.
However, there is a need for increased knowledge on how to ensure that groups needing flexibility to remain in the workforce receive this, while simultaneously preventing overwork and negative health consequences. REFLEX aims to provide a broad knowledge base for policy development in this field.
In the project, researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers collaborate to
- Map and explore the consequences of various forms of work-time flexibility and connectivity to work through digital tools at multiple levels (for the individual worker and for work organizations)
- Analyze and understand political and legal instruments for flexibility
- Facilitate learning, development, and knowledge dissemination about best practices in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
REFLEX aims to generate knowledge across different disciplines (social science, jurisprudence, and humanities) and methods (participatory intervention, qualitative interview, quantitative survey questionnaire, document analysis), and across various perspectives.