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Problem Solving Assignment: Role Plan On MS Teams And Workplace Flexibility


Task: The problem solving assignment consist of two tasks:

Task 1 - Role play on MS Teams

Read the case study on the next page to gain an understanding of the complex problem of ‘Job dissatisfaction’ faced by UK employees, then prepare to participate in a 10 - 15 minutes role play on MS Teams where you would play the role of a management consultant tasked to solve the complex problem. You will be paired with another student acting as an unsatisfied employee (who will not be assessed). During the role play, expect the dialogue to cover:

• A discussion on the nature and impact (actual and potential) of the complex problem on the overall performance of organisations.
• A research-informed cause-and-effect analysis of the complex problem.
• A PESTLE analysis of the macro-environmental factors contributing to the complex problem.
• An evaluation of alternative solutions to the complex problem with an aim of choosing the most appropriate solution among these alternatives.
• A demonstration of how organisations may plan implementation of chosen solution and evaluate outcome.

Task 2 - Individual Report - 2000 words
Write a report of 2,000 words, in which you apply recognised problem-solving tools and techniques to identify and propose solutions to a work-based problem, to include an evaluation of possible solutions. Discuss and agree with your lecturer a suitable problem to be solved which may be drawn from your current or past work experiences or an agreed situation.

Consider the following aspects:
• define a complex problem in the workplace including its scope and impact;
• analyse information on the identified problem, to help inform the decision-making process;
• propose a range of alternative solutions to the problem;
• use a decision-making technique to evaluate a range of solutions to identify the most appropriate option; • develop a plan for implementing the solution;
• communicate the plan to stakeholders;
• assess appropriate monitoring and review techniques to ensure successful implementation of the solution.

CASE STUDY for Task 1 - Role Play
Third of British workers unhappy with job as satisfaction plummets in pandemic

A study of 2,000 employees by employee benefits specialist Edenred found overall job satisfaction has decreased 35 per cent in the past year as 64 per cent of those polled are now based at home. A third of workers are unhappy in their current role - with job satisfaction down 35 per cent during the pandemic, new research has revealed. A study of 2,000 employees found 32 per cent don't feel motivated in their career and 18 per cent are dissatisfied with their quality of life at work. Over the last 12 months, 64 per cent of the employees polled were based at home, resulting in 61 per cent of them working outside of their normal hours. And 40 per cent had to juggle caring for a child or family member at the same time. Overall, job satisfaction has decreased 35 per cent in the past year, but 24 per cent said their relationships with co-workers had improved. In the year ahead, 17 per cent admitted they will need help in adjusting to returning to the office, while 25 per cent want more assistance in managing their mental wellbeing.

AlisdairSeenan, HR Director at employee benefits specialist Edenred, which commissioned the study, said: "For many, the last twelve months have been hard, both personally and professionally. There have been a lot more challenges which have impacted people's work-life balance and how they feel about their job as a result. There is an important challenge for employers in the year ahead supporting their workforce after long periods of working from home, addressing health and wellbeing, particularly during the first few months of the year. But this is also an opportunity for employers to excel and stand out and drive levels of engagement and performance as a result."

The study also found employees typically worked an additional seven hours a week this year - four of those paid and three unpaid. But 25 per cent are worried about keeping their job while 27 per cent aren't happy with their work-life balance. Another, 16 per cent have concerns about their wages. Despite the fears, 63 per cent felt they have received as much support as can be expected from their employer given the tough circumstances. This has led to 30 per cent now being more likely to stay working for the company, while a quarter are happier to go the extra mile.

Top areas in which organisations have taken steps to support employees through the pandemic were revealed as flexible working hours (28 per cent) and mental wellbeing (26 per cent). But less than one in 10 felt aided when it came to financial safety. More than a third of those polled via OnePoll on behalf of Edenred have felt very supported by their colleagues and 31 per cent by their manager - although only 16 per cent said the same about the HR policies. Edenred'sAlisdairSeenan added: "Mental wellbeing is a key topic for people this year, due to the big changes in routine and daily working life. It's important for employers to know where staff need more support in order to retain employees."


Problem Solving Assignment Task 1- Role Play
Management Consultant (MC)-Good Morning!
Unsatisfied employee (employee)- Good Morning!
MC- I want to know regarding the challenges you have been facing in terms of working

Employee- In this COVID-19 pandemic situation I have been working remotely since a year and things have gotten worse for me MC- Could you please mention precisely, what are the major challenges you have been facing while working?
Employee- Due to the immense work pressure, often I have to continue with overtime or extended hours of work and most of them remain unpaid. I want to mention that I do have a three-year-old daughter in my home and I have to manage her and at the same time I need to do extended hours that too unpaid, which is leading me to mental stress everyday

MC- What is the most complex problem, which you think have been influencing overall performance of the organisations in UK.
Employee- I think it is the lack of work flexibility in the organisational standards for employees
MC- Why is lack of work flexibility a major challenge for the organisations as per your point of view?
Employee- Most employees in the pandemic period have been working from home (remotely) and due to lack of proper motivation from the organisations, most are forced to extend their working hours which is causing challenges in their personal and professional lives MC- Do you think the nature of this problem prompt people to leave the organisation?
Employee- Yes, of course, since last year most employees have been working remotely and lack of work flexibility is causing mental trauma and stress among employees. Mostly organisations in UK are not showing enough support for providing mental health-care to their employees. It is being difficult for us to work overtime on a regular basis and that too on unpaid terms. People like me who have small child in the home; it becomes difficult to work regularly without any kind of flexibility in the working hours MC- So do you think that returning to office could help in this situation?

Employee- No, I think that employees like me have adopted ways while working from home. Additionally, in this pandemic period, I cannot allow keeping my daughter at the day care like pre-COVID times. It is not on very adjusting terms for me to go and join office again. I would rather work remotely but if my organisation allows me some flexibility in the working time, it will be helpful to give my best in the workplace

MC- How do you think that lack of work flexibility in the workplace have been affecting the overall performance of UK organisations?
Employee- I think that risks associated with not implementing workplace flexibility can lead to major employee dissatisfaction as the actual problem happening within organisational standards. It is increasing lack of cooperation between hierarchy management and staff, which is impacting mental health as well as motivation of employees like me

MC- To what extent you think the potential of this problem lies?
Employees- I think the potential is rather high as lack of workplace flexibility, leads to non-retention of hard-working employees in the organisations. UK organisation, which does not incorporate workplace flexibility, can be subjected towards potential risks related to demotivating their employees on prolonged basis. It will ultimately result in low productivity in the business standards.

MC- Why do you think lack of work-place flexibility is caused in organisations?
Employees- Firstly, I think it is caused due to lack of fluid communication between the managerial hierarchy and staff. Secondly, I think it occurs because of lack of proper and participative leadership aspects from the organisational leaders. Finally, I think the major reason of its cause is due to no proper segmentation of job roles and responsibilities and lack of monitoring in the workplace attributes
MC- Well, I understand your concern and I think that lack of flexibility in workplace can increase a problem within time-management and weaken productive capacity of organisational standards. It could also lead to lack of work security and increase overtime expenses of the organisation.
Employee- Yes, you are right. I think in a similar way. Working longer hours have impacted me mentally and I feel that both my physical and mental energy are draining slowly due to immense work pressure and regular work hour extensions. I do not feel quite involved in the work anymore and the quality of my work engagement declines day by day

MC- Do you think there are any macro-environmental factors, which contribute to this problem?
Employee- Yes, I do

MC- What and How do the factors contribute to lack of workplace flexibility within UK organisations? Employee- Due to poor workplace flexibility within organisational standards, hardworking and skilled staff like me tends to not trust the organisation. Additionally, I am having deep issues regarding job uncertainty.

MC- Why so?
Employee- It is because most of the times when I ask the organisation regarding support for my mental health and flexibility of work, my management promises to do the same. However, in most cases they fail to provide me enough financial or mental security and safety. I am always in a dilemma that if I do not extend my working hours, they can replace me easily in the pandemic period. It is causing me more trauma and straining my mental health

MC- Do you think there are political factors, responsible for this complex problem?
Employee-Yes, I think that organisations have been facing trading barriers and lack of labours due to the Brexit situation, in the UK. Most skilled migrant employees have gone back to their EU countries, that is affecting the workplace productivity. Additionally, I think that lockdown restrictions, and major trading barriers have impacted supply-chains of the organisation which is directly impacting flexibility of organisational workplace

MC- Is there any economic factors contributing to the problem?
Employee- Yes, I think that the slow GDP growth of UK due to COVID-19 rules and trade barriers have resulted in impacting the productivity of the organisation. It has caused disruption and held back-growth in terms of factory output. Additionally, companies are not being able to recruit new employees due to the economy slow down, that is adversely impacting the workplace flexibility MC- All right, do you think there are any social and technological factors contributing to the problem? Employee- Firstly, the social factor responsible for the challenge is the lack of workplace communication due to working remotely. Often employees like me face challenges in working as a team due to social challenges of communication caused by working remotely. Working with diverse employees and linguistic barriers are directly affecting the workplace-flexibility aspects. Regarding the technological aspect, lack of proper implementation of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Virtual-Reality is hampering the facilitation of workplace performance, negatively impacting automation of the workplace and directly affecting workplace-flexibility.

MC- Are there any legal and environmental factors, responsible for this problem?
Employee- I think lack of proper legislation regarding protection of mental health and wellbeing of employees in workplace in UK is responsible for lack of proper workplace-flexibility attributes. Similarly, lack of “Corporate Social Responsibility”, and maintaining workplace sustainability are the major environmental factors, leading to poor workplace flexibility within organisational standards.
MC- Thank you for bearing with me for so long, I have analysed your concerns and would like to suggest a few solutions for improving workplace-flexibility in the workplace for your organisation

Employee- What are those suggestions?
MC- Firstly organisations need to enhance proper team-work through segmenting potential roles and responsibilities of employees; it can be done with proper training and development of employees. It will help in not putting extra pressure on any employee. Secondly, organisations also could implement technologies like AI and VR for empowering employee automation and monitoring work. Organisations need to assure better financial stability for hard working employees and promote mental-health campaigns for empowering the employees.

Employee-, Which is the most suitable or appropriate solution do you think among these alternatives? MC- Well I think that effective team-work with proper training and development of employees will help in assuring better decision-making and help in not putting extra pressure on any of the employees in the teamwork. It will facilitate organisational communication and help in promoting better mental health to the employees like you. Employee- How do you think organisations can plan incorporation of effective team-work especially in this pandemic situation? MC- Organisations need to set their clear and defined goals, and promote strategic communication. A good teamwork can be incorporated through segmenting clear roles and responsibilities of each team member for avoiding workplace confusion. A proper training and development session need to be given to employees especially working remotely via online platforms, which will sharpen their skills and involve them in the team work. It will help in promoting good communication and assure of not putting extra work pressure to any particular workplace individual.

Employee- Will it help in solving the existing problem?
MC- Certainly it will help in easing the work-pressure and promoting better mental health to the team. It will also improve personal and professional lives of employees like you. It will also help in retention of hardworking employees and enhance better organisational growth.

Employee- Thank you so much for your suggestions
MC- Thank you for your time
Employee- Goodbye!
MC- Bye now

Task 2- Individual Report
Complex Problem in workplace including its scope and impact

Workplace-flexibility comprises of a potential arrangement that helps employees to work in a flexible approach and enhance job performance. The complex problem lays in poor workplace flexibility aspects within organisational standards (Subramaniam et al. 2013). In this context, poor workplace-flexibility happens due to over pressure of work on employees within organisational context. Employees tend to feel potentially deprived of time for themselves and their personal lives, which increases significantly. The scope of poor form of workplace-flexibility is due to organisations not properly valuing contribution of their employees and staff and not providing them a proper freedom for flexing their working hours. It could lead to major form of mental stress and trauma and causes lack of potential motivation within the organisational standards. According to “Harvard Business Review” there is a whopping 94% staff which reporting working above 50 hours in an week and almost 50% of them reported that they tend to work for more than 65 hours every week. In this context, resulting form of stress from such working paradigm becomes nerve-wracking for employees (Bal and Izak, 2021). Employees tend to feel potentially deprived of time for themselves and their personal lives, which increases significantly. As a result, working professionals and organisational employees tend to be subjected to poor heath and continuous stress and struggle in both their personal as well as professional lives.


