Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Business

First Advisor

Dr Deirdre O'Donovan


Separation of work and personal life is becoming more difficult. With the advances in technology, the use of personal devices for work, the mobility of work devices and the ability to remotely work for many, this research poses a question. What does Flexible Working mean to the worker and the workplace? Legislatively, Irish workers are protected by the Organisation of Working Time Act (1997). From the evidence in this study, however, this is often a law that is disregarded and has questionable applicability in modern working life. The study looks at how the current worker manages their time and contrasts the working time of this worker with the legislative directives. It raises a question as to whether organisations are knowingly or unknowingly disregarding the law. In addition to looking at the organisations role, the law is interrogated for its applicability and efficacy given the fact that almost twenty years have passed since it was passed. 1 he demands of the modern worker have led to a drive to work through lunch, check emails soon after waking and again before going to sleep. It could be questioned, however, whether the ability to be virtually present at work help to integrate more life activities than the traditional day. This study shows how workers have abandoned the traditional working week and the much touted Work-Life Balance phenomenon has been replaced by a newer age initiative, that of Work-Life Fusion. Modern employees work wherever, whenever and however. Has the workplace become a drop-in centre for the rare occasion that employees visit? Or, is the workplace a more effective and efficient location where the employees there are task focused and not time focused? Gender, family status and age all have an impact on the need and uptake of flexibility. This study looks at what that impact is. Additionally, the current age profile in Ireland is the oldest it has ever been. The evolution of dependency is upon us. The traditional care needs of parenthood continue to exist but have been added to with the need to care for older dependents, this means that flexible working is not a life stage phase that passes, it’s more likely a continuous cycle.


Submitted for the Award of Master of Arts in Human Resource Management, 2015.

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