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Restructuring Work: Temporary, Part-Time, and At-Home Employment EILEEN APPELBAUM This paper examines the extent to which women participate in alternative work schedules and the relation of such arrangements to the implementation and diffusion of computer-basec! technologies. Alternative work schedules include temporary work, part-time work, multiple jobholding, and at-home work. Each of these em- ployment strategies predates the introduction of high-technology products and production processes; this paper attempts to identify the particular impact of developments in technology on the chang- ing extent of these work schedules. This is not an easy task for two reasons. First, while mainframe computers have been in use since the early 1960s, it is only in the last few years that computer-based technologies have altered the nature of the work process and the way in which work is organized. Second, employment data by occupation and industry, even when they are available, are rarely disaggregated to the extent required for a definitive analysis of the effects of technological change on work schedules. At best, we can hope to find some trace of the impact of technological change on the work options available to women. A limited number of informal interviews have been conducted in order to obtain infor- mation to supplement the published data, especially with regard 268
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EILEEN APPELBA EM 269 to the relative importance of technological change in influencing the work schedules of women. The paper is organized as follows: the next section briefly dis- cusses the transformation of internal and external labor markets, changes in the opportunity structure facing women who work, and the effects of technological change. The following sections discuss temporary employment, part-time employment, multiple jobhold- ing, and at-home work. The final section draws some preliminary conclusions and implications from the available information. THE TRANSFORMATION OF LABOR MARKETS To a large extent, increased use of alternative work schedules can be explained by developments over the last decade and a half that have reduced the importance and undermined the existence of internal labor markets. These developments include the spread of microprocessor-based technologies, increased emphasis on reduc- ing labor costs, and the growth of higher education. Companies have adopted human resource strategies that increase their flexi- bility in deploying their work forces. For workers, nearly 6 million of whom are currently employed part-time involuntarily, this has meant increasing difficulty in obtaining the security, fringe bene- fits, and wages associated with permanent, full-time employment. TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNAL LABOR MARKETS The new microprocessor-based technologies currently being implemented have the dual effect of reducing unit labor require- ments and reorganizing the labor process. Their effect on worker skills and occupational mobility depend critically on strategic de- cisions by firms with respect to how they are implemented. At the micro level, the crucial issue is job design. Computer and com- munication technologies allow for considerable flexibility in the design of the worker/machine interface and the associated skill requirements of jobs (discussed at length by Albin, 1984~. At the macro level the pattern of technical development that results from job design choices will have its major impact on the functioning of internal labor markets. In the last half century, internal labor markets, through on-thejob training and promotion along well- defined job ladders, have generated significant numbers of working class jobs paying middIe-ciass wages. Though women and blacks
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270 RESTRUCTURING WORK were systematically excluded from these job ladders and often con- signed to dead-end work in jobs in the secondary labor market, internal labor markets did provide avenues of upward mobility for many white male workers, thus contributing substantially to the large size of the American middle class. Preliminary evidence sug- gests that the pattern of implementation of the new production technologies will reduce the ~rnportance of these internal labor markets, with, in my view, potentially serious implications for the broader institutional and social framework of society. Familiarity with the intrinsic capabilities of the new technolo- gies suggests that they are most efficiently utilized when they are deployed so that tasks are integrated, job content is complex, and decision making is decentralized (see, for example, Hirschhorn, 1984~. Implemented in this way the technologies would lead to in- creased employment opportunities for skilled and educated work- ers. Work would be highly adaptive with numerous opportunities for learning by doing and for related improvements in productiv- ity, and both the private and social returns to formal education would increase. Initially, however, implementation of these tech- nologies in the United States has often followed the older pattern associated with Taylorism—specialization and fragmentation of work. Despite the technology's capability for integrating work processes, computers and telecommunications are sometimes used to fragment work still further as the production process is un- coupled and the stages physically dispersed. Another aspect of computer-based technologies is that they automate the routine aspects of skilled technical and professional work as well as less skilled clerical work. In the process, these technologies eliminate both entry-level positions and the jobs that traditionally formed the rungs of career ladders from semiskilled to skilled work. Natu- ral learning sequences are disrupted and the possibility of learning more complex tasks on the job diminishes. Thus, ~ would argue that by-products of the implementation of computer and communications technologies include the disrupt tion of natural learning sequences, a decline in the importance of job ladders and internal labor markets for nonprofessional employ- ees, the resulting weakening in internal labor market structures, and the attendant reduction in occupational mobility for ordinary workers. It would be a mistake, however, to attribute all changes in the organization of work that undermine internal labor markets to the direct effects of the way in which technological change is