Figure 1: UK remote working statistics
(Source: Statista, 2021)

The impacts of the lack of workplace-flexibility within organisational standards are many. Some of them will be discussed in this section. Firstly, lack of proper workplace-flexibility increases mental trauma and stress of the employees involved in the organisation. Secondly, it slows down the capability and capacity of employee performance in the organisation (Klikauer and Campbell, 2021). It causes major fatigue and anxiety which results in employees lacking creativity as well as productivity of the staff, negatively affecting the decision-making process within organisational standards. In this context, it is essential to mention that this problem leads to lack of job satisfaction and causes job-uncertainty among employees as they tend to comprise of very little control of their working hours. It damages the physical health of the employees and negatively affects business profitability as well as growth in the overall marketplace (Wheatley, 2021). Finally, it also tends to increase the employee-turnover rate within the organisation and companies fails to retain employees especially hard working and strong skilled employees, leading to company switching and affects employee loyalty and networking adversely, hampering the organisational growth and losing competitive edge in the market.

Analysis of identified problem and ways for informing decision-making process
Lack of proper workplace-flexibility often hampers the employees to reach their peak performance within the organisation. It results in lack of job satisfaction and causes job-uncertainty among employees, as they tend to comprise of very little control of their working hours within their organisational standards. Employees are further bounded through rigid form of working hours and tend to spend more time looking at proper clock, which lacks their productive attitude. As a subsequent result, their working deadline is often not met and the quality of work mitigates in a significant manner (Agarwal et al. 2018). In this concern, companies need to enhance better retention procedures and apply potential form of workplace-flexibility in their organisational surroundings. It will help in reaching employee satisfaction and assure better decision-making ability of the organisational process.

Figure 2: Identified Problem and Impacts
(Source: Researcher)

It is essential to note that providing proper workplace-flexibility and suitable hours of work to employees will help in ensuring better standards of employee involvement and engagement in the organisational context. It will help in providing better job certainty and satisfaction to the employees. Flex workers are more likely to grow with the organisation rather than out of the organisation. Flexible form of working hours and arrangements especially during the COVID-19 pandemic time will help in considering proper millennial (Ursell, 2017). It will play a bigger form of role in terms of providing perks and benefits of empowering the staff members, which matters equivalent to a financial raise in the salary. In order to properly retain staff and employees’ organisations require for getting more creative through mentally empowering them and assuring better balance between their professional as well as personal lives. In this context, it is worthy to mention that flexible form of work arrangements and hours will significantly influence over-hiring practices It will play a major role in retention for organisations and improve strategic communications. It will help in managing a diverse form of work-talent pool and attract top talents in the organisation. Proper form of workplace-flexibility within organisational standards will help in delivering best possible mental health to the staff and ensure optimal influence on quality of the work, therefore properly impacting the decision-making process of the organisational aspect in the competitive market.

Range of alternative solutions to problem
This section will discuss alternative form of solutions to enhance workplace-flexibility within the organisation.

Utilisation of Flextime work arrangements
This approach will enhance improvement of workplace-flexibility into the organisational standards. It allows employees proper freedom for structuring their own week-offs and work routines. It helps in properly engaging the employees into organisational decision-making and allows a tracking application or technology such as Toggl-Track to help staff for tracking as well as reporting duration of hours worked in the organisational standards (Totterdill and Exton, 2021). It enhances flexibility of working procedure and increase employee happiness or satisfaction within workplace.

Enhancing Job sharing
An effective approach allows two-employees (part time or full time) for sharing their job and duties as per their flexible hours (Wohlers and Hertel, 2018). It reduces work burden on one employee and allows a proper scope to enhance skillset of employees while assuring the job is done before the deadline. It is an effective approach for top talents and helps in adding better flexibility while mitigating work stress.

Segmenting Roles and Responsibilities
This involves utilising core values of the organisational culture. It engages in properly describing roles and responsibilities of each member in the department so that there lays no place of confusion (Kumraet al. 2020). It engages taking proper responsibility of a project and enhances segmenting or dividing each role to each member for involving everyone in the work. It helps in mitigating stress and work pressure on a specific individual of the department. Rather, it liquidates the pressure into all the employee capability and help in achieving the performance target.

