To investigate whether changes in objective working hour characteristics are associated with parallel changes in work-life conflict (WLC) among hospital employees.
Survey responses from three waves of the Finnish Public Sector study (2008, 2012 and 2015) were combined with payroll data from 91 days preceding the surveys (n=2 482, 93% women). Time-dependent fixed effects regression models adjusted for marital status, number of children and stressfulness of the life situation were used to investigate whether changes in working hour characteristics were associated with parallel change in WLC. The working hour characteristics were dichotomised with cut-points in less than or greater than 10%?or less than or greater than25%?occurrence) and WLC to frequent versus seldom/none.
Change in proportion of evening and night shifts and weekend work was significantly associated with parallel change in WLC (adjusted OR 2.19, 95%?CI 1.62 to 2.96; OR 1.71, 95%?CI 1.21 to 2.44; OR 1.63, 95%?CI 1.194 to 2.22, respectively). Similarly, increase or decrease in proportion of quick returns (adjusted OR 1.45, 95%?CI 1.10 to 1.89) and long work weeks (adjusted OR 1.26, 95%?CI 1.04 to 1.52) was associated with parallel increase or decrease in WLC. Single days off and very long work weeks showed no association with WLC.
Changes in unsocial working hour characteristics, especially in connection with evening shifts, are consistently associated with parallel changes in WLC.
This epidemiological cohort study, based on Finnish public sector data, investigated the associations between objective working hour characteristics and work-life conflict in day and shift work. The comprehensive data of hospital workers (n = 8 931, 92% women, average age 45 years), consisted of survey responses from 2012, linked with the payroll data of working hour characteristics from 91 days preceding the survey. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the associations between working hour characteristics and experiencing work-life conflict often/very often. The analyses were adjusted for age (50 years), sex, level of education, marital status, number of small (0-6 years) and school-aged (7-18 years) children, and the overall stressfulness of the life situation. We also conducted stratified analyses of age and sex on the basis of significant interactions. Difficulties in combining work and life were more often associated with shift work without night shifts and shift work with night shifts than with day work (41% and 34 versus 27%; OR for shift work with night shifts 1.78, 95% CI 1.59-2.00, OR for shift work without night shifts 1.42, 95% CI 1.26-1.60). A high proportion (> 25%) of long (> 40h, (OR 1.26, 95% 1.14-1.39) and very long (> 48h, OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.15-1.49) weekly working hours were associated with work-life conflict, and in the stratified analysis, the latter was also true among women (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.25-1.89). Of the unsocial working hour characteristics, a relatively large amount (> 10% of all shifts) of evening (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.41-1.72) and night shifts (OR 1.46, 95%CI 1.32-1.61), a high proportion (> 25% of all shifts) of quick returns ( 25% of all days off) was associated with work-life conflict among men (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.11-3.25), but not in the whole sample. When the two types of shift work were analyzed separately, shift work without night shifts and very long work weeks had higher odds (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.20-1.80) of work-life conflict than shift work with night shifts. Conversely, weekend work and evening shifts had higher odds of work-life conflict among shift workers with night shifts (OR 1.74, 95% 1.55-1.96; (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.40-1.77) than among those without night shifts. To conclude, this study shows that shift workers with and without night shifts more often have difficulties combining work and life than day workers. Several unsocial working hour characteristics, including long work weeks, evening and night shifts, weekend work, and quick returns, are associated with work-life conflict.