Majority of employers currently prefer alternative forms of employment models that would reduce the duration and levels of commitment with/to their staff. Houseman, (2001) indicates that majority of employee still prefer the traditional forms of employment (p. 150). Erin (2013) addsthat employers have developed strategies to the interests of the employee promoted through labour unions that contrasted employers’ strategic interest. Even though organizations have continued to pay more attention to the flexible staffing arrangements, Houseman (2001) avers that the main drive is propelled by the technological makeup of the current workplace and the need to reduce overhead.
Besides the benefit attached to full time workers in organizations, employers still engage temporary staff to save on the cost of such benefits as retirement packages and health insurance attached to permanent employment engagements.
Temporary jobs have become the widespread in the American job market. Due to the opportunities by the macroeconomic forces like technological shifts, globalization, and the aspects of deindustrialization, employers have developed progressive approaches to influence levels of employment,which limits the duration of labor commitments. Erin (2013) asserts that employers have developed newer preferences for alternative forms of employment for their operations since such models come with cost cutting measures. Firstly, organizations are able to save operational costs, including payroll taxes, compensation costs, worker benefits, and other legal liabilities they pay when engagingpermanent workers. Secondly, employers are influenced by the drive to attain efficiency and growth through cheaper labor, simpler material acquisition through global outsourcing systems. Majority of digital models of employment are meant to serve the employer focus on profitability and growth prospects, leading to exploitation and employee frustrations at the workplace.
Alternative staffing arrangement in the workforce is a strategy used by employers to pay relatively low wages. When companies allowstaff to work on short-term contracts, their bargaining power is reduced (Houseman, 2001, p. 155). Thus, employers gain control over workers benefits, which assist in reducing the cost of running the organization. Among the incentives that redirect the focus of employers to alternative employment contracts include the absence of a progressive legislative framework that obligates employer to observe the practices of the traditional employment systems that require effective contractive, leave allowances, and other employees’ benefits. Companies have an advantage to increase their labor productivity through reduced costs of human capital.
Alternative working provide flexible hours of engagements restricted to performing assignments stipulated in the contracting agreement. Employee satisfaction is an important phenomenon in managing the quality of products in the market. According to Houseman (2001), majority of the employees in the flexible working relationships are dissatisfied (p. 150). It implies that majority of people still prefer jobs on a permanent scheme with regular or predictable hours of service. The current job arrangement by employers have negative contributions to the welfare of employees. Houseman (2001) aver that employees in the alternative job arrangements have no sense of belonging in the places they work. For example, workers employed to manage cleaning services, courier service, or packaging on behalf of another company may not connect with the main operations given the variances in their mandate. Majority of such employee tend to focus primarily on their obligation and may not provide support to activities that would require urgent redress. Hence, cohesion at the workplace is not cultivated, leading to several compromises to quality of products. According to Houseman (2001), effort to adjust the employer commitment at the workplace to increase the benefits of employees have the potential to reduce the opportunities for employment in the market (p.168). Therefore, employees will continue to be the victim on the alternative employment engagement.
The use of flexible employee arrangement is common at the workplace. Employers are developing systems to pay for core services while outsourcing other non-essential service to a third party. Likewise, other employers are keen to manage their operational costs by building partnership in jurisdictions with relatively cheap labour. The over emphasis on cost cutting at the workplace affects how workers relate with their employers. Organizations continue to develop preferences to third party employment to avoid taking responsibility for the employee, including payingof retirement benefits, medical allowances, and compassionate benefits.
As it is evident from the discussion, the workplace is no longer a place for social bonding between the employer and the employee as experienced in traditional employment systems. The paradox of the temporary employment terms views employees as another form of capital (Erin, 2013). The primary focus of the employers is on the products to be marketed and the commodity value. Dave (2015) stipulates that employment opportunitieshave increased due to the alternative employment schedules. Although people can easily secure jobs, the quality of the labor engagement continue to deteriorate.
Dave, J. (2015). The Life and death of an amazon warehouse Temp. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/life-anddeath-amazon-temp/
Erin, H. (2013, January 26). The rise of the permanent temp economy. The New York times. Retrieved from https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/the-rise-ofthe-permanent-temp-economy/
Houseman, S. N. (2001). Why employers use flexible staffing arrangements: Evidence from an establishment survey. ILR Review, 55(1), 149-170.