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Staff and students’ perception of implementing flexible working arrangements in institution of higher education

Sam M. Mwando (Department of Land and Property Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia)
Amin Issa (Department of Land and Property Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia)
Verinjaerako Kangotue (Department of Land and Property Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 7 January 2021

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021

765

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perception of university staff and students in implementing flexible working arrangements (FWA) to increase space efficiency, lower overheads and improve productivity at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews and document searches. A total of 253 university staff (academic and support) and students were surveyed to solicit their perceptions on the extent to which FWA could be implemented to ensure space optimisation, minimise property related costs and improve employee productivity.

Findings

The study confirms that the successful implementation of FWA needs coordinated institutional policy to effectively support and cater to university staff’s different needs while meeting those of the university. Implementing FWA may reduce demand on utilities resulting in lower overheads for the institution. Based on the findings, the study is inconclusive on whether FWA improves or reduces staff productivity.

Practical implications

In the era of austerity measures in institutions of higher education (IHE), with rapid advances in communication information technologies, FWA are not only a possibility but inevitable to ensure optimal use of space, lower operating costs and improved work productivity. This study provides a cursory understanding of the possibility to implementing FWA in higher education.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the FWA body of knowledge from the perspective of both academic, non-academic staff and students in IHE.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge all the reviewers who participated in evaluating this paper. Without these reviews, it would not have been possible to publish the paper. The authors are personally indebted to some specific individuals who helped during the period of this study. These include Delia Sarah Mutale, Prof. Mutjinde Katjiua, Agreement Ndlovu, Celina Kafute Awala, and Prof. Uchendu Eugen Chigbu.

Funding: This research was self-funded.

Citation

Mwando, S.M., Issa, A. and Kangotue, V. (2021), "Staff and students’ perception of implementing flexible working arrangements in institution of higher education", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 285-303. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFM-07-2020-0040

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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