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EILEEN APPELBA EM 271 implemented. Other forces, some of them indirectly related to technology, are at work here as well. POISED FOR CONTRACTION Internal labor markets play a special role in meeting the needs of companies that are poised for expansion: they guarantee that the company has workers already in the pipeline at every skill level ready to move up the job ladder should an increase in de- mand for the company's products warrant increases in production. Under these conditions, assistant managers are not an unnecessary and costly layer of bureaucracy; rather, they are a pool of work- ers, loyal to the company, steeped in its culture, and possessing the requisite skills to assume the position of manager should the company decide to open additional branch operations. The cost of having such workers on the payroll does not appear excessive when weighed against the costs of quickly recruiting, hiring, and training such workers from outside the firm in order to respond to market opportunities in a timely manner. Today, however, companies are poised for contraction antici- pating a Toss of markets or market share or a decline in unit labor requirements as the labor-saving potential of office automation technologies are realized. In this context, a pipeline filled with workers ready to move up appears to the company to be an un- justifiable expense rather than an investment in its future. A situation in which the competitive position of U.S. industry has cleclined as a result of the combined effects of an overvalued dol- lar and the movement of capital into export zones established in cheap labor areas of the world and in which even domestic markets are increasingly subject to foreign penetration dictates that firms develop a lean profile. Deregulation and increased competition among financial institutions and changes in federal payments to hospitals have unleashed powerful pressures for cost containment in these industries as well. Add to this the indirect role played by technological change. Firms that expect a drop in unit labor requirements do not need a pipeline filled with workers expecting to advance. Moreover, with technology in flux, skills learned to- day at company expense are likely to become obsolete before they are ever used. It becomes clear to a company that a labor pro- cess organized to provide a substantial number of nonprofessional workers with successive jobs in which skills are upgraded through
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272 RESTRUCTURING WORK on-thejob training or employer-sponsored training programs has become obsolete. While appropriate for the conditions of the 1950s and 1960s, it appears wasteful and costly in the 1980s. Moreover, a decreasing reliance on internal labor markets and on-thejob training to provide business with skilled workers has been facilitated by the growth of higher education (see Noyelle, this volume). By 1980, nearly one-fourth of those between 25 and 29 years of age had 4 or more years of college education compared with about 10 percent in 1960. Firms have shifted to outside hiring to fill administrative, professional, and managerial positions that until recently would have been filled from within. In the process, they have used formal credentials to create significant barriers to entry into these occupations and have required workers to obtain vocational skills through formal schooling and higher education. Traditional internal ladders are being disbanded, and the earlier link between occupational mobility and training provided within the industry or firm has been weakened. Though these are recent developments, evidence is accumu- lating that firms are adjusting to technology and these changes in their environment by reorganizing on a core and ring basis, holding to a minimum the number of workers who can expect to have a future with the company and for whom the company is willing to provide health and life insurance and retirement benefits these workers make up the stable core, while other workers constitute an ever-changing ring. Flexibility in meeting staffing needs and the ability to retrench quickly increasingly take precedence over the desire for a loyal, well-trained work force and low turnover rates. Firms are experimenting with ways to shift the costs of fringe benefits and the risks associated with a cyclical downturn or a labor-saving advance in technology to their workers. Strategies include the use of part-time workers, temporary employees, and contract labor. This is a major reason for the explosive growth in temporary work and subcontracting during the last few years. IMPLICATIONS FOR WOMEN WORKERS The occupational changes brought about by office automation technologies and the desire of many companies for immediate re- ductions in employment have direct implications for career mobil- ity for women within organizations. Internal labor markets—with their opportunities for promotion and career advancement have
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EILEEN APPELBA UM 273 only recently been opened to women, often as a result of suc- cessfu] enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws. These internal job ladders have played a significant role in enabling capa- ble and ambitious clerical workers in industries such as insurance and, to a lesser extent, retail sales, to work their way up through lower-level supervisory or pare-professional jobs into management or professional positions. The weakening of internal labor markets is closing off opportunities for advancement for women that have only recently become available. The outcome for women is complex. In the last decade, firms have begun to rely less on internal job markets to provide formal and informal training for Tower-level employees and, instead, to externalize training. Professional and managerial employees are trained in colleges and business schools and then recruited directly into upper-level positions. Even the more-skilled clerical jobs are filled not through promotion from the typing or word-processing pool but from the ranks of community college and vocational school graduates. One effect of office automation technologies is that the skills required of clerical workers in diverse industries are becoming more homogeneous. There is considerable overlap in the skills required of directory assistance operators, customer service representatives, travel agents, library assistants, classified adver- tisement takers, and so on. The replacement of on-thejob training and occupational mobility within firms by extended formal school- ing and job mobility through the external labor market increases the probability that socioeconomic conditions will limit access to training and hence to better jobs. The picture that emerges is one of continuing advancement opportunities for professional women, increased opportunities for lateral moves among firms but no up- ward mobility for skilled clerical or sales workers, and severely curtailed opportunities for employment or promotion for women in traditional clerical jobs. The erosion of internal labor markets has weakened the claim of clerical workers to the protections and benefits afforded by permanent full-time employment. Firms have relied on office au- tomation technologies to facilitate their use of clerical temporary workers and home workers. Women workers have, thus, been af- fected disproportionately by these changes to date, though the logic of organizing the labor market on a core and buffer basis suggests that other occupations and workers, many of them men, will be affected.
