This paper aims to explore the influence of flexible working on employee happiness and attitude, and the role of this within a high performance work system (HPWS).
A case study of flexible working within an NHS Acute Trust is presented. A qualitative study is undertaken based on 43 employee interviews across a range of directorates within the Trust.
Employees perceive that flexible working makes them “happy” and that there are attitudinal/behavioural links between this happiness, discretionary behaviour and a number of performance outcomes.
This paper presents a single case study with a relatively small sample which uses an inductive approach based on emergent data; it explores one element of a HPWS rather than an entire employment system. Respondents were volunteers, which raises the possibility of sample bias.
There may be a need for organisations to focus more on employee happiness to encourage performance. HR practitioners could reflect on the impact of HR practices on happiness and which features of a job role are likely to promote happiness.
This paper contributes a much‐needed employee perspective on the effect of HR practices, specifically that of flexible working, and explores the neglected employee attitude of happiness.
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