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/approachData 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.FindingsThe 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 implicationsIn 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/valueThis study contributes to the FWA body of knowledge from the perspective of both academic, non-academic staff and students in IHE.
Journal of Facilities Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 22, 2021
Keywords: Namibia; Flexible working arrangements; Institution of higher education; NUST
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