Encouraging breaks and limiting meetings
In this approach, breaks are taken (occasional braks), which contributes to better culture associated with adaptability as well as flexibility in the workplace standards. In this approach, employees (both working from office and remote staff) are forced to take breaks and provided incentives or a food coupon, which helps in reaching satisfaction of staff in the wider aspect (Wise et al. 2020). It helps in promoting better balance between personal and professional lives of the employees and allows better improvement of flexibility in the workplace.

Effective Teamwork and developing skill set
Finally, this method can help in working as a team that helps in developing diverse form of perspectives, and engage winning innovations in the workplace. It helps in sharing the workload and eases the mitigation of work strain. In this context, dividing work into a proper team helps in growing skills as well as knowledge sharing. Proper training and development approach to the team building attributes in an organisation helps in growing employee skills while keeping the work liquidated and facilitated among the team (Pradhan et al. 2017). It helps in work and knowledge sharing while facilitating strategic communication within the workplace, leading to better standards of staff satisfaction and assuring better organisational productivity.

Decision-making technique for evaluation of range of solutions and identification of appropriate solution
In this context, “Brainstorming decision-making technique”, is utilised for evaluating the range of solutions towards mitigation of lack of proper workplace-flexibility within organisational standards. In this context, organisations need to enhance creative spaces which comprises of proper judgement-free zones (Tripathy, 2020). It will help in employees communicating with the hierarchy and let ideas flow, which will bring out organisational creativity. Encouraging ideas like potential job sharing as well as flex working approach will help in understand other people perspectives and helps in identifying sources to employee satisfactions. Staying focused on segmenting work roles as well as responsibilities of employees will help in in mitigating stress and work pressure on a specific individual of the department. Enhancing one conversation at a time will help in understanding employee perspectives. For instance, talking about breaks and break-hours will help in promoting better culture associated with adaptability as well as flexibility in the workplace standards (Stankiewicz-Mróz, 2020). In this concern, it is essential to note that this technique will help employees to sit around in an online or offline platform and bring ideas regarding inducing workplace flexibility. For instance, talking about teamwork will bring out generating better ideologies in which effective teamwork can be done. Out of the ranges of identified problems, the most appropriate solution will be effective teamwork and development of employee skill-set (Attaran et al. 2019). This is because employees will be able to work in a collaborative manner via online or offline platforms and share the workload stress. It will help in improving professional and personal lives of the employees in organisational aspects. It will help in gaining new form of perspectives in workplace while boost employee performance and at the same time provide proper support to the employees. Finally, it will enhance flexibility and gain fresh business perspectives while maximising employee capability in the workplace.

Developing plan for implementing solution

Steps to implement effective teamwork




Create defined and focused organisational targets

·         Assure knowledge-sharing to team members

·         Divide roles and responsibilities of each member in the team (Franken et al. 2021)

Beginning of any project

Setting tone for team communication

Implement participative-leadership style

·         Engage team members into decision marking aspects

·         Empower them through taking account of their creativity and understanding

Throughout the project or organisational work

Collaborative tool delivery and reduction of work stress

Enhance Strategic communication

·         Meetings are needed to be incorporated for understanding employee issues (Ahmad et al. 2020).

·         Doubt-clearing sessions will help in improving work standards

Weekly meetings, Monthly audits

Improving employee retention and assuring better quality of employee personal and professional life balance

Treat every employee with respect and allow job sharing attributes

·         Non-discrimination standards needs to be adhered (Tripathy, 2020)

·         Job sharing can be done by team members at certain intervals

During team projects and working standards (whenever required)

Encouraging touch base and assuring job certainty therefore facilitating workplace flexibility


Communicating plan to stakeholders


Engagement Action



CEO and Hierarchy

Managing closely and communication via email and documents

Personal check-in meetings, notifications from online software and video conferences



Keeping them informed as required

Memos along with proper agenda summaries and video conferences



Keeping informed as necessary

Budget and proper time-line progress update delivery via email



Managing closely and providing proper training and development

Emails, Video conferences, Zoom-calls, Telephonic conversations


Other external stakeholders

Keeping notified as required

Emails and Software notifications



Access of adequate monitoring for enhancing successful solution implementation
It is essential to note that adequate form of monitoring and review techniques will be utilised for enhancing successful incorporation of the solution. It will include “Focus group discussion”, which will understand met and unfulfilled requirements of employees on monthly basis (Franken et al. 2021). It will also incorporate formal employee online surveys on quarterly basis showing the improvement statistics of employee satisfaction during the progress of workplace flexibility approach in the workplace standards. It is significant to note that employee feedback, interviews along with direct audits and observation will be enhanced in the workplace standards for checking the employee satisfactions rate and understanding progress of effective teamwork in the organisation (Andrews and Smits, 2019). These methods will help in bringing out quantitative and qualitative results which will measure the workplace flexibility improvement within the UK organisational standards.

Reference List
Agarwal, S., Sing, T.F., Song, C., Zhang, J. and Lee, J., 2018. Workplace Flexibility and Entrepreneurship. Georgetown McDonough School of Business Research Paper,(3136792). doi, 10.
Ahmad, N.F.D., Jye, A.K.R., Zulkifli, Z. and Bujang, M.A., 2020. The development and validation of job satisfaction questionnaire for health workforce. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences: MJMS, 27(6), p.128.
Andrews, M. and Smits, S., 2019. Using Tacit Knowledge Exchanges to Improve Teamwork. ISM Journal of International Business, 3(1). Attaran, M., Attaran, S. and Kirkland, D., 2019. The need for digital workplace: increasing workforce productivity in the information age. International Journal of Enterprise Information Systems (IJEIS), 15(1), pp.1-23.
Bal, P.M. and Izak, M., 2021. Paradigms of flexibility: a systematic review of research on workplace flexibility. European Management Review, 18(1), pp.37-50.
Franken, E., Bentley, T., Shafaei, A., Farr-Wharton, B., Onnis, L.A. and Omari, M., 2021. Forced flexibility and remote working: opportunities and challenges in the new normal. Journal of Management & Organization, pp.1-19.

Klikauer, T. and Campbell, N., 2021. The despotism of workplace flexibility. Brave New Europe.
Kumra, T., Hsu, Y.J., Cheng, T.L., Marsteller, J.A., McGuire, M. and Cooper, L.A., 2020. The association between cultural competence and teamwork climate in a network of primary care practices. Health care management review.
Pradhan, R.K., Kumari, I.G. and Kumar, U., 2017. Human resource flexibility and organisational effectiveness: mediating role of organisational citizenship behaviour. International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 17(3-4), pp.282-300. Stankiewicz-Mróz, A., 2020. Perception of work flexibility among students as representatives of generation Z and employers from the SME sector. Human Resources Management, 1(132), pp.49-63.
Subramaniam, G., Tan, P.L., Maniam, B. and Ali, E., 2013. Workplace flexibility, empowerment and quality of life.Problem solving assignment Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 105, pp.885-893.
Totterdill, P. and Exton, R., 2021. Workplace Innovation in Practice: Experiences from the UK. In The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation (pp. 57-78). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Tripathy, M., 2020. Relevance of soft skills in career success. MIER Journal of Educational Studies Trends & Practices, pp.91-102. Ursell, G.D., 2017. Human resource management and labour flexibility: Some reflections based on cross-national and sectoral studies in Canada and the UK. In A Flexible Future? (pp. 311-328). De Gruyter.
Statista, 2021, Biggest struggles to remote work, Viewed on 03/11/2021 from
Wheatley, D., 2021. Workplace location and the quality of work: The case of urban-based workers in the UK. Urban Studies, 58(11), pp.2233-2257.

Wise, S., Duffield, C., Fry, M. and Roche, M., 2020. Clarifying workforce flexibility from a division of labor perspective: a mixed methods study of an emergency department team. Human resources for health, 18(1), pp.1-9. Wohlers, C. and Hertel, G., 2018. Longitudinal effects of activity-based flexible office design on teamwork. Frontiers in psychology, 9, p.2016.


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