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Flexible hours win over employees

Swiss employees are happiest and show more loyalty towards their employer when they have flexible working hours, according to a job satisfaction survey.

But that contentment factor goes down when work times are imposed on employees due to economic reasons. The annual barometer of human relations was compiled by Zurich University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The survey found 65 per cent of staff in Switzerland had flexible and part-time working hours. The greater the flexibility the higher employers are rated by staff.

Those forced by their employer to do shift work or have a fixed term contract described feelings of job insecurity. “In light of the difficult current economic situation we therefore recommend that businesses use caution in planning such measures,” the authors say.

Personnel also valued employers’ family policies, particularly during tough economic times. Cutbacks on such policies would have a definite negative effect on job satisfaction and commitment, the barometer found.

This year’s survey was based on the results of 1,359 telephone interviews with employees between March and May 2009. and agencies

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