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274 RESTRUCTURING WORK TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT Of the four alternative work schedules examined in this pa- per, temporary employment has shown the most dramatic changes since the 1970s. Temporary employment in the United States is booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employ- ment growth in the temporary help services industry has averaged 11 percent a year over the last 13 years, compared with a 2.1 per- cent growth rate for nonagricultural jobs throughout the economy (Collins, 1985~. In December 1984 the industry placed 665,400 workers a day in temporary positions (Employment and Earnings 32~1), 1985:Table Bob. These figures do not include the growing number of employers who are hiring workers on a temporary basis directly, without requiring the services of a temporary help agency. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, for example, reports that the federal government filled 244,692 jobs with temporary workers in 1984 (data provided by Mary Ann Madison, Office of Technology Assessment), and the number is expected to increase sharply as a result of new regulations governing the employment of temporary workers, which took effect in January 1985. The new rules allow "temporary" jobs, which, unlike permanent jobs, carry no medical or retirement benefits other than social security, to be extended to higher skill categories and to last up to 4 years. These developments in federal employment mirror changes already under way in the private sector. FORCES DRIVING THE GROWTH OF TEMPORARY WORK Sam Sacco, executive vice president of the National Associa- tion of Temporary Services, observes that employment is increas- ingly being organized on a "ring and core basis with temporary employment acting as a buffer for the economy (telephone inter- view, February 1, 1985~. Thus federal officials publicly welcomed the new rules on temporary employment because having more temporary employees without civil service protection will make it easier for them to adjust the size of the work force. They expect to be able to use the temporary workers as a cushion to protect permanent employees from being laid off first. Another major force behind the growth of temporary employ- ment the fundamental reason for its expansion according to Au- drey Freedman, a labor economist for the Conference Board is
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EILEEN APPELBA UM 275 the desire of firms to contain costs. As Freedman put it, "What the companies are doing is organizing so they don't have to pay for vacations, holidays, health benefits, or pensions. In addition, they don't have to allocate money for training and for promo- tion" (quoted in Collins, 1985:B1~. The savings can be large, and some firms are now building temporary work into their employ- ment strategies. According to Sacco, "companies are increasingly pre-planning for the use of temporary workers and budgeting for them at the beginning of the year." For example, Johnson and Johnson Products, a health care supplier that is an affiliate of the Johnson and Johnson Corporation, has built the use of 450 temporary workers during the year into its personnel plans. The company is budgeting $500,000 for temporary clerical workers, sec- retaries, lab technicians, data-processing clerks, accounting clerks, and computer clerks to be hired through temporary help agencies (Flamingo, 1984~. This use of temporary workers by companies on a preplanned basis, rather than as an expedient for dealing with an unforeseen situation, is a recent development. Some companies have begun to staff certain of their facilities with temporary help workers. They are staffing mad! rooms where there is high turnover, or facilities that have peak periods, with temporaries. Thus, an advertisement from Norrell Temporary Ser- vices that appeared in May 1984 issues of Office Administration and Automation and of Office magazines promises to solve the turnover problem: "Facilities staking—using temporary employ- ees as a group to tackle routine jobs permanent employees view as unattractive or dull—Norrell guarantees performance by rotating fresh, trained temporary employees into the job before burnout occurs." The approach appears to be attracting business for the temporary help agencies and increasing the number of long-term arrangements. Western Temporary Services of Wainut Creek, Cal- ifornia, reports that most of its contracts are for 1 year; some are longer. Good People Office Automation Temporaries in New York City reports that 80 percent of the assignments it receives are for long-term temporaries. A typical Tong-term assignment for this company involves providing experienced temporary workers to a company changing from manual filing to a records-processing sys- tem. The positions this temporary help agency fills usually require 6 months experience, though some positions may require a year (Flamingo, 1984~.
