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A 6-hour working day--effects on health and well-being

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Abstract

The effect of the total amount of work hours and the benefits of a shortening is frequently debated, but very little data is available. The present study compared a group (N = 41) that obtained a 9 h reduction of the working week (to a 6 h day) with a comparison group (N = 22) that retained normal work hours. Both groups were constituted of mainly female health care and day care nursery personnel. The experimental group retained full pay and extra personnel were employed to compensate for loss of hours. Questionnaire data were obtained before and 1 year after the change. The data were analyzed using a two-factor ANOVA with the interaction term year*group as the main focus. The results showed a significant interaction of year*group for social factors, sleep quality, mental fatigue, and heart/respiratory complaints, and attitude to work hours. In all cases the experimental group improved whereas the control group did not change. It was concluded that shortened work hours have clear social effects and moderate effects on well-being.

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... In total seven articles, with a longitudinal interventional design, were included in the final analysis. [18][19][20][21][22][23][24] A brief summary of included articles is provided in table 1. ...
... The included studies were published between 2001 24 and 2017 18 19 23 and they were performed in northern Europe. [18][19][20][21][22][23][24] The sample size ranged from 63 participants 24 to 580 workers, 19 mostly from healthcare settings. [20][21][22][23][24] Only one of the included studies enrolled workers from different workplaces in the public sector (Schiller et al). ...
... The included studies were published between 2001 24 and 2017 18 19 23 and they were performed in northern Europe. [18][19][20][21][22][23][24] The sample size ranged from 63 participants 24 to 580 workers, 19 mostly from healthcare settings. [20][21][22][23][24] Only one of the included studies enrolled workers from different workplaces in the public sector (Schiller et al). ...
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Objectives The health effects of work-time arrangements have been largely studied for long working hours, whereas a lack of knowledge remains regarding the potential health impact of reduced work-time interventions. Therefore, we conducted this review in order to assess the relationships between work-time reduction and health outcomes. Design Systematic review of published studies. Medline, PsycINFO, Embase and Web of Science databases were searched from January 2000 up to November 2019. Outcomes The primary outcome was the impact of reduced working time with retained salary on health effects, interventional and observational studies providing a quantitative analysis of any health-related outcome were included. Studies with qualitative research methods were excluded. Results A total of 3876 published articles were identified and 7 studies were selected for the final analysis, all with a longitudinal interventional design. The sample size ranged from 63 participants to 580 workers, mostly from healthcare settings. Two studies assessed a work-time reduction to 6 hours per day; two studies evaluated a weekly work-time reduction of 25%; two studies evaluated simultaneously a reduced weekly work-time reduction proportionally to the amount of time worked and a 2.5 hours of physical activity programme per week instead of work time; one study assessed a reduced weekly work-time reduction from 39 to 30 hours per week. A positive relationship between reduced working hours and working life quality, sleep and stress was observed. It is unclear whether work time reduction determined an improvement in general health outcomes, such as self-perceived health and well-being. Conclusions These findings suggest that the reduction of working hours with retained salary could be an effective workplace intervention for the improvement of employees’ well-being, especially regarding stress and sleep. Further studies in different contexts are needed to better evaluate the impact of work-time reduction on other health outcomes.
... Over the last decade, several worksite health-promotion initiatives involving reduced workhours have been carried out within the public service and health care sectors in the Nordic countries (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13). These initiatives include reducing the number of workhours per day or per week (eg, from 40 to 30 hours of weekly workhours for all employees within an organization). ...
... These initiatives include reducing the number of workhours per day or per week (eg, from 40 to 30 hours of weekly workhours for all employees within an organization). So far, reducing workhours from 8 hours/day to 6 hours/day has been related to positive social effects and decreased work-family conflict, particularly for employees with children (8,11). With regard to health effects, the 6hour workday has been found to be associated with a considerable reduction of pain in the neck-shoulder area in employees within the public care sector (10). ...
... In addition, this study showed decreased stress levels among the participants (13). However, evaluations of different types of reduced workhours have only produced minor effects on other health-related factors, such as fatigue, disturbed sleep, and physiological factors (9,11,13). ...
Article
This study examined the health-related effects of two worksite interventions, physical exercise and reduced workhours, on women employed in dentistry. Six workplaces were randomized to one of the following three conditions: (i) 2.5 hours of weekly, mandatory physical exercise of middle-to-high intensity to be performed during workhours (N=62), (ii) a reduction of full-time weekly workhours from 40 to 37.5 hours (N=50), and (iii) reference. In all, 177 women participated. Biomarkers and self-ratings in questionnaires were obtained before the intervention (T (1)), and six (T (2)) and 12 months (T (3)) after the intervention. The results showed increased levels of physical activity and exercise in all of the groups, the level of physical exercise being significantly greater in the physical exercise group. Repeated-measures analyses of variance using data from T (1)and T (3)for biological measures and all three time points for self-ratings produced significant interaction effects for glucose, waist-to-hip ratio, and work ability and clear trends for general symptoms and upper-extremity disorders. Posthoc analyses showed that the results of the health-related measures differed between the interventions, decreased glucose and upper-extremity disorders in the exercise group, and increased high-density lipoprotein and waist-to-hip ratio among those working reduced hours. These results show that the two interventions had small and varied effects on biomarkers and self-reports of different aspects of health among women. It is suggested that interventions involving a modest reduction in workhours seem to be more effective if these hours are used for physical exercise.
... Selon Hunnicutt (1996), l'introduction de la journée de travail de six heures dans l'usine d'American Kellogg's en 1930 a contribué à une réduction significative des accidents du travail (baisse de 41 %). ...
... Cette étude montre qu'une réduction du temps de travail peut être favorable aux personnes qui ont du mal à concilier travail rémunéré et vie familiale et, dans le même temps, augmenter leur satisfaction au travail. Akerstedt et al. (2001) ont examiné les résultats d'une étude d'intervention dans deux unités de pédiatrie en Suède, où le temps de travail avait été réduit de 39 à 30 heures par semaine en 1996, avant de revenir à la situation initiale en 1998 après un changement au niveau des autorités politiques locales (Crouch, 2015). L'expérience avait été conçue en prévoyant un groupe de contrôle qui avait conservé une semaine de 39 heures. ...
... Il est important de noter que la réduction du temps de travail avait été entièrement compensée par des emplois supplémentaires. La charge de travail n'avait pas augmenté et l'expérience a montré des effets très bénéfiques sur le niveau de stress des travailleurs et sur la qualité de leur sommeil (Akerstedt et al., 2001). ...
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Après des décennies de réduction progressive du temps de travail, un renversement de situation semble s’opérer depuis quelques années. Face à une telle régression, le mouvement syndical a réaffirmé son objectif historique de réduction graduelle du temps de travail. Le présent guide entend contribuer à ce débat en montrant pourquoi la réduction du temps de travail est souhaitable et comment elle peut être organisée. Il est évident que la concrétisation effective d’une réduction du temps de travail dépend de la manière dont elle est mise en œuvre. Les nombreuses options en la matière sont examinées à l’aide d’expériences vécues pour illustrer leur caractère effectif. L’analyse des raisons qui motivent la réduction du temps de travail, des différentes manières de la mettre en place et de cinq brèves études de cas fournit la base d’une discussion tout à fait indispensable sur la meilleure manière de concevoir une réduction du temps de travail qui s’inscrive dans la durée.
... However, there is an apparent scarcity of longitudinal research and intervention studies in this area. To our knowledge, only one intervention study has evaluated reduced weekly worktime with retained salary and its consequences for perceived stress, sleep, and sleepiness over time (13), where a slight improvement in sleep quality and mental fatigue was observed when work hours were Worktime reduction reduced from 8 to 6 hours/day. Moreover, studies on worktime reduction have shown that shorter workdays lead to a reduction of job exhaustion (14) and have a positive impact on work-family interaction (13,15). ...
