This article discusses the social exchange theory relative to employees with flexible work hours. The social exchange theory is based on a rewards and punishments response in a cost-benefit analysis such that behavior= rewards of interaction – costs of interaction.
Research from the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom found that if employers offered more flexible hours for their employees, a rise in productivity, job satisfaction, loyalty, and lower stress levels would follow. This is because of the “employee’s willingness to maintain equilibrium between that worker and his or her employer. Since the employer has added a new dimension that benefits the employee — in this case, the freedom of a flexible schedule — the worker is interested in keeping an equal balance and adjusts the scales by working harder in return,” suggests Anderson and Kelliher. These social transactions between employer and employee creates a a strong trust bond.
Although there are many positive outcomes through research, the long-term benefits may be exceeded by costs of employee well-being from increased work intensification.