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276 RESTRUCTURING WORK Advances in technology have contributed to the rapid growth of temporary employment. Companies turn to temporary help supply agencies in order to handle temporary increases in work load associated with the conversion from manual to computer- based data management and filing systems. Some businesses are turning to temporary help agencies to obtain workers experienced with office-automation equipment to assist in training their per- manent staff. Companies that face a monthly peak load problem in sending updated reports or form letters to customers often turn to temporary help agencies to obtain workers experienced with word processing. In addition, firms that have made substantial in- vestments in dedicated word-processing equipment or in personal computers find that the equipment is too valuable to stand idle when regular employees are ill and hire experienced temporary workers to fill in for employees who are sick. The nature of temporary work is changing. The temporary help services industry has diversifies] far beyond the clerical work- ers who were its mainstay 15 years ago. The industry currently supplies temporary workers in four main areas: office clerical/office automation (OA) operators, medical (with hospital distinguished from nursing home and homemaking services), industrial, and pro- fessional. The medical segment is the fastest-growing component of the industry (Gannon, 1984~. By 1982, 46.2 percent of em- ployment and 56.6 percent of total receipts were generated in the non-office help components of the industry. REVENUE AND EMPLOYMENT GROWTH Between 1977 and 1982, the temporary help services industry grew substantially. According to census data, industry receipts more than doubled from $2.32 billion to $5.14 billion between 1977 and 1982, despite the fact that 1982 was a recession year (see Table I). Revenue growth continues to be high. The leading temporary services companies, Kelly Services Inc. and Manpower Inc., each had revenue increases of more than 30 percent in 1984, while a temporary agency based in Silicon Valley, Adia Services Inc., had an increase in net income of 98 percent (~Business Week, 1985~. Industry sources report that the temporary help payroll went from $431 million in 1971 to $3.48 billion in 1981, an annual rate of increase in nominal receipts of 24 percent over the decade. Payroll declined somewhat in 1982 because of the recession but
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EILEEN APPELBA EM TABLE 1 Size of Temporary Help Supply Services, 1977 and 1982 1977 1982 Number of establishments Total $ 4,235 $ 6,247 Office help supply 3,324 Other 2,923 Receipts (in thousands) Total 2,323,676 5,143,132 Office help supply 2,230,926 Other 2,912,206 Payroll (in thousands) Total n.a. 3,595,609 Office help supply 1,599,217 Other 1,996,392 Employment Total n.a. 470,541 Office help supply 253,167 Other 217,374 SOURCE: Bureau of the Census (1980, 1985~. 277 recovered and reached $5.50 billion in 1984 (National Association of Temporary Services, unpublished data). This is an annual rate of increase in nominal receipts of 16.5 percent, despite the 1982 decline. Since inflation has been much lower in the 1980s than in the 1970s, real growth in recent years has been higher than it was a decade ago. The industry is expected to continue to grow rapidly through the 1980s. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, temporary help services will be the third fastest growing industry during this decade, after computers and health care (Flamingo, 1984). Since temporary employment now functions in part as an eco- nomic buffer, it is not surprising that employment in the temporary help services industry declines early in a recession and recovers quickly at the beginning of an expansion. Nevertheless, the mag- nitude of employment growth in this industry during the recovery from the 1981-1982 recession was unexpected. The most accurate employment data are probably the monthly establishment data collected in the Current Population Survey (CPS) and reported in Employment and Earnings. These are reported monthly for the temporary help services industry beginning in 1982. Annual average employment in temporary help services in 1983 increased
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278 RESTRUCTURING WORK 17.5 percent over the corresponding figure for 1982. For women, temporary employment increased 18.3 percent between 1982 and 1983 (calculated from data in Table 2~. By comparison, annual av- erage employment in nonagricultural establishments increased by less than 1 percent between those 2 years, 1.9 percent for women. In June, July, and November of 1983, employment growth in this industry exceeded 10 percent of the number of nonagricultural jobs added in the economy, despite the fact that temporary help services accounted for less than 0.5 percent of total nonagricultural employment in 1982 (calculated from data in Table 2~. The rise in annual average employment that is, the increase in the number of temporary help jobs every year between 1982 and 1983 was equal to 12.6 percent of the number of jobs added in nonagricul- tural establishments in the first year of the recovery. Employment increases in the industry continued during 1984, but at a more moderate pace. Nearly 86,000 temporary help jobs were added between December 1983 and December 1984. This followed an increase of about 176,000 jobs between December 1982 and De- cember 1983 (see Table 23. Figures on temporary help jobs do not tell the whole story, however. Sacco estimates that while the tem- porary help services industry filled more than 600,000 jobs per day on average in 1984, the number of people who held a temporary job at some time during the year was about 5 million. Business Week reports that the industry's giants, Kelly Services Inc. and Manpower Inc., have more than 800,000 temporary workers on their books (Business Week, 1985~. It should be remembered that these figures refer only to jobs filled through temporary help agen- cies. There are no estimates of the number of temporary jobs filled directly by firms. Increases in temporary work are outweighed by increases in the number of year-round jobs for women. The proportion of women with work experience during the year who worked full time (50 to 52 weeks) increased from 36.9 percent in 1960 to 40.7 percent in 1970, 45.1 percent in 1981, and 48.0 percent in 1983 (Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, 1983; Bureau of Labor Statistics, unpublished data). IMPLICATIONS FOR WOMEN WORKERS Temporary work does not appear to be viewed by most women who do it as a stopgap measure until they can find permanent work.
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300 RESTRUCTURING WORK interviewed by Pratt (1984) were critical of the poor organization of their work by the companies employing them, which they felt reduced their earnings. Claims examiner is a skilled clerical position that Califor- nia Western States Life Insurance Company now fills with home workers hired as independent contractors. The company provides computer terminals linked by telephone lines to the company's data-processing center to the claims examiners. The claims ex- aminers are independent contractors who are paid on a piece-rate basis. They rent terminals from the company for $50 per month ~ ~ . ~ . ~ . i. ~ . . ma, . and furnish their clown supplies and equipment. The company is able to spot check the work of its at-home examiners as claims payments are entered into the data system. "The task of auditing and managing the at-home examiners is simplified by having all their work instantly accessible in the home office via the com- EAR ~~ ~ ~~ mC ~ ~ ~ ~ 1 ~ ~ .. purer system. one average at-nome claims examiner represents more than $1,000 in reduced costs to the company each month" (Mortenson, 1983:114~. Clerical home work is attractive to firms because of its poten- tial for reducing labor costs. The strategies adopted are a cause for concern to organizations such as 9 to 5, the National Asso- ciation of Working Women, which opposes electronic home work because it shifts overhead costs, including machinery rental, to employees; it reduces hourly wages by switching to piece rates; it shifts costs of health and life insurance and social security and re- tirement income to individual workers; and it provides employers with workers whom they can easily release (Gregory, 1983~. Pro- ductivity is also an issue. Home workers, professional as well as clerical, have reported working during, outside of, and in addition to normal business hours and have complained about the pressures on them to work overly long hours (Kingston, 1983; Pratt, 1984~. And 9 to 5 is concerned that employers are "experimenting with productivity measures . . . to develop benchmarks as leverage to increase pressures and intensify control over the main office work force" (Gregory, 1983~. Though there are little data available on the productivity effects of teleworking, corporate experiments with electronic home work indicate that it results in productivity increases among both clerical and managerial teleworkers (Kraut, 1985~. In reviewing the evidence from these pilot projects, one researcher tentatively concluded that "the productivity gains associated with telework
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EILEEN APPELBA EM 301 are probably the result of highly motivated, volunteer workers putting in more time on their jobs when they were working at home than when they were working in a conventional office. The gains may not be sustained with more general use of teleworking by less-motivated workers who have no choice but to work at home" (Kraut, 1985:6~. ADVANTAGES OF TELEWORKING The major advantages of electronic home work to employers have already been discussed. In the case of managerial and pro- fessional employees, firms turn to home work in order to retain or attract qualified workers with skills that are in short supply- computer programmers and other skilled data-processing employ- ees, for example. Firms undertake clerical home work to reduce labor costs. This is often accomplished by setting piece-work rates so that the employee receives no compensation for time spent set- ting up work, collecting work, delivering work, discussing work with supervisors, or for difficulties encountered and time lost in completing it satisfactorily. The limited data available suggest that while professional home workers are usually permanent, full- time employees receiving full salaries and benefits, clerical home workers are rarely in this position. Instead they are usually part- time employees earning hourly wages or piece rates with reduced fringe benefits or no benefits at all (Olson, 1983b). The costs shifted from companies to workers as a result of the reduction in fringe benefits, especially health insurance, can be substantial. In addition, as in the case of temporary workers, firms have substan- tial flexibility in scheduling home workers to meet high demand and not using them in off-peak periods, without incurring the costs associated with layoffs and unemployment compensation. In addition, some firms have achieved cost savings by shifting overhead costs and equipment rental to home workers. Workers may be required to lease terminals or maintain their own comput- ers, provide office furniture, install dedicated telephone lines, and pay for higher telephone, heating, cooling, and electricity bills. Finally, as another advantage to companies, if the home work involves the use of a company's mainframe, it can be scheduled during times of low computer utilization. The company realizes savings both from more intense use of computer resources and from a decreased need to expand computer capacity.
