Flexibilização da jornada de trabalho: estudo de caso com servidores técnico-administrativos em uma instituição federal de ensino
Tessarini Junior, Geraldo
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This study aims to analyze the flexible work arrangements of technical-administrative staff in a Brazilian federal institution of education that adopts a model to reduce working time to 30 hours per week. A case study was conducted through the collection and analysis of theoretical data (bibliographic and documentary research) and empirical data (participant observation and nineteen semi-structured interviews with flexible employees, managers and union representatives). The results indicate that the flexible working time is an important part of a very complex organizational context, being permeated by a series of implications and contradictions. Initially, there is a large approval and advocacy for flexibility, especially due to obtaining more free time to devote to other personal activities. However, reducing working hours has not represented an action capable of providing better quality employment for workers. There are a number of aspects that undermine the benefits of flexibilization: i) intensification of working time, especially due to the lack of staff, excessive demands and the workers' sense of gratitude for the flexibility granted, which leads them to increase their work efforts; ii) intensification of organizational control mechanisms through norms, technologies and the fear of loss of flexibility; iii) extension of work, through information and communication technologies, to time outside the institution; iv) unstable working conditions manifested in the precariousness and scrapping of public service and public education; and v) performing a work devoid of personal sense, evidenced by the perception of inferiority in relation to an organizational daily life that privileges the teaching activity over the technical-administrative activities. In addition, flexible working time, configured as an administrative concession and not a workers right, serves political purposes, expanding the possibilities of control over workers. This research contributes to a critical debate about the implications of reduced working hours, showing that, although it is an important and necessary action for the working class, even more important is the struggle for better quality jobs that effectively provide a live with some meaning both inside and outside of work.
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