Increasing work-time influence: consequences for flexibility, variability, regularity and predictability

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This quasi-experimental study investigated how an intervention aiming at increasing eldercare workers' influence on their working hours affected the flexibility, variability, regularity and predictability of the working hours. We used baseline (n = 296) and follow-up (n = 274) questionnaire data and interviews with intervention-group participants (n = 32). The work units in the intervention group designed their own intervention comprising either implementation of computerised self-scheduling (subgroup A), collection of information about the employees' work-time preferences by questionnaires (subgroup B), or discussion of working hours (subgroup C). Only computerised self-scheduling changed the working hours and the way they were planned. These changes implied more flexible but less regular working hours and an experience of less predictability and less continuity in the care of clients and in the co-operation with colleagues. In subgroup B and C, the participants ended up discussing the potential consequences of more work-time influence without actually implementing any changes. PRACTITIONER SUMMARY: Employee work-time influence may buffer the adverse effects of shift work. However, our intervention study suggested that while increasing the individual flexibility, increasing work-time influence may also result in decreased regularity of the working hours and less continuity in the care of clients and co-operation with colleagues.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesContemporary Ergonomics
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)440-449
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ID: 40343886