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302 RESTRUCTURING WORK The advantages sought by workers who take jobs as electronic home workers include the opportunity to control their own time and a reduction in child care costs. Control over the scheduling of work is an important benefit to some women who are balancing home responsibilities with paid employment. In practice this ben- efit accrues mainly to professional employees, since professional work is less closely supervised and allows for more freedom in scheduling particular tasks. For some who cannot find affordable quality day care, teleworking may provide the only opportunity to work at all. Another benefit is that home workers save commuting time and expenses as well as outlays for clothing, dry cleaning, and restaurant meals. These savings, however, need to be compared with the costs that companies have shifted to employees working at home in assessing the benefit to home workers. Finally, tele- working increases employment opportunities for those who cannot easily work away from home on a daily basis the handicapped, the elderly, and, to some extent, mothers of young children. THE FUTURE OF HOME WORK Despite its attractiveness to employers, explosive growth in the number of home workers does not seem likely. Substantial institutional and managerial commitment is required to establish a home work program. Employers express strong reservations about the ability to maintain standards and adequately supervise workers (Cole, 1981; Sample, 1981~. Professional employees are afraid that working at home will limit their career mobility since visibility remains essential for promotion (Chin, 1984; Olson, 1983~. Of Pratt's respondents, no one thought telecommuting was beneficial to his or her career. Women were certain that working at home was detrimental to their careers, but they viewed it as an alternative to dropping out completely (Pratt, 1984~. Low wages and lack of job security are critical issues for clerical telecommuters. Finally, federal, state, and local laws and restrictions currently regulating home work are slowing the adoption of telecommuting. These constraints may be weakened if pilot programs prove successful. Still, given the apparent cost advantages to firms of electronic home work, these reasons do not seem sufficient to explain why teleworking is not more widespread. A perceptive analysis of the lack of substitution of home work for office work is given by Kraut (1985~. He argues that the current office structure is highly stable
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EILEEN APPELBA AM 303 and provides a resistant barrier to the spread of telework because "conventional, 9-to-5 office arrangements support a large number of activities critical to the functioning of any work organization. Radical changes in the conventional office have the potential to disrupt these other activities" (Kraut, 1985:14~. Among the ac- tivities that Kraut identifies are socialization of new workers to the workplace, transmission of job skills, informal communication and information flows, communication of organizational norms and information collaboration among individuals, structuring of workers' time, and the spatial and temporal segregation of de- mands of work and family life. In addition, as Kraut observes, employers have ways other than home work of utilizing computer and communications technologies to reduce costs. These include the relocation of back-office work to suburban or foreign locations where cheaper labor is more abundant, as well as the reduction of both production and information workers through productivity increase. In light of the advantages to organizing clerical and profes- sional work in a more conventional office setting, the potential cost savings associated with teleworking suggests that a steady but not explosive expansion in the still-small trend toward home work is likely to continue. Work at home as an adjunct to work in a conventional office location may increase and may even be encouraged by employers. A 1982 AT&T study found that 30 percent of those employed outside the home brought work home with them (cited in Kraut, 1985~. Most of the work done at home did not require sophisticated equipment but was done with tele- phone, paper, pencil, and calculators. This may change as more households own personal computers and other new technology. The result would be an increase in telework at home as workers with conventional jobs used telecommunications to complete some tasks at home, rather than a rapid increase in electronic home work and the clerical cottage industry. CONCLUSION Management's interest in implementing alternative work schedules and using temporary workers, part-time workers, and home workers especially in clerical occupations appears to be more closely related to management's desire to reduce labor costs
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304 RESTRUCTURING WORK than to the requirements of office automation technologies. Com- puter and communications technologies do not require that clerical office work be fragmented and the separate stages of the produc- tion process be physically dispersed while decision making and the work process continue to be controlled from corporate headquar- ters. On the contrary, the evidence suggests that the technology is most productive when it is combined with skilled workers who have a knowledge of the overall production process and when it is used to integrate tasks and decentralize decision making (Albin, 1984; Appelbaum, 1984; and Hirschhorn, 1984~. Initial training costs are higher when the technology is implemented in this man- ner, but the potential for productivity gains over the long term are substantially increased (Albin, 1984; Hirschhorn, 1984~. Concern with reducing labor costs and, in some cases, with realizing savings from office automation immediately rather than over a longer time horizon appears to have led some firms to imple- ment alternative work schedules. These schedules function mainly to increase the flexibility of employers in varying hours to meet periods of high demand and, in some instances, to eliminate fringe benefits to employees. Full-time employees in most medium- and large-size firms have won substantial benefits, including paid holi- days, vacations, health insurance, life insurance, and pensions (see Table 11~. Office automation technology has enabled some firms to rearrange work schedules on some jobs so that hours of work fall below full time and the job no longer carries some or all of the benefits. The savings to companies of shifting health insur- ance and other costs to employees are substantial. Concern with quantifiable improvements in productivity sometimes leads to the fragmentation of tasks and to the assembly-line pacing of work, factors which also contribute to the use of part-time or tempo- rary workers because jobs have become subdivided. Productivity concerns may, for example, lead to an increase in remote working- clerical employees located in satellite processing centers or in their own homes doing repetitive and easily measured tasks linked to the firm's central offices via communications lines and with the computer performing the task of electronically reintegrating the work process and producing a finished product. At the same time, a substantial minority of women workers have expressed a preference for flexible work schedules in order to meet both work and home responsibilities. Flexible full-time schedules are not widely available, and these women have opted
