Flexible working in an Irish public sector organisation: Still a gender issue

  •  Deborah Harrington    
  •  Margaret Linehan    
  •  Christine Cross    


This paper examines the experiences of employees availing of flexible working arrangements across four different professions within an Irish public sector organisation.  The paper investigates employees’ experiences of flexible working and their perceptions of the impact of flexible working arrangements both on their individual career development and their organisational commitment.  Fourteen in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted. The results of the study illustrate that flexible working policies are highly gendered with more women than men opting to reduce their working hours.  This, in turn, has implications for career development strategies for both female employees and the organisation.  In terms of accessing flexible working arrangements the attitude and support of the line manager is seen as critical.  Despite a reduction in hours, all interviewees demonstrated a high level of commitment to clients, colleagues, and the organisation.

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