... To our knowledge, only one intervention study has evaluated reduced weekly worktime with retained salary and its consequences for perceived stress, sleep, and sleepiness over time (13), where a slight improvement in sleep quality and mental fatigue was observed when work hours were Worktime reduction reduced from 8 to 6 hours/day. Moreover, studies on worktime reduction have shown that shorter workdays lead to a reduction of job exhaustion (14) and have a positive impact on work-family interaction (13,15). The mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of worktime reduction are believed to be extended time for recovery, additional time spent on beneficial health-related behaviors such as exercise, and less conflict between work and other domains in life (13,(15)(16)(17). ...
... Moreover, studies on worktime reduction have shown that shorter workdays lead to a reduction of job exhaustion (14) and have a positive impact on work-family interaction (13,15). The mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of worktime reduction are believed to be extended time for recovery, additional time spent on beneficial health-related behaviors such as exercise, and less conflict between work and other domains in life (13,(15)(16)(17). ...
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Objective Insufficient time for recovery between workdays may cause fatigue and disturbed sleep. This study evaluated the impact of an intervention that reduced weekly working hours by 25% on sleep, sleepiness and perceived stress for employees within the public sector. Method Participating workplaces (N=33) were randomized into intervention and control groups. Participants (N=580, 76% women) worked full-time at baseline. The intervention group (N=354) reduced worktime to 75% with preserved salary during 18 months. Data were collected at baseline and after 9 and 18 months follow-up. Sleep quality, sleep duration, sleepiness, perceived stress,and worries, and stress at bedtime were measured with diary during one week per data collection. Result A multilevel mixed model showed that compared with the control group, at the 18-month follow-up, the intervention group had improved sleep quality and sleep duration (+23 minutes) and displayed reduced levels of sleepiness, perceived stress and worries, and stress at bedtime on workdays (P<0.002). The same effects were shown for days off (P<0.006), except for sleep length. Effect sizes were small (Cohen's f2<0.08). Adding gender, age, having children living at home, and baseline values of sleep quality and worries and stress at bedtime as additional between-group factors did not influence the results. Conclusion A 25% reduction of weekly work hours with retained salary resulted in beneficial effects on sleep, sleepiness and perceived stress both on workdays and days off. These effects were maintained over an 18-month period. This randomized intervention thus indicates that reduced worktime may improve recovery and perceived stress.
... While PE is one of the most common workplace health interventions, either alone or as part of a comprehensive workplace health promotion program, reduced work hours (RWH) is an intervention being used in the public health service and health care sectors in the Nordic countries. [23][24][25][26][27][28] Reported results are mixed regarding the effects of RWH on employee health. For example, only minor effects on health-related factors, such as, fatigue, disturbed sleep and physiological factors has been reported. ...
... For example, only minor effects on health-related factors, such as, fatigue, disturbed sleep and physiological factors has been reported. 24,26,27 Concurrently, other studies have reported that RWH may be related to positive social effects, such as decreased work-family conflict, particularly in employees with children, 23,26 as well as reduction of neck/shoulder pain 25,27 and decreased stress levels in participants. 27 In sum, the evidence for health-related effects of RWH is limited and we know of no prior studies that have investigated the effect of RWH on productivity. ...
... For example, only minor effects on health-related factors, such as, fatigue, disturbed sleep and physiological factors has been reported. 24,26,27 Concurrently, other studies have reported that RWH may be related to positive social effects, such as decreased work-family conflict, particularly in employees with children, 23,26 as well as reduction of neck/shoulder pain 25,27 and decreased stress levels in participants. 27 In sum, the evidence for health-related effects of RWH is limited and we know of no prior studies that have investigated the effect of RWH on productivity. ...
Article
To investigate how worksite health interventions involving a 2.5-hour reduction of weekly working hours with (PE) or without (RWH) mandatory physical exercise affects productivity. Six workplaces in dental health care were matched and randomized to three conditions (PE, RWH and referents). Employees' (N = 177) self-rated productivity and the workplaces' production levels (number of patients) were examined longitudinally. Number of treated patients increased in all conditions during the intervention year. While RWH showed the largest increase in this measure, PE showed significant increases in self-rated productivity, that is, increased quantity of work and work-ability and decreased sickness absence. A reduction in work hours may be used for health promotion activities with sustained or improved production levels, suggesting an increased productivity since the same, or higher, production level can be achieved with lesser resources.
... In the Nordic countries, the demands of working life within municipal services have contributed to that several WHP initiatives involving reduced working hours (RWH) have been carried out (Åkerstedt, Olsson, Ingre, Holmgren, & Kecklund, 2001;Anttila, Nätti, & Väisänen, 2005;Brynja, & Bildt, 2005;Malmberg, Hansson, & Byrgren, 2003;Wergeland et al., 2003). In contrast to various types of part-time work, work-time arrangements involving RWH mean that employees work fewer hours but still retain their full-time salaries. ...
... work and family life), thereby reducing work-family interference and role ambiguity. Moreover, RWH may allow more time for non-work activities that promotes health, for example increase time for recovery and time spent on leisure activities such as physical activity (Åkerstedt et al., 2001;Anttila et al., 2005;Brynja & Bildt, 2005;Malmberg et al., 2003). In sum, this assumes that the RWH is replaced by activities that are more health-promotive than work is. ...
... One of the most common types of RWH involves a reduction in working hours from eight to six hours a day or from 40 hours to 30 hours a week. This kind of RWH has been related to positive social effects and decreased work-family conflict, particularly in employees with children (Åkerstedt et al., 2001;Anttila et al., 2005). Apart from positive social effects of the sixhour workday, the potential health-related benefits of RWH remain unclear, although there is some support for RWH in relation to a reduction of pain in the neck/shoulder area in employees within the public sector (Bildt, 2007;Wergeland et al., 2003). ...
... Secondo Hunnicutt (1996), l'introduzione di una giornata lavorativa di sei ore nella fabbrica americana di Kellogg's nel 1930, ha contribuito ad una significativa diminuzione degli infortuni sul lavoro del 41%. ...
... Settimana di 30 ore: un migliore equilibrio tra vita e lavoro Akerstedt et al. (2001) riporta uno studio di intervento in due unità di assistenza all'infanzia in Svezia, dove l'orario di lavoro è stato ridotto da 39 a 30 ore settimanali nel 1996 ma interrotto nel 1998 dopo un cambiamento nel governo locale (Crouch, 2015). L'esperimento è stato progettato per includere un gruppo di controllo che è rimasto su una settimana di 39 ore. ...
... È importante sottolineare che la riduzione dell'orario di lavoro è stata accompagnata da un aumento dell'occupazione. Il carico di lavoro non è aumentato e l'esperimento ha mostrato alcuni effetti molto benefici sui livelli di stress dei dipendenti e sulla loro qualità del sonno (Akerstedt et al., 2001). ...
... So wurde bspw. in den Fallstudien von Gerold et al. (2017) berichtet, dass die Steigerung der Freizeit für mehr Erholung sorgte. Zudem wurde ebenfalls eine verbesserte subjektive Schlafqualität verzeichnet (Åkerstedt et al. 2001;Schiller et al. 2017). ...
... In 80 % der analysierten Studien hatte die AZV einen positiven Einfluss auf die psychische Gesundheit. Arbeitnehmende verspürten nach einer verringerten Arbeitszeit bei gleichbleibendem Lohnausgleich eine Verbesserung der geistigen Ermüdung (Åkerstedt et al. 2001;Barck-Holst et al. 2015) sowie des Wohlbefindens (Lepinteur 2019). Außerdem verbesserte sich die allgemeine innere Einstellung (Åkerstedt et al. 2001) und auch der Umgang mit negativen Emotionen (Barck-Holst et al. 2015). ...
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Zusammenfassung Dieser Beitrag der Zeitschrift Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. (GIO) stellt ein systematisches Review zum Zusammenhang der Arbeitszeitverkürzung (bei vollem Gehalt) und psychischen Gesundheit auf der Grundlage vorhandener Studien vor, um Chancen und Risiken besser einschätzen und beurteilen zu können. Die Diskussion über die Verkürzung von Arbeitszeiten wird nicht zuletzt durch die vielfältigen Möglichkeiten der Digitalisierung der Arbeit verstärkt. Die Literatursuche ergab insgesamt 114 Artikel, wovon drei qualitative, neun quantitative Studien und eine Mixed Method Studie in die Analyse aufgenommen wurden. Aus den Ergebnissen wurde deutlich, dass eine verkürzte Arbeitszeit bei gleichbleibendem Lohn zu einer Verringerung von arbeitsbedingten Belastungen bei Beschäftigten beitragen. Die Umsetzung der Verkürzung erfolgte auf drei unterschiedliche Weisen: I. ohne Veränderung der Arbeitsprozesse, II. ohne Veränderung der Arbeitsprozesse, jedoch mit zusätzlichen Beschäftigten oder III. mit einer vorhergehenden Veränderung der Arbeitsprozesse, ohne zusätzliche Angestellte. Zwar gibt es bis dato noch keine allgemeingültige Empfehlung für die Umsetzung in die Praxis, allerdings wird für eine erfolgreiche Umsetzung empfohlen, die Reduktion der Arbeitszeit vorab zu planen und Optimierungsmöglichkeiten für die Ausführung von Tätigkeiten und Arbeitsprozessen zu identifizieren (III.).
... Only when the reduction in working time is fully matched by additional employment (Schiller et al., 2017), or when workers have a say in how their working hours are organised (Piasna, 2015), can reduced working time be linked to less stress at work. Akerstedt et al. (2001) but very little data is available. The present study compared a group (N = 41 reports from an intervention study in two child care units in Sweden where working time was reduced from 39 to 30 hours a week in 1996 but discontinued in 1998 after a change in the local government (Crouch, 2015). ...
... Importantly, the working time reduction was fully matched by additional employment. The workload did not increase and the experiment showed some very beneficial effects on the stress levels of employees and on their quality of sleep (Akerstedt et al., 2001) Mostly we don't: greater stress when there is no (or too little) extra recruitment When the reduction in working time is not (or is only partially) met by extra employment, it often leads to work intensification and greater stress. In the case of France and Volkswagen (see Chapter 4 with the case studies), this is obviously a problem to be reckoned with. ...
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After decades of incremental reduction in working time, recent years have shown signs of a reversed evolution. In response, the labour movement has reasserted its historic aim gradually to reduce working time. This guide aims to contribute to this debate by discussing why working time reduction can be desirable and how it can be organised. It is obvious that the effectiveness of working time reduction depends on how it is implemented. The many options are discussed using real-life experiments to illustrate their effectiveness. The review of the motivations behind working time reduction, the various ways of implementing it and an examination of five short case studies provide the groundwork for a much-needed discussion on how best to design a future-proof reduction in working time.
... They argue that a shorter working week makes employees more efficient at work, and that shorter workdays mean that the balance between work and other life domains will lead to better recovery opportunities between workdays. There is some empirical support for these arguments (Nätti & Anttila 1999, Åkerstedt et al. 2001, Anttila et al. 2005, Lorentzon 2017. A reduction from 8 hours/day to 6 hours/day with retained salary has shown positive effects through reduced pain in the neck-and shoulder area for employees with physically demanding professions (Wergeland et al. 2003). ...
... Moreover, sleep quality improved, and sleepiness and perceived stress decreased when working hours were reduced (Schiller et al. 2017). Thus, the results support previous findings of studies with smaller study groups (Nätti & Anttila 1999, Åkerstedt et al. 2001, Anttila et al. 2005). ...
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This report summarizes the main findings and recommendations of a large Nordic project 'Working hours, health, well-being and participation in working life' (WOW, 2015-2021). The project has produced over 100 original publications on the societal and socio-economic differences and trends of Nordic working hours, and on the associations, countermeasures, recommendations, and tools related to the working hours to improve health, well-being and work participation. A novel aspect of the project was the utilization of detailed payroll-based registry data on working hours from several occupational cohorts, enabling the formation of more detailed recommendations for working hours and health. The project was funded by NordForsk, Nordic Program on Health and Welfare (grant no 74809).
... Ova studija pokazuje da skraćenje radnog vremena može pogodovati osobama kojima je teško uskladiti poslovni i privatni život i istodobno povećati njihovo zadovoljstvo poslom. Akerstedt et al. (2001.) izvještava o intervencijskoj studiji provedenoj u dvije ustanove za skrb o djeci u Švedskoj gdje je 1996. ...
... Važno je naglasiti kako je skraćenje radnog vremena bilo u potpunosti popraćeno dodatnim zapošljavanjem. Obujam posla nije se povećao, pa je eksperiment pokazao vrlo pozitivne učinke na razinu stresa zaposlenika i na kvalitetu njihova sna (Akerstedt et al., 2001.). Jedan od najboljih, a ujedno i najvarljivijih argumenata u raspravi o radnom vremenu je da bi skraćenje radnog vremena potaklo zapošljavanje ili barem preraspodijelio zaposlenost između zaposlenih (koji se često žale na prevelik pritisak na radnome mjestu) i nezaposlenih (koji pate zbog posljedica nezaposlenosti). ...
... The results showed that the week with overtime was associated with decreased sleep, more symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion, and an increase in sleepiness at the end of the week. There are some company-based interventions that have studied the effects of a reduction in workhours from 7 or more to 6 hours (115)(116)(117). In an intervention study among female health care workers, a decrease in workhours (to a 6-hour workday) resulted in improvements in the social life of the workers and in moderate improvements in well-being when the group was compared with a reference group with no changes in workhours (117). ...
... There are some company-based interventions that have studied the effects of a reduction in workhours from 7 or more to 6 hours (115)(116)(117). In an intervention study among female health care workers, a decrease in workhours (to a 6-hour workday) resulted in improvements in the social life of the workers and in moderate improvements in well-being when the group was compared with a reference group with no changes in workhours (117). In another study, a shift to 6-hour workdays was followed by a reduction of neck-shoulder and back pain in three separate organizations when fulltime payment of the workers was retained (115). ...
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This paper aims at describing the associations between workhours and psychosocial work characteristics and reviews the health effects of workhours and the related pathways. The role of insufficient sleep as a possible common pathway from workhours and work stress to cardiovascular illness is discussed. Finally, the key possibilities for improving recovery and health through changes in workhours are identified. Night work and shift work are related to a wide range of health effects, the evidence for the risk of cardiovascular morbidity being the strongest. Insufficient or poor sleep, related to insufficient recovery, can be a common pathway from long workhours, shift work, and work stress to cardiovascular illness. The most promising worktime-related means for decreasing the psychosocial workload and negative health effects of workhours would be (i) to regulate overtime and excessive workhours, (ii) increase individual worktime control, and (iii) increase recovery from the introduction of sleep-promoting principles into shift rotation.
... The participants were mainly female health care and day care nursery personnel. It was found that the group with shortened work hours had improved scores on social factors (time for family, friends, and social activities), sleep quality, mental fatigue, heart/respiratory complaints, and attitude to work hours, whereas the control group did not show changes during the period of the study [8]. A more recent study investigated shortened work hours and exercise during work hours and the effect on productivity for dental staff in Sweden [9]. ...
... Improved balance between work and life involved several aspects, such as more energy to do things during leisure, time including increased social activity and exercise. Indeed, a previous study on the effects of the six-hour workday, for female health care and day care personnel, found that the biggest effect was increased time for social activity [8]. However, the same study did not find an increase in exercise. ...
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Background There is a shortage of registered nurses in the European Union (EU), and job dissatisfaction and perceived high work–family conflict have been identified as causes of nursing staff turnover. Reducing work hours is an organisational intervention that could have a positive effect on nurses’ and assistant nurses’ job satisfaction, work–life balance, and willingness to stay in the job. An orthopaedic surgery department at a large hospital in Sweden introduced reduced work hours for nurses and assistant nurses in order to improve the working situation. The aim of the study was to investigate the experiences of reduced work hours and no lunch breaks among nurses and assistant nurses at an orthopaedic surgery department at a hospital in Sweden, with a particular focus on recovery and psychosocial working environment. MethodsA qualitative design was used in the study. Eleven nurses and assistant nurses working at the particular orthopaedic department took part in the study, and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The interviews were analysed by interpretative phenomenological analysis. ResultsFour main themes were developed in the analysis of the data: A more sustainable working situation, Improved work–life balance, Consequences of being part of a project, and Improved quality of care. Each theme consisted of subthemes. Conclusions Overall, reduced work hours appeared to have many, mainly positive, effects for the participants in both work and home life.
... Nur wenn die Verkürzung der Arbeitszeit in ihrer Auswirkung vollständig durch zusätzliche Personaleinstellung ausgeglichen wird (Schiller et al., 2017) oder wenn die Belegschaften über die Organisation ihrer Arbeitszeit mitentscheiden können (Piasna, 2015), eignen sich kürzere Arbeitszeiten zur Stressreduzierung am Arbeitsplatz. (Akerstedt et al., 2001). ...
... Akerstedt et al. (2001) berichten über eine Interventionsstudie in zwei Kinderbetreuungseinrichtungen in Schweden, in denen im Jahre 1996 die Wochenarbeitszeit von 39 auf 30 Stunden verringert wurde. ...
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Nachdem über mehrere Jahrzehnte die Arbeitszeit schrittweise immer weiter verkürzt wurde, gibt es seit einigen Jahren Anzeichen für eine Umkehr dieser Entwicklung. Als Reaktion darauf hat die Gewerkschaftsbewegung ihr historisches Ziel bekräftigt, die Arbeitszeit schrittweise weiter zu verkürzen. Der vorliegende Leitfaden will einen Beitrag zu dieser Debatte leisten und der Frage nachgehen, warum die Verkürzung der Arbeitszeit wünschenswert sein kann und wie dies organisiert werden kann. Es liegt auf der Hand, dass eine Arbeitszeitverkürzung nur dann den gewünschten Erfolg haben wird, wenn sie effektiv umgesetzt wird. Die zahlreichen denkbaren Optionen sollen hier anhand realer Erfahrungen aus der Praxis diskutiert werden, um ihre Effektivität beurteilen zu können. Die Analyse der eigentlichen Motive hinter der Arbeitszeitverkürzung, die unterschiedlichen Modelle für die Umsetzung dieses Ziels und die nähere Untersuchung fünf kurzer Fallstudien liefern die Basis für eine dringend zu führende Diskussion über die bestmögliche Gestaltung einer zukunftssicheren Verkürzung der Arbeitszeit.
... Regarding conditions outside work, the group in Oslo spent more time with their children during the intervention period (6). The intervention group in Stockholm spent more time with friends, family and social activities, and it reported improved sleep quality, reduced mental fatigue, and reduced heart and respiratory complaints (10,11). ...
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The study examined the relation between daily workhours and the occurrence of neck-shoulder or back pain in physically demanding care work. Unpublished data were obtained from three intervention projects in care institutions. The projects had been conducted independently in Oslo (46 participants, 175 referents before and 158 referents after the intervention), Helsingborg (60 participants, 89 referents) and Stockholm (41 participants, 22 referents) between 1995 and 1998. The intervention was a reduction of daily workhours from > or = 7 to 6 hours (or 30 hours weekly). Full-time salary was retained, and extra personnel were employed to compensate for the reduction in workhours. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires before and during the intervention periods, lasting from 12 to 22 months. The prevalence of neck-shoulder pain decreased from 40.9% to 25.6% in Oslo and from 57.1% to 39.1% in Helsingborg after 1.5 years with a 6-hour workday; for Stockholm the decrease was from 81.6% to 68.3% after 1 year. No decrease was observed in the reference groups. The prevalence of back pain did not show the same consistent pattern. The shortening of regular workdays from > or = 7 hours to 6 hours may considerably reduce the prevalence of neck-shoulder pain among persons with physically demanding care work. The potential health benefits should encourage intervention studies also in other occupations with increased risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
... The demands have led to a 35 h week in France and a similar development on the German labor market but not in the form of laws in the latter case. The effects have not been properly evaluated yet, but a small Swedish study fails to find any health effect of a 32 h week in nursing 1) . ...
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In Europe the way work hours are handled varies between different countries. However, there are some issues that dominate the discussion in Europe and seem representative for what is happening. One such is the reduction of working hours--which was attempted in several countries but which now seems to be backfiring--probably related to the competition from countries outside Europe. Another area is compressed work hours--the drive towards maximizing the hours per work day in order to increase the number of days off. The health effects are debated--some find clear positive effects. A third area is company oriented flexible work hours, permitting the employer to make moderate changes in work hours when needed. The health impacts have not been evaluated but the loss of individual influence at work is obvious. In some parts of Europe self-determined work hours have been tried with very positive effects. The EU work hour directive is intended to provide uniformity but permits a counterproductive "opting out", creating problems of imbalance.
... In the Nordic countries, RWH interventions have been introduced to improve employee health. [34][35][36][37][38][39] The RWH condition involved a corresponding reduction of full-time weekly hours, from 40 to 37.5 hours per week, but without mandatory PE. For employees working part time, the time allocated to PE and RWH was set to, as closely as possible, equal the same proportional reduction (6.25%). ...
Article
To investigate the effects of physical exercise during work hours (PE) and reduced work hours (RWH) on direct and indirect costs associated with sickness absence (SA). Sickness absence and related costs at six workplaces, matched and randomized to three conditions (PE, RWH, and referents), were retrieved from company records and/or estimated using salary conversion methods or value-added equations on the basis of interview data. Although SA days decreased in all conditions (PE, 11.4%; RWH, 4.9%; referents, 15.9%), costs were reduced in the PE (22.2%) and RWH (4.9%) conditions but not among referents (10.2% increase). Worksite health interventions may generate savings in SA costs. Costs may not be linear to changes in SA days. Combing the friction method with indirect cost estimates on the basis of value-added productivity may help illuminate both direct and indirect SA costs.
... In the Nordic countries, RWH interventions have been introduced to improve employee health. [34][35][36][37][38][39] The RWH condition involved a corresponding reduction of full-time weekly hours, from 40 to 37.5 hours per week, but without mandatory PE. For employees working part time, the time allocated to PE and RWH was set to, as closely as possible, equal the same proportional reduction (6.25%). ...
... The length of the working week was investigated in three studies [27,39,43] in Table 2. Two of the studies investigated the effects of long working hours while the third focused on a reduction from 39 to 30 h per week. In the study by Eriksen et al., working longer than 36 h per week was not related to poor sleep. ...
... The control group had no significant changes in frequency but had a significant increase in duration of absence. Akerstedt, Olsson, Ingre, Holmgren, and Kecklund (2001) investigated the effect of reducing a 39-hour work week to 30 hours on health and well-being. Person-hours spent working were kept constant by employing new staff. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between work hours and sickness absence: is a higher number of work hours associated with better or with adverse health? A systematic literature review was performed by searching Medline, PsychInfo, and Web of Science. All abstracts were screened to identify papers that empirically investigated the relationship between work hours and sickness absence in a working population. A total of 1072 papers were identified, and 70 papers were included in this review. A simple measure of the strength of effects was applied, and the findings are summarised in narrative form. Evidence supporting a relationship between sickness absence and working part-time or work hours as a continuous variable was inconclusive. These inconclusive findings might be due to heterogeneity in the operationalisation of key variables or to publication bias. Support for a negative relationship between long work hours and sickness absence was moderately strong. Possible explanations for this include the healthy worker selection effect, differences in job characteristics, and differences in job motivation. Empirical testing of these explanations, however, has been limited. Our findings indicate that employers should monitor employee health in times of high work pressure, even if sickness absence is low.
... Total workload and recovery in relation to worktime reduction: a randomised controlled intervention study with time-use data Workplace time for recovery and social activities. 10 However, to retrospectively estimate time spent in specific activities in questionnaires may give inaccurate estimates, and an alternative measurement strategy would be to collect time-use data through activity reporting sheets in diaries. The present paper is the first to investigate whether total workload (including both paid and non-paid work) decreases and recovery time increases when work hours are reduced. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives A 25% reduction of weekly work hours for full-time employees has been shown to improve sleep and alertness and reduce stress during both workdays and days off. The aim of the present study was to investigate how employees use their time during such an intervention: does total workload (paid and non-paid work) decrease, and recovery time increase, when work hours are reduced? Methods Full-time employees within the public sector (n=636; 75% women) were randomised into intervention group and control group. The intervention group (n=370) reduced worktime to 75% with preserved salary during 18 months. Data were collected at baseline, after 9 months and 18 months. Time-use was reported every half-hour daily between 06:00 and 01:00 during 1 week at each data collection. Data were analysed with multilevel mixed modelling. Results Compared with the control group, the intervention group increased the time spent on domestic work and relaxing hobby activities during workdays when worktime was reduced (P≤0.001). On days off, more time was spent in free-time activities (P=0.003). Total workload decreased (−65 min) and time spent in recovery activities increased on workdays (+53 min). The pattern of findings was similar in subgroups defined by gender, family status and job situation. Conclusions A worktime reduction of 25% for full-time workers resulted in decreased total workload and an increase of time spent in recovery activities, which is in line with the suggestion that worktime reduction may be beneficial for long-term health and stress.
... (e.g. Åkerstedt, Olsson, Ingre, Holmgren, & Kecklund, 2001;Barck-Holst, Nilsonne, Åkerstedt, & Hellgren, 2017)? It is these issues that the papers our symposium will take into account when discussing the future of HRM theories in the digital era. ...
Conference Paper
HRM challenges arise due to a changing technology-enabled labor market. One of such challenges is a rise in flexible working arrangements. In the Netherlands, for example, a rise occurred from 13,6% flexible work arrangements in 2003 to 21,2% flexible work arrangements in 2015 (Bolhaar, Brouwers, & Scheer, 2016). Due to these developments, organizations become ever changing constitutions that need to quickly adapt to internal and external flexible environments. As organizations become more fluid, the need to consider HRM as an adaptive open system becomes more apparent. Configurational theory applied to HRM has been suggested to provide this system approach. In this contribution, we first challenge the extent to which it has been able to do so till now. Secondly, we argue that in times of rapid HR changes, the configurational theory is the theoretical paradigm to address fluid, flex and quick dynamics of HR management. Finally, we question the adaptability of the current use of configurational HRM and suggest a way forward to reap the benefits of an adaptive holistic approach embedded in this theory. We start by tracing back the essence of the configurational mode of theorizing in HRM.
... In support of this notion, numerous cross-sectional and ambulatory studies found social stressors to harm sleep quality [15,21,[23][24][25][26]. Additionally, other occupational stressors, such as the number of patient interactions and working hours, have been found to impair sleep indicators [27][28][29]. For Sonnentag [17], the fact that sleep is impaired when job stressors are high is paradoxical, as the experience of exactly such high stressors would call for effective recovery processes to set in (i.e., good sleep); she terms this phenomenon 'the recovery paradox'. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Social service employees often fulfill their mandate under tight time schedules, and deal with social stressors. This can result in significant health impairments. By means of one cross-sectional and two intensive longitudinal studies, the present paper aimed to understand how time pressure and social stressors might impact sleep quality. It was also tested whether social stressors amplified the negative association between time pressure and sleep impairments in social workers. Methods Study 1 was a cross-sectional questionnaire study on 52 social service employees, while study 2 included a 7-day diary study design (N = 62 social workers) with up to 138 daily measurements. Study 3 applied a 2-week diary and actigraphy assessment, involving a complete social service unit sample (N = 9). Results Concerning the moderating role of social stressors, study 1 found social stressors to amplify the effects of time pressure on sleep latency. Multilevel regression analyses of studies 2 and 3 revealed daily time pressure to be a significant predictor of sleep fragmentation the upcoming night. Study 3 further uncovered daily social stressors to positively predicted sleep fragmentation and negatively sleep duration. Study 2 again showed the amplifying interaction effect between daily social stressors and time pressure on sleep fragmentation, but study 3 did not show that interaction. Conclusion The findings show how job stressors might disturb the sleep quality of social workers also with amplifying risk. Accordingly, social work needs work design prevention efforts that consider the complex inter-play between occupational stressors, as only then recovery processes can be protected.
... Regarding possible interventions to increase health professionals' influence on their work schedule or to decrease overtime and work hours, several intervention studies have already been conducted. In a study by Akerstedt, et al. [29] the minimizing reduction of working hours per shift with full pay and input of extra personnel resulted in positive social effects and increased employee well-being after 1 year. In addition, the study results of Kauffeld et al. [30] show that the implementation of a 'flexible work-time design' is strongly associated with a lower absenteeism level, higher work quality and increased employee satisfaction with work. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The workforce shortage of health professionals is a matter of global concern. Among possible causative factors in this shortage are the incompatibility of health professionals' work with their private life, which may lead to increased stress and burnout symptoms, job dissatisfaction and a higher intention to leave the profession prematurely. Also, poor leadership qualities among direct line managers (e.g. clinic directors, leading physicians, ward managers, team leaders) have been associated with health professionals' job dissatisfaction and intention to leave in previous studies. This study therefore aimed to identify key factors associated with health professionals' work-private life conflicts and their managers' leadership quality. Methods: The study is based on a cross-sectional survey in 26 Swiss acute and rehabilitation hospitals, consisting of 3398 health professionals from various disciplines. For data analysis, multilevel models (with hospitals as the second level variable) were performed for 'work-private life conflict' and 'quality of leadership', considering significant main effects (using AIC) and significant interactions (using BIC) of potential explanatory variables. Results: The main findings reveal that the compatibility of health professionals' work and private life is associated with how much they can influence shift planning (possibility of exchanging shifts, B = -2.87, p < 0.01), the extent to which their individual preferences are considered (e.g. working on one specific shift only, B = 6.31, p < 0.01), number of work shifts per weekend (B = 1.38, p < 0.01) and working hours per week (B = 0.13, p < 0.01). In addition, the factors high quantitative demands (B = 0.25, p < 0.01), being required to hide their emotions (B = 0.16, p < 0.01) and poor social community support at work (B = -0.12, p < 0.01) were related to severe work-private life conflicts among health professionals. Regarding managerial leadership, health professionals perceived the leadership qualities of their direct line manager as being better if they received more social support (B = 0.61, p < 0.01) and rewards (B = 0.41, p < 0.01) at work. Conclusions: The results show key components of improving the compatibility of work and private life for health professionals as well as managerial leadership qualities, and may help leaders working in acute or rehabilitation hospitals to develop appropriate interventions.
... Swedish scholars found similar results. One study among social workers and one among nurses showed that reduced working hours led to improved well-being, sleep quality, and less stress (Åkerstedt et al., 2001;Barck-Holst et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Idle time at work is a phase of involuntary downtime during which employees experience that they cannot carry out their work tasks. In contrast to breaks, interruptions, procrastination, or withdrawal behavior, employees cannot work because of the absence of work-related tasks. Based on action regulation theory, we develop an integrative conceptual model on the antecedents and consequences of the subjective experience of idle time. We propose that work constraints (i.e., regulation problems) have negative effects on occupational well-being and task performance, and that these effects are mediated by subjective idle time. The strength of these effects is further assumed to be influenced by individuals’ use of proactive (i.e., prevention) and adaptive (i.e., coping) strategies. Results of a supplemental qualitative study, for which we interviewed 20 employees from different occupations, provided preliminary support for the propositions. Finally, we develop theory on how individual, situational, and organizational characteristics may influence the proposed effects on and of idle time. Overall, this conceptual development paper contributes to a better theoretical understanding of idle time at work by extending its definition and applying action regulation theory to this practically important phenomenon.