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EILEEN APPELBA AM TABLE 11 Percent of Full-Time Employees by Participation in Employee Benefit Programs, Medium and Large Firms, 1983 305 Professional Technical and Adminis- and Employee Benefit All trative Clerical Production Program Employees Employees Employees Employees Paid: Holidays 99 99 100 98 Vacations 100 100 100 99 Personal leave 25 31 35 17 Lunch period 11 4 5 17 Rest time 74 58 76 80 Sick leave 67 92 91 42 Sickness and accident insurance 49 29 34 67 Long-term disability insurance 45 66 58 28 Health insurance for employee 96 98 95 96 Health insurance for dependents 93 95 91 92 Life insurance 96 97 95 95 Retirement pension 82 66 84 79 NOTE: Participation is defined as coverage for time off, insurance, or pension plan. Benefits for which the employee must pay the full premium are excluded. Only current employees are counted as participants. SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics (1984c). for part-time, temporary, or home work arrangements rather than leave the labor force entirely. But the negative effects of these arrangements on career mobility and/or earnings growth are a concern even to those who choose these options (Pratt, 1984~. There is no evidence of an increased desire for such alternative work styles by women. At-home work, while a discernible trend, involves only a tiny fraction of workers. Temporary work is in- creasing rapidly at present, but it is not certain that this increase reflects the preferences of women, especially when the initiative comes directly from the employer as in the case of the new federal regulations on temporary work. The increase in temporary help services does appear to represent an effort by women, particularly those who are skilled workers, to achieve flexibility in scheduling
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306 RESTRUCTURING WORK work (Gannon, 1984~. It shouIc! be noted, however, that the in- creases in home work and temporary help services since 1982 have been more than offset by the decline in voluntary part-time work between May 1982 and March 1985 (see Table 4~. This suggests caution in attributing the trends in home work and temporary work to the desires of women. Alternative work schedules are, however, clesired by many employers who see increased flexibility in scheduling workers as an important way to keep labor costs down. Companies that anticipate cyclical slowdowns in business or expect automation to reduce employment needs are staffing at less than full strength even during periods of economic recovery and expansion. Human resource strategies include the use of temporary workers, part- time workers, and home workers to supplement a smaller staff of permanent full-time employees when employment needs are high in order to avoid rayons later. The cost savings to firms are substantial and include ease in scheduling work and in cutting back employment, as well as savings on fringe benefits and pensions. Often, there are savings from paying part-time workers lower wages or home workers on a piece-rate basis as well. The reduction of labor costs has been the main driving force behind the development of these work schedules. Nevertheless' office automation technologies have played an important role in encouraging and facilitating their use and women workers have been very much affected by the changes. However, it should be noted that both the analysis of the reasons for alternative work schedules and the growing use of temporary workers in non-office sectors of the economy, such as hospitals and light industry, suggest that men as well as women are finding it more difficult to obtain the benefits of permanent, full-time jobs. The combined growth of involuntary part-time work and temporary employment for both men and women, while small in relation to the total labor force, is nevertheless significant. Concern centers on the fact that these trends may signal a restructuring of employment opportunities and the extension of supper working conditions to sectors of the economy where full-time work and benefits have usually prevailed.
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EILEEN APPELBA UM 307 REFERENCES Albin, Peter S. 1984 Job design within changing patterns of technical development. Pp. 125-162 in E. Collins and L.D. Tanner, eds., American Jobs and the Changing Industrial Basic. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Publishing Company. Appelbaum, Eileen 1984 Technology and the Design of Jobs in the Insurance Industry. Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, Stanford University. Brown, Scott C. 1978 Moonlighting increased sharply in 1977, particularly among women. Monthly Labor Review 101~1~. Reprinted with supplementary tables in Bureau of Labor Statistics, Multiple Job Holders in May t977, Special Labor Force Report #211. Washington, D.C.: U.S. De- partment of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics 1985a Employment and Earnings 32 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1985b Linking Employment Problems to Economic Status. Bulletin 2222. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1985c Supplement to Employment and Earnings, Revised Establishment Data. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1984a Supplement to Employment and Earnings, Revised Establishment Data. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1984b Employment and Earnings 31 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1984c Employee Benefits in Medium and Large Firers. Bulletin 2213. Wash- ington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1983a Work Experience of the Population in tg82. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1983b Employment and Earnings 30 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1982a Employment and Earnings 29~6~. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Depart- ment of Labor. 1982b Work Experience of the Population in lg81. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1981a Work Experience of the Population in 1980. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1981b Employment and Earnings 28 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1980 Employment and Earnings 27 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1979a Employment and Earnings, United State* 1909-78. Bulletin 1312-11. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1979b Employment and Earnings 26~6~. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Depart- ment of Labor. 1979c Work Experience of the Population in tg78. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor.
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308 RESTRUCTURING WORK 1978a Employment and Earnings 25~6~. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Depart- ment of Labor. 1978b Work E~perienec of the Population ire ~g77. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1977a Employment and Earnings 24~6~. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Depart- ment of Labor. 1977b Work Experience of the Population in 1976. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1976 Work Experience of the Population in 1978. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1971 Employment and Earnings 17 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1970 Employmcut and Earnings 16 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. 1967 Employment and Earnings 13 (various issues). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. n.d. Unpublished data from the Current Population Survey, March 1971, 1976, 1981, 1984, and 1985. n.d. Unpublished tables on work experience of the population in 1979 and 1983. Bureau of the Census 1980 1977 Ccnaw of Scr~ncc Industnce, Geographic Area Studies, United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce. 1985 1982 Cc~w of Seance Indwtme~, Geographic Area Studies, United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce. Bwinc~ Week 1982 If home is where the worker is. Buaine~Week (May 3~:66. 1985 Part-time workers: rising numbers, rising discord. B?~ine`~Week (April 1~:62-63. Chin, Kathy 1984 Home is where the job is. Infoworld 6~17~:28-32. Cole, Bernard C. 1981 Computing to work. Interface Age 6~8) :93-95. Collins, Huntley 1985 Unions decry trend to short-term federal jobs. Philadelphia Inquirer. February 5:B1. Deutermann, William V., Jr., and Scott Campbell Brown 1978 Voluntary part-time workers: a growing part of the labor force. Mont~y Labor Remew 101~6~:3-10. Flamingo, Josephine 1984 Need a pro? Try temporary help. Office Administration and Au- tomation (August) :48-55,68-70. Gannon, Martin J. 1984 Preferences of temporary workers: time, variety and flexibility. MontHy Labor Remew 107~83:26-28. Gregory, Judith 1983 Clerical workers and new office technologies. Pp. 112-114 in Offlcc Work Stations in the Home. Board on Telecommunications. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Hirschhorn, Larry 1984 Beyond Mechanization Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
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EILEEN APPELBA EM 309 Hunt, Timothy L., and H. Allan Hunt 1985 An assessment of data sources to study the employment effects of technological change. Pp. 1-116 in Technology and Employment Effects. Interim Report of the Panel on Technology and Women's Employment, Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.: Na- tional Academy Press. ILO Symposium 1978 Arrangemcn;t; of Working Time and Social Pro bleary Connected untie Shift Work in Industrialized Countries. Geneva: International Labour Office. Kingston, Jane 1983 Telecommuting: its impact on the home. Pp. 287-300 in H.F. Didsbury, Jr., ea., The World of Word Careers and the Future. Bethesda, Md.: World Future Society. Kraut, Robert E. 1985 Predicting the use of technology: the case of telework. In Robert E. Kraut, ea., Technology and the Transformation in White-Collar Work. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum. Leon, Carol, and Robert W. Bednarzik 1978 A profile of women on part-time schedules. Monthly Labor Review 101~10~:3-12. Mellon, Earl F., and George D. Stamos 1982 Usual weekly earnings: another look at intergroup differences and basic trends. Monthly Labor Review 105~4~:15-24. Mortenson, Patricia 1983 Telecommuting: the company perspective. Berth Review Property- Ca~ualty Edition (November):112-114. Nollen, Stanley D., Brenda B. Eddy, and Virginia H. Martin 1978 Permanent Part-Timc Employment. New York: Praeger Special Stud- ~es. Olson, Margarethe H. 1983a Remote office work: changing work patterns in space and time. Communications of the AMC 26~3) :180-190. 1983b Overview of Wor~At-Home Offends in the United States. New York: New York University Center for Research on Information Systems. Pratt, J.H. 1984 Home telecommuting: a study of its pioneers. Technological Fore- casting and Social Change 25:1-14. Presser, Harriet B. 1984 Shift Work and the Family. Paper presented at the Population Issues Research Center, Pennsylvania State University. Presser, Harriet B., and Wendy Baldwin 1980 Child care as a constraint on employment: prevalence, correlates and bearing on the work and fertility nexus. American Journal of Sociology 85(7):1202-1213. Rosenfeld, Carl 1979 Multiple jotholding holds steady in 1978. Monthly Labor Review 102~2~:59-61.
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310 ; :: RESTRUCTURING WORK Rosow, Jerome M., and Robert Zager 1981 New Work Schedule for a Charging Society. Scarsdale, N.Y.: Work in America Institute, Inc. Sample, Robert 1981 Coping with the Work-at-home trend. Administrative Management 42~8~:25-30. Sekscenski, Edward S. 1980 Women's share of moonlighting nearly doubles during 1969-1979. Monthly Labor Review 103~5~:36-39. Taylor, Daniel, and Edward S. Sekscenski 1981 Workers on long schedules, single and multiple jobholders. Monthly Labor Rcuiew 104~5~:47-53. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 1983 Disadvantaged Women and Their Children Washington, D.C.: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor 1983 Time of Charge: 1988 Handbook on Women Workers. Bulletin 298. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor.
Representative terms from entire chapter: