Case Studies

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Organisations that negotiate innovative work practices which also benefit staff are forward-looking, competitive and profitable. They regard job security and responding to the needs of employees as a priority.

Work-life balance is central to positive flexibility in the organisation of work. But to be successful and achieve a win-win outcome for staff and management everyone affected must have the opportunity to participate actively in the process of change.

Flexibility can mean management imposing forms of work organisation on employees who are given no opportunity to state their opinions or explain their needs. Positive flexibility is where working people have more autonomy and choice, and where the employer invests in development and training and works in partnership with the workforce.

This version of flexibility produces a skilled and adaptable workforce, meeting the employers needs for competitiveness, whilst also increasing workers’ security.

Achieving work-life balance requires management and unions to work together in partnership. A genuine partnership has:

  • a shared commitment to the success of the organisation
  • a commitment by the employer to employment security
  • a focus on the quality of working life
  • recognition of the legitimate roles of the employer and the trade union
  • openness on both sides and a willingness by the employer to share information and discuss the future plans for the organisation
  • added value – a shared understanding that the partnership is delivering measurable improvements for the employer, the union and employees.


The case studies show how working in partnership can achieve positive flexibility:


Other case studies:

The Work Foundation has produced a set in-depth Employers for Work-Life Balance case studies of organisations of varying sizes, which have developed successful work-life strategies in response to a wide range of issues.


Work-life balance helps recruit, and keep, top-calibre staff
15 November 2005
Hooked on flexitime
15 October 2005
staff retention through flexible working
15 October 2005
Meeting the demographic challenge
15 October 2005
Time of our lives project
15 October 2005
establishing “changing times champions”
15 October 2005
Reducing hours flexibly
15 October 2005
Flexibility achieves better service for customers, company investment and work-life balance
10 October 2005
extending flexible working
10 October 2005
flexible work options dramatically reduce sickness
10 October 2005

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