... Another study found that reducing the work week to 30 hours while retaining the same salary provides strong psychosocial benefits, resulting in more sleep and less stress, anxiety and fatigue (Kecklund et al., 2010). Yet another study shows that shortening working hours has clear social benefits and a positive impact on wellbeing (Akerstedt et al., 2001). Trials involving a RWH have suggested a beneficial effect on work-family interaction (Anttila et al., 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Longitudinal, experimental evaluation of reduced weekly working hours for assistant nurses Bengt Lorentzon M.Sc. Pacta Guideline Research, Sweden. Med Dr. Fei Yang, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Peer reviewed: Professor Göran Kecklund, the director of Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Sweden. Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine if it’s sufficient to reduce working hours (RWH) in order to improve health and working conditions for assistant nurses (AN), and to explore if additional interventions were required. This 23-month longitudinal, interventional, parallel group study investigated the impact of RWH among AN at elderly care facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden. Study participants worked 6-hour per day with full pay. New personnel were hired to compensate for the RWH. The finding of this study showed the consistent improved health directly relating to RWH. However, the main finding was unexpectedly something different – a finding that was quite unmentioned in previous studies. As an isolated intervention, RWH was insufficient on its own to reduce the ill effects on health from lifestyle and working conditions. RWH creating the space needed to implement additional interventions. Key terms Assistant nurses / elderly care facilities / health determinants / perceived health / public health / reduced working hours / sickness absence / working environment
... Regarding possible interventions to increase health professionals' in uence on their work schedule or to decrease overtime and work hours, several intervention studies have already been conducted. In a study by Akerstedt, et al. [29] the minimizing reduction of working hours per shift with full pay and input of extra personnel resulted in positive social effects and increased employee well-being after one ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The workforce shortage of health professionals is a matter of global concern. Among possible causative factors in this shortage are the incompatibility of health professionals’ work with their private life, which may lead to increased stress and burnout symptoms, job dissatisfaction and a higher intention to leave the profession prematurely. Also, poor leadership qualities among direct line managers (e.g. clinic directors, leading physicians, ward managers, team leaders) have been associated with health professionals’ job dissatisfaction and intention to leave in previous studies. This study therefore aimed to identify key factors associated with health professionals’ work-private life conflicts and their managers’ leadership quality. Methods: The study is based on a cross-sectional survey in 26 Swiss acute and rehabilitation hospitals, consisting of 3398 health professionals from various disciplines. For data analysis, multilevel models (with hospitals as the second level variable) were performed for ‘work-private life conflict’ and ‘quality of leadership’, considering significant main effects (using AIC) and significant interactions (using BIC) of potential explanatory variables. Results: The main findings reveal that the compatibility of health professionals’ work and private life is associated with how much they can influence shift planning (possibility of exchanging shifts, B=-2.87, p<0.01), the extent to which their individual preferences are considered (e.g. working on one specific shift only, B=6.31, p<0.01), number of work shifts per weekend (B=1.38, p<0.01) and working hours per week (B=0.13, p<0.01). In addition, the factors high quantitative demands (B=0.25, p<0.01), being required to hide their emotions (B=0.16, p<0.01) and poor social community support at work (B=-0.12, p<0.01) were related to severe work-private life conflicts among health professionals. Regarding managerial leadership, health professionals perceived the leadership qualities of their direct line manager as being better if they received more social support (B=0.61, p<0.01) and rewards (B=0.41, p<0.01) at work. Conclusions: The results show key components of improving the compatibility of work and private life for health professionals as well as managerial leadership qualities, and may help leaders working in acute or rehabilitation hospitals to develop appropriate interventions.
... Regarding possible interventions to increase health professionals' in uence on their work schedule or to decrease overtime and work hours, several intervention studies have already been conducted. In a study of Akerstedt, et al. [27] the minimizing reduction of working hours per shift with full pay and input of extra personnel resulted in positive social effects and increased employee well-being after one year. In addition, the study results of Kauffeld et al. [28] show that the implementation of a ' exible work-time design' is strongly associated with a lower absenteeism level, higher work quality and increased employee satisfaction with work. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The workforce shortage of health professionals is a matter of global concern. Existing work-private life conflicts among health professionals are related to increased stress and burnout symptoms, job dissatisfaction and a higher intention to leave their profession prematurely. Also, poor leadership qualities among direct line managers have been associated with health professionals’ job dissatisfaction and intention to leave in previous studies. Therefore, this study aimed to identify key associated factors of work-private life conflicts and managerial leadership quality among health professionals. Methods: This study is based on a cross-sectional survey in 26 Swiss acute and rehabilitation hospitals, consisting of 3398 health professionals from various disciplines. For data analysis, multilevel models (with hospitals as the second level variable) were performed for ‘work-private life conflict’ and ‘quality of leadership’, considering significant main effects (using AIC) and significant interactions (using BIC) of potential explanatory variables. Results: The main findings of this study reveal that the compatibility of health professionals’ work and private life is associated with topics of shift planning, in particular their influence on shift planning (possibility of exchanging shifts, B=-2.87, p=0.000), the extent to which their individual preferences are considered (e.g. working on one specific shift only, B=6.31, p=0.000), number of shifts per weekend (B=1.38, p=0.002) and number of hours per week (B=0.13, p=0.000) that they had to work. In addition, high quantitative demands (B=0.25, p=0.000), being required to hide their emotions (B=0.16, p=0.000) and poor social community at work (B=-0.12, p=0.000) were also related to a severe work-private life conflict. Regarding managerial leadership, health professionals perceived the leadership qualities of their direct line manager as being better if they received more social support (B=0.61, p=0.000) and rewards (B=0.41, p=0.000) at work. Conclusions: These study results show key components of improving the compatibility of work and private life as well as managerial leadership qualities among health professionals and can help top executives working in acute or rehabilitation hospitals to develop appropriate interventions.
... Reduced time at work also seemed to enable greater possibilities for 'a multitude of interand intragenerational relations of intimacy and sociality' as people spent more time with friends and family (Weeks, 2011: 170). This is a previously demonstrated benefit to WTRs (Akerstedt et al., 2001). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article makes a significant empirical contribution to our understanding of why people in the United Kingdom without childcare responsibilities actively reduce or limit the amount of time they spend in paid employment. We show how the negative aspects of employment (push factors) and the desire to spend time in more varied and enjoyable ways (pull factors) interact to produce decisions to enact working time reductions (WTRs). The push factors include excessive workloads and difficult or tedious tasks which can result in stress and mental exhaustion. For people working non-standard schedules, their lack of control over hours can make it difficult to enjoy the free time that is available. The pull factors we have identified include traumatic experiences such as illness or the early death of a loved one which can lead to an increased awareness of the salience of time. Also important was the desire to develop skills and subjectivities unrelated to work-time identities. An overarching theme in the interviews was the idea that full-time work leads to a loss of autonomy, and a reduction in hours is a route to greater freedom. These motivations are contrasted with understandings of WTRs present in the empirical and predominantly quantitative literature which highlight the structural constraints that often force women in particular into part-time work as a result of childcare responsibilities. An exploration of the motivations of short-hour workers is pertinent, given increasing concern that long hours of work exacerbate multiple social, economic and environmental problems. We suggest that a deeper understanding of why individuals want to work less could help facilitate ‘priming’ campaigns aimed at increasing demand for WTRs more generally.
... One study among full-time working employees in the public sector, comparing a 25% reduction in work together with retained salary with controls, showed increased quality of sleep as well as less sleepiness and perceived stress (72). Another study found improved sleep quality with 6-h working days compared with 8-h working days (73). ...
Article
Objective: An increase in numbers of cases of sick leave due to stress have been reported from several European countries during recent decades. Chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder is associated with physiological and neurobiological perturbations that may contribute to cognitive problems and long-term exhaustion. Rehabilitation of patients with chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder is therefore challenging. This narrative review summarizes the evidence regarding the effectiveness of different interventions for the rehabilitation of patients with chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder. Methods: Both structured and unstructured searches of research studies and reports were performed in order to find knowledge sources. The structured search had 2 predefined inclusion criteria: (i) chronic stress-induced exhaustion/clinical burnout/severe burnout/stress-induced exhaustion; and (ii) rehabil-itation with improvement of symptoms and/or return to work as outcomes. Results: Cognitive behavioural interventions and multimodal interventions seem to reduce symptoms. Workplace interventions, either work-focused cognitive behavioural or workplace dialogue, seem to improve return to work. Sleep is important for both symptom improvement and return to work, and interventions for improving sleep might therefore be important. For improvement of cognitive function, which is a main complaint among patients with chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder, aerobic and cognitive training may have some effect. Conclusion: In summary, the few studies of high-quality that examine interventions for rehabilitation of chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder show only marginal effects. Thus, it is important to prevent the onset of chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder.
... Regarding possible interventions to increase health professionals' in uence on their work schedule or to decrease overtime and work hours, several intervention studies have already been conducted. In a study by Akerstedt, et al. [29] the minimizing reduction of working hours per shift with full pay and input of extra personnel resulted in positive social effects and increased employee well-being after one year. In addition, the study results of Kauffeld et al. [30] show that the implementation of a ' exible work-time design' is strongly associated with a lower absenteeism level, higher work quality and increased employee satisfaction with work. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The workforce shortage of health professionals is a matter of global concern. Among possible causative factors in this shortage are work-private life conflicts related to increased stress and burnout symptoms, job dissatisfaction and a higher intention to leave the profession prematurely. Also, poor leadership qualities among direct line managers (e.g. clinic directors, leading physicians, ward managers, team leaders) have been associated with health professionals’ job dissatisfaction and intention to leave in previous studies. Therefore, this study aimed to identify key associated factors of work-private life conflicts and managerial leadership quality among health professionals. Methods: The study is based on a cross-sectional survey in 26 Swiss acute and rehabilitation hospitals, consisting of 3398 health professionals from various disciplines. For data analysis, multilevel models (with hospitals as the second level variable) were performed for ‘work-private life conflict’ and ‘quality of leadership’, considering significant main effects (using AIC) and significant interactions (using BIC) of potential explanatory variables. Results: The main findings reveal that the compatibility of health professionals’ work and private life is associated with topics of shift planning, in particular workers’ influence on shift planning (possibility of exchanging shifts, B=-2.87, p<0.01), the extent to which their individual preferences are considered (e.g. working on one specific shift only, B=6.31, p<0.01), number of shifts per weekend (B=1.38, p<0.01) and number of hours per week (B=0.13, p<0.01) that they had to work. In addition, high quantitative demands (B=0.25, p<0.01), being required to hide their emotions (B=0.16, p<0.01) and poor social community support at work (B=-0.12, p<0.01) were also related to severe work-private life conflict. Regarding managerial leadership, health professionals perceived the leadership qualities of their direct line manager as being better if they received more social support (B=0.61, p<0.01) and rewards (B=0.41, p<0.01) at work. Conclusions: The results show key components of improving the compatibility of work and private life as well as managerial leadership qualities among health professionals and may help health care leaders working in acute or rehabilitation hospitals to develop appropriate interventions.
Book
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Po dziesiątkach lat stopniowego skracania czasu pracy w ostatnich latach dały się zauważyć oznaki odwrotnej tendencji. W odpowiedzi na to zjawisko związki zawodowe podtrzymują swoją historyczną misję stopniowej redukcji czasu pracy. Celem niniejszego podręcznika jest rozwinięcie przedmiotowej debaty poprzez omówienie, dlaczego warto dążyć do skrócenia czasu pracy oraz w jaki sposób należy je przeprowadzić. Oczywistym jest, że efektywność zmian w zakresie skrócenia czasu pracy zależy od sposobu ich wprowadzenia. Skuteczność rozmaitych rozwiązań przedstawiono w oparciu o autentyczne eksperymenty. Przegląd powodów leżących u podstaw redukcji czasu pracy, różne sposoby wprowadzenia tego postulatu w życie oraz analiza pięciu zwięzłych studiów przypadku tworzą podstawę do przeprowadzenia bardzo potrzebnej debaty o tym, jak najlepiej zaprojektować taki model skrócenia czasu pracy, który wytrzyma próbę czasu.
Article
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OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present review was to summarize the scientific literature about the consequences of long and nonstandard workhours and employee influence over workhours on different measures of worklife balance. METHODS: Literature with a focus on the social consequences of the organization of workhours on worklife balance was searched in large databases such as PSYC-info and PubMed; the result was supplemented with other relevant literature. RESULTS: An association between larger numbers of workhours and lower levels of worklife balance was strongly supported among women. For men, the results were less conclusive, while, for gender-mixed groups, an association between overtime work and lower levels of worklife balance was strongly supported. There was strong evidence that nonstandard workhours had a negative influence on worklife balance and some evidence that it had a negative influence on children’s well-being and on marital satisfaction. Employee influence over work schedule was associated with a better worklife balance in several studies. However, clear conclusions were difficult to draw due to methodological problems in the studies. Interventions that included reduced hours with wage compensation, rapidly rotating shifts, and increased influence on work schedules all showed positive effects on social life indicators. CONCLUSIONS: The social consequences of worktime arrangements are relatively well documented in the scientific literature. There is a need for intervention studies, longitudinal studies, and studies focusing on the influence on schedule, consequences regarding children’s development and well-being, and marital satisfaction.
Chapter
This chapter reviews the current evidence and possibilities to promote older workers’ job retention and health by working hour patterns. Epidemiological studies indicate that shift work, poor possibilities to influence working hours and exceptionally long working hours (>55–60 h) increase sickness absence, morbidity and disability pensions. Working hours are also associated with work-life balance and general work satisfaction. Different characteristics of working hours are related with attitudes and decisions to extend work career after the normal retirement age. Especially the possibilities to influence personal working hours can be seen as a positive option to regulate work load and to increase the attractiveness of working life while ageing. Older people with disabilities or those with decreased work ability can often benefit from part-time work or partial sick leave to maintain sufficient work ability. Intervention studies are only few but they also support the conclusion that improvements in shift ergonomics and possibilities to influence working hours improve health and well-being. Considering the increase of individual differences according to ageing, the promotion of health and work ability of the heterogeneous older work force should be based on individual working hour and other solutions.
Article
Stress has been reported among Swedish social workers for over a decade. Survey data from a longitudinal quasi-experimental trial in the public sector of reduced working hours, with a proportional decrease in workload and retained full pay, were used to examine the effect on stress, symptoms of Exhaustion syndrome, psychosocial work characteristics and work–life balance in social workers. Reduced working hours had a positive effect on restorative sleep, stress, memory difficulties, negative emotion, sleepiness, fatigue and exhaustion both on workdays and weekends; on sleep quality on weekends; and on demands, instrumental manager support and work intrusion on private life.
Article
Does working time affect workers’ health behavior and health? We study this question in the context of a French reform that reduced the standard workweek from 39 to 35 hours, at constant earnings. Our empirical analysis exploits arguably exogenous variation in the reduction of working time across employers due to the reform. We find that the shorter workweek reduced smoking by six percentage points, corresponding to 16 percent of the baseline mean. The reform also appears to have lowered BMI and increased self-reported health, but these effects are imprecisely estimated in the overall sample. A heterogeneity analysis provides suggestive evidence that while the impact on smoking was concentrated among blue-collar workers, body mass index decreased only among white-collar workers. These results suggest that policies which reduce working time could potentially lead to important health benefits.
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Weniger ist mehr: Gilt dieses Motto auch für unsere Erwerbsarbeitszeit? Mit dem vorliegenden Bericht beleuchten wir die Frage, inwiefern Anstrengungen zur Reduktion der Erwerbsarbeitszeit für die Schweiz eine mögliche, suffizienz- orientierte Transformationsstrategie im Sinne einer Nachhaltigen Entwicklung darstellen könnten. Mittels eines umfassenden Literaturreviews erörtern wir, welche ökologischen, individuellen, gesellschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Effekte in Zusammenhang mit Erwerbsarbeitszeit aktuell diskutiert werden, und welche Implikationen sich daraus für unterschiedliche Handlungsebenen in der Schweiz ergeben. Eingangs zeigen wir das Verhältnis von bezahlter und unbezahlter Arbeit auf, stellen Trends in der Wichtigkeit von Erwerbsarbeit für die Bevölkerung dar und reissen das Problem an, dass die Schweiz auf die Einkommen aus Erwerbsarbeit als Steueraufkommen angewiesen ist. Im Hauptteil untersuchen wir die sogenannte «dreifache Dividende»; das Versprechen, dass eine Erwerbsarbeitszeit-Reduktion als Transformationsstrategie ökologische, soziale und ökonomische Probleme lösen könnte. Wir argumentieren erstens, dass eine Erwerbsarbeitszeitreduktion das Potential birgt, die Treibhausgasemissionen der Wirtschaft zu senken, während zweitens gleichzeitig das Wohlbefinden der Bevölkerung gefördert werden könnte. Drittens könnte eine Erwerbsarbeitszeitreduktion dem Problem der steigenden Arbeitslosigkeit entgegentreten, welche durch die Stagnation des Wirtschaftswachstums in Kombination mit dem technologischen Fortschritt entsteht. Wir skizzieren anschliessend Ansatzpunkte einer sozial-ökologischen Arbeitszeitpolitik für die Schweiz. Wir erhoffen uns mit dem vorliegenden Arbeitspapier einen Beitrag zu einer Debatte um einen Alternativentwurf einer gerechteren und klimaneutralen Gesellschaft sowie einer funktionierenden Wirtschaft zu leisten.
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The study examined how nap length, nap timing and sleep quality affect early morning performance (6:00 to 8:00). Twelve students participated in a simulated nightshift schedule (22:00 to 8:00) where the length and timing of nocturnal naps were manipulated (0:00-1:00, 0:00-2:00, 4:00-5:00 and 4:00-6:00). A performance test battery was administered consisting of a psychomotor vigilance test, a logical reasoning test, and a visual analogue scale for subjective fatigue and sleepiness. The results showed that a 120-min nap sustained early morning performance better than a 60-min nap. Taking a nap earlier or later did not affect the neurobehavioral performance tests, although participants slept more efficiently during naps later in the night shift. A negative effect of a nocturnal nap during the night shift on subsequent daytime and nocturnal sleep was not observed in the sleep architecture. It still remains unclear whether slow wave sleep plays an important role in sustaining early morning performance. In terms of work safety and sleep health, the results suggest that a longer and later nap is beneficial during night shifts.
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An industrial assembly task known to imply a high risk for shoulder-neck disorders was simulated in the laboratory. Eight females (aged 22-32 years) were trained to manage industrial work pace (120 according to the methods-time measurement system, MTM). They carried out seven work protocols at different days with different combinations of work pace (120 or 100 MTM), break allowance (20 min of active or passive breaks added every 2 h), and duration of the working day (2, 4 or 6 h). During 6 h of work at 120 MTM the electromyographic (EMG) amplitude from the upper trapezius muscle increased by about 11%, the EMG zero crossing rate decreased by about 2.5%, and perceived fatigue increased by about 4 CR10 scale units. When work pace was reduced to 100 MTM, the upper trapezius EMG amplitude decreased by 20% and became less variable. Heart rate decreased by about 10 bpm, perceived fatigue decreased by about 1 CR10 scale units, and shoulder tenderness was reduced by about 5%. However, the work task could still not be performed in a physiological steady state. Added breaks, whether active or passive, had no apparent effects on upper trapezius load during work or on physiological responses. Recovery of EMG, maximal strength, heart rate and blood pressure sensitivity, and tenderness was complete 4 h after work, independent of the preceding work conditions. These findings suggest that a limitation of the daily duration of assembly work may be more effective in limiting acute fatigue than reduced work pace or increased break allowance.
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The European Community Directive on Working Time, which should have been implemented in member states of the European Community by November 1996, contains several requirements related to working hours, including the right of employees to refuse to work more than 48 hours a week. The United Kingdom government attempted to oppose the Directive, arguing that there is no convincing evidence that hours of work should be limited on health and safety grounds. Much of the research in this area has focused on the problems of shiftworking and previous reviews have therefore tended to emphasise this aspect of working hours. However, there is much less information about the effects of overtime work, which is a central element of the terms of the Directive. This paper reviews the current evidence relating to the potential effects on health and performance of extensions to the normal working day. Several gaps in the literature are identified. Research to date has been restricted to a limited range of health outcomes--namely, mental health and cardiovascular disorders. Other potential effects which are normally associated with stress--for example, gastrointestinal disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and problems associated with depression of the immune system, have received little attention. Also, there have been few systematic investigations of performance effects, and little consideration of the implications for occupational exposure limits of extensions to the working day. Existing data relate largely to situations where working hours exceed 50 a week and there is a lack of information on hours below this level, which is of direct relevance to the European Community proposal. Finally, it is clear from investigations relating to shiftwork that a range of modifying factors are likely to influence the level and nature of health and performance outcomes. These include the attitudes and motivation of the people concerned, the job requirements, and other aspects of the organisational and cultural climate. It is concluded that there is currently sufficient evidence to raise concerns about the risks to health and safety of long working hours. However, much more work is required to define the level and nature of those risks.
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The length of daily working hours as a risk factor for the development of musculoskeletal complaints was studied by comparing the sick leave statistics of 408 sewing machine operators on full-time schedules (8 h working day) with 210 operators on part-time schedules (5 h working day). Working part-time was shown to postpone the occurrence of sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders by approximately half a year. There was no lasting effect on the reduction in working hours on sick leave due to shoulder-neck complaints, but a reduction in low back complaints was indicated. It is suggested that any reorganization of work activities to counteract musculoskeletal injuries from repetitive work should aim to break up the muscular activity patterns over time periods considerably shorter than the 5 h working day of the part-time workers in the present study.
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OLSSON, B. (1999) 6-timmars arbetsdag med heltidslon i Stockholms stad. Personalekonomiska institutets skriftserie PEI 1999:1 Foretagekon. institutionen, Stockholms Universitet. (A 6-hour work day with full time salary in the city of Stockholm. Department of Business Administration, University of Stockholm)
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Halsa och valbefinnande i samband med permanent nattarbete och tvaskift. En studie av fysiologiska och psykologiska effekter av nattarbete och tvaskift, respektive vilka individegenskaper avgor om man attraheras av nattarbete
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OLSSON, B., AKERSTEDT, T., INGRE, M., HOLMGREN, M. and KECKLUND, G. (1999) Kortare arbetsdag, halsa och valbefinnande. Stressforskningsrapporter 281. Institutet for Psykosocial Medicin och Karolinska Institutet. (Shorter working day, health and well-being. Stress research report no 281. National institute for psychosocial factors and health & Karolinska Institutet. Stockholm)
Healthy Work. Basic Book
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KARASEK, R. and THEORELL, T. (1990) Healthy Work. Basic Book, New York.