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Prospective effects of work-time control on overtime, work-life interference and exhaustion in female and male knowledge workers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Stress Research Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0724-6823
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Stress Research Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8433-2405
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Stress Research Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7457-7302
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Stress Research Institute. Swansea University, Swansea, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8105-0901
Number of Authors: 42024 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 52, no 2, p. 205-215Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: Employee-based flexible working hours are increasing, particularly among knowledge workers. Research indicates that women and men use work–time control (WTC; control over time off and daily hours) differently: while men work longer paid hours, women use WTC to counteract work–life interference. In a knowledge-worker sample, we examined associations between WTC and overtime, work–life interference and exhaustion and tested whether gender moderates the mediating role of overtime. Methods: The sample contained 2248 Swedish knowledge workers. Employing hierarchical regression modelling, we examined effects of control over time off/daily hours on subsequent overtime hours, work–life interference and exhaustion in general and in gender-stratified samples. Using conditional process analysis, we tested moderated mediation models. Results: Control over time off was related to less work–life interference (βmen= −0.117; 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.237 to 0.003; βwomen= −0.253; 95% CI: −0.386 to −0.120) and lower exhaustion (βmen= −0.199; 95% CI: −0.347 to −0.051; βwomen= −0.271; 95% CI: −0.443 to −0.100). For control over daily hours, estimates were close to zero. While men worked more overtime (42 min/week), we could not confirm gender moderating the indirect effect of control over time off/daily hours on work–life interference/exhaustion via overtime. Independent of gender, effects of control over time off on work–life interference were partly explained by working fewer overtime hours. Conclusions: Control over time off was related to lower exhaustion and better work–life balance (in particular for women). We found no evidence for men’s work–life interference increasing with higher WTC owing to working more overtime. Knowledge workers’ control over time off may help prevent work–life interference and burnout.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 52, no 2, p. 205-215
Keywords [en]
work-life balance, burnout, long working hours, flexible work, longitudinal
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-215291DOI: 10.1177/14034948221150041ISI: 000923893900001PubMedID: 36732910Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85147497211OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-215291DiVA, id: diva2:1743142
Note

This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (grant number 2013-0448) and NordForsk, the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare (grant number 74809).

Available from: 2023-03-14 Created: 2023-03-14 Last updated: 2024-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Albrecht, Sophie C.Leineweber, ConstanzeKecklund, GöranTucker, Philip

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