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HELSEVEL-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester

To compress or not compress? A mixed-method longitudinal study of compressed work schedules within the health, care and welfare services

Alternative title: Er løsningen å komprimere? Konsekvensene av komprimerte arbeidstidsløsninger i den kommunale helse- og omsorgs sektoren

Awarded: NOK 16.0 mill.

The aim of COMPRESSED is to investigate the potential consequences of a compressed work schedule within the municipal health, care and welfare services. A compressed work schedule is defined by an increase in numbers of hours per day, and a reduction of number of days per week. Compressed work schedules are advocated as a tool to reduce involuntary part-time contracts, and improve employee recruitment and retention, as well as improve employee health and quality of care. Others have pointed to potential detrimental health effect for employees working long shift. However, the empirical support of both claims is limited, mixed, and suffers from several methodological shortcomings. There is a clear lack in studies investigating the potential moderating and mediating mechanisms. COMPRESSED investigates 1. The short and long term consequences of compressed work schedules 2. When compressed work schedules might have positive or negative consequences, such as the importance of shift intensity. 3. And what mechanisms might explain identified consequences. Of practical importance the project aims to provide knowledge for a better organization of shift work to meet employees and user needs. Of theoretical importance the project aims to give better understanding of the interplay between our need for restitution, and out ability to perform. The project started in june 2021 and is now still at an early stage of the project.

The aim of COMPRESSED is to investigate the potential consequences of a compressed work schedule within the municipal health, care and welfare services. A compressed work schedule is defined by an increase in numbers of hours per day, and a reduction of number of days per week. Compressed work schedules are advocated as a tool to reduce involuntary part-time contracts, and improve employee recruitment and retention, as well as improve employee health and quality of care. However, the empirical support of such claims is limited, mixed, and suffers from several methodological shortcomings. There is a clear lack in studies investigating the potential moderating and mediating mechanisms, despite moderating variables such as shift intensity being likely to have an impact. In collaboration with unions and employers, COMPRESSED uses a longitudinal mixed method design, to investigate the short and long term consequences of compressed work schedules, as well as potential moderating and mediating variables . Each of the research questions will be addressed with complimentary methods in each of the work packages (WPs); WP1) In-depth narrative interviews eliciting employees’, employers’, and patients’/users’ own perceptions of consequences, moderators and mechanisms; WP2) A retrospective intervention study using registry data, examining compressed work schedules implemented over the past 5 years; WP3) A two year longitudinal survey looking at long-term effects and 4) a diary study across two weeks, looking at short-term effects.

Activity:

HELSEVEL-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester