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A persons work week length is the number of hours they are expected to work in a seven day period.

Work week length is a quantity that can be measured for an individual or, in the aggregate, for a society. In the latter case, a 40-hour workweek would imply that employed individuals within the society, on average, worked 40 hours per week. Most often, the concern of sociologists and policy-makers focuses on the aggregate variables. If an individual works 60 hours per week, it could simply mean that he or she is enthusiastic about his or her job, not a cause for concern. However, if long workweeks become the norm in a society, these hours almost certainly are not voluntary, and it represents a drought of leisure and a threat to public health.

Most industrialized nations legally mandate a maximum work week length of between 35 and 45 hours per week, and, require 2 to 5 weeks per year of holiday.[How to reference and link to summary or text] However, the actual hours of work per week cannot fall below a certain minimum without compromising a nation’s ability to produce the basic material standards of living.

If the work week is too short compared to that society's ideal, then the society suffers from underemployment of labor and human capital. All else being equal, this will tend to result in lower real incomes and a lower standard of living than what could be had with a longer work week in the same society.

In contrast, a work week that is too long will result in more material goods at the cost of stress-related health problems as well as a drought of leisure. Furthermore, children are likely to receive less attention from overworked parents, and childrearing is likely to be subjectively worse. The exact ways in which excessive workweeks affect culture, public health, and education are debated, but the existence of such a danger is undisputed.

Several nations have imposed limits on working time in order to combat unemployment. This has been done both on a national level, as in France's 35-hour workweek, and on the company-union level, for example the agreement between Volkswagen and its union to temporarily reduce the workweek to 29 hours to preserve jobs. This policy is controversial among economists.

Physical effects of work week lengthEdit

Psychological effects of work week lengthEdit

See alsoEdit

References & BibliographyEdit

Key textsEdit

BooksEdit

  • McCarthy, E., & McGaughey, W., Jr. (1989). Nonfinancial economics: The case for shorter hours of work. New York, NY, England: Praeger Publishers.

PapersEdit

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  • Baird, L. S., & Beccia, P. J. (1980). The potential misuse of overtime: Personnel Psychology Vol 33(3) Fal 1980, 557-565.
  • Baker, K., Olson, J., & Morisseau, D. (1994). Work practices, fatigue, and nuclear power plant safety performance: Human Factors Vol 36(2) Jun 1994, 244-257.
  • Balch, B. W. (1974). The four-day week and older workers: Personnel Journal Vol 53(12) Dec 1974, 894-896.
  • Baldwin, D. C., Jr., Daugherty, S. R., Tsai, R., & Scotti, M. J., Jr. (2003). A National Survey of Residents' Self-Reported Work Hours: Thinking Beyond Specialty: Academic Medicine Vol 78(11) Nov 2003, 1154-1163.
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  • Bluecher, V. G. (1974). Theoretical and observational considerations about the development of the increase in leisure time: Kolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie Vol 26(1) Mar 1974, 29-53.
  • Borg, K. (1984). Reduction of working hours: A critique of economic-statistic calculations based on modeling social-economic effects: Udkast Vol 12(1) 1984, 80-102.
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  • DeCarufel, A., & Schaan, J.-L. (1990). The impact of compressed work weeks on police job involvement: Canadian Police College Journal Vol 14(2) 1990, 81-97.
  • Dickinson, T. L., & Wijting, J. P. (1975). An analysis of workers' attitudes toward the 4-day, 40-hour workweek: Psychological Reports Vol 37(2) Oct 1975, 383-390.
  • Dilnot, A., & Duncan, A. (1992). Thinking about labour supply: Journal of Economic Psychology Vol 13(4) Dec 1992, 687-713.
  • Dubinsky, A. J., & Skinner, S. J. (1984). Job status and employees' responses: Effects of demographic characteristics: Psychological Reports Vol 55(1) Aug 1984, 323-328.
  • Dunham, R. B., & Hawk, D. L. (1977). The four-day/forty-hour week: Who wants it? : Academy of Management Journal Vol 20(4) Dec 1977, 644-655.
  • Dunham, R. B., Pierce, J. L., & Castaneda, M. B. (1987). Alternative work schedules: Two field quasi-experiments: Personnel Psychology Vol 40(2) Sum 1987, 215-242.
  • Eagly, A. H., & Steffen, V. J. (1986). Gender stereotypes, occupational roles, and beliefs about part-time employees: Psychology of Women Quarterly Vol 10(3) Sep 1986, 252-262.
  • Evans, J., Goldacre, M. J., & Lambert, T. W. (2000). Views of UK medical graduates about flexible and part-time working in medicine: A qualitative study: Medical Education Vol 34(5) May 2000, 355-362.
  • Evans, M. G. (1973). Notes on the impact of Flextime in a large insurance company: I. Reactions of non-supervisory employees: Occupational Psychology Vol 47(3-4) 1973, 237-240.
  • Fairchild, D. G., McLoughlin, K. S., Gharib, S., Horsky, J., Portnow, M., Richter, J., et al. (2001). Productivity, quality, and patient satisfaction: Comparison of part-time and full-time primary care physicians: Journal of General Internal Medicine Vol 16(10) Oct 2001, 663-667.
  • Feldman, D. C. (2002). Managers' propensity to work longer hours: A multilevel analysis: Human Resource Management Review Vol 12(3) Fal 2002, 339-357.
  • Fell, D. B., Kephart, G., Curtis, L. J., Bower, K., Muhajarine, N., Reid, R., et al. (2007). The relationship between work hours and utilization of general practitioners in Four Canadian Provinces: Health Services Research Vol 42(4) Aug 2007, 1483-1498.
  • Flottes, A. (2006). Reduction in working time and health: Short article about a collective aberration: Pistes: Perspectives Interdisciplinaire sur le Travail et la Sante Vol 8(1) May 2006,
  • Fottler, M. D. (1977). Employee acceptance of a four-day workweek: Academy of Management Journal Vol 20(4) Dec 1977, 656-668.
  • Goldsmith, E. B., Hoffman, J. J., & Hofacker, C. F. (1993). Insights into the long-term effects of parents' careers on reported parent-offspring closeness: Journal of Employment Counseling Vol 30(2) Jun 1993, 50-54.
  • Golembiewski, R. T., Hilles, R., & Kagno, M. S. (1974). A longitudinal study of Flexi-Time effects: Some consequences of an OD structural intervention: Journal of Applied Behavioral Science Vol 10(4) Oct-Dec 1974, 503-532.
  • Goodale, J. G., & Aagaard, A. K. (1975). Factors relating to varying reactions to the 4-day workweek: Journal of Applied Psychology Vol 60(1) Feb 1975, 33-38.
  • Green, G., & Jaquess, S. N. (1987). The effect of part-time employment on academic achievement: Journal of Educational Research Vol 80(6) Jul-Aug 1987, 325-329.
  • Grossin, W. (1986). The relationship between work time and free time and the meaning of retirement: Leisure Studies Vol 5(1) Jan 1986, 91-101.
  • Hawkins, C. A., Hawkins, R. C., II, Smith, M. L., & Grant, D. (2005). The Relationships Among Hours Employed, Perceived Work Interference, and Grades as Reported by Undergraduate Social Work Students: Journal of Social Work Education Vol 41(1) Win 2005, 13-27.
  • Ivancevich, J. M. (1974). Effects of the shorter workweek on selected satisfaction and performance measures: Journal of Applied Psychology Vol 59(6) Dec 1974, 717-721.
  • Ivancevich, J. M., & Lyon, H. L. (1977). The shortened workweek: A field experiment: Journal of Applied Psychology Vol 62(1) Feb 1977, 34-37.
  • Jolley, D. J., & Benbow, S. M. (1997). The everyday work of geriatric psychiatrists: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry Vol 12(1) Jan 1997, 109-113.
  • Kenny, M. T. (1974). Public employee attitudes toward the four-day work week: Public Personnel Management Vol 3(2) Mar-Apr 1974, 159-161.
  • Kent, L. A. (1972). The 4-40 workweek on trial: American Journal of Nursing Vol 72(4) Apr 1972, 683-686.
  • Kirkcaldy, B. D., Trimpop, R., & Cooper, C. L. (1997). Working hours, job stress, work satisfaction, and accident rates among medical practitioners and allied personnel: International Journal of Stress Management Vol 4(2) Apr 1997, 79-87.
  • Kivisto, M., Harma, M., Sallinen, M., & Kalimo, R. (2008). Work-related factors, sleep debt and insomnia in IT professionals: Occupational Medicine Vol 58(2) Mar 2008, 138-140.
  • Landrigan, C. P., Rothschild, J. M., Cronin, J. W., Kaushal, R., Burdick, E., Katz, J. T., et al. (2004). Effect of Reducing Interns' Work Hours on Serious Medical Errors in Intensive Care Units: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 351(18) Oct 2004, 1838-1848.
  • Latack, J. C., & Foster, L. W. (1985). Implementation of compressed work schedules: Participation and job redesign as critical factors for employee acceptance: Personnel Psychology Vol 38(1) Spr 1985, 75-92.
  • Lockley, S. W., Cronin, J. W., Evans, E. E., Cade, B. E., Lee, C. J., Landrigan, C. P., et al. (2004). Effect of Reducing Interns' Weekly Work Hours on Sleep and Attentional Failures: New England Journal of Medicine Vol 351(18) Oct 2004, 1829-1837.
  • Moen, P., & Dempster-McClain, D. I. (1987). Employed parents: Role strain, work time, and preferences for working less: Journal of Marriage & the Family Vol 49(3) Aug 1987, 579-590.
  • Mortimer, J. T., Finch, M. D., Ryu, S., Shanahan, M. J., & et al. (1996). The effects of work intensity on adolescent mental health, achievement, and behavioral adjustment: New evidence from a prospective study: Child Development Vol 67(3) Jun 1996, 1243-1261.
  • Nagashima, S., Suwazono, Y., Okubo, Y., Uetani, M., Kobayashi, E., Kido, T., et al. (2007). Working hours and mental and physical fatigue in Japanese workers: Occupational Medicine Vol 57(6) Sep 2007, 449-452.
  • Nord, W. R., & Costigan, R. (1973). Worker adjustment to the four-day week: A longitudinal study: Journal of Applied Psychology Vol 58(1) Aug 1973, 60-66.
  • Partridge, B. E. (1973). Notes on the impact of Flextime in a large insurance company: II. Reactions of supervisors and managers: Occupational Psychology Vol 47(3-4) 1973, 241-242.
  • Passmore, D. L., & Welch, F. G. (1983). Relationship between preferences for part-time work and characteristics of unemployed youths: Adolescence Vol 18(69) Spr 1983, 181-192.
  • Peiperl, M., & Jones, B. (2001). Workaholics and overworkers: Productivity or pathology? : Group & Organization Management Vol 26(3) Sep 2001, 369-393.
  • Persson, R., Orbaek, P., Ursin, H., Kecklund, G., Osterberg, K., & Akerstedt, T. (2003). Effects of the implementation of an 84-hour workweek on neurobehavioral test performance and cortisol responsiveness during testing: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health Vol 29(4) Aug 2003, 261-269.
  • Pittman, J. F. (1994). Work/family fit as a mediator of work factors on marital tension: Evidence from the interface of greedy institutions: Human Relations Vol 47(2) Feb 1994, 183-209.
  • Raelin, J. A. (1983). Youth permanent part-time employment as a labour market alternative to full time work: A longitudinal analysis: Journal of Occupational Behaviour Vol 4(3) Jul 1983, 179-191.
  • Roisman, G. I. (2002). Beyond main effects models of adolescent work intensity, family closeness, and school disengagement: Meditational and conditional hypotheses: Journal of Adolescent Research Vol 17(4) Jul 2002, 331-345.
  • Rosendaal, B. W. (2003). Dealing with part-time work: Personnel Review Vol 32(4) 2003, 474-491.
  • Schalk, R., Freese, C., & Van den Bosch, J. (1995). The psychological contract of part-time and full-time employees: An investigation into the expectations of employees: Gedrag en Organisatie Vol 8(5) Oct 1995, 307-317.
  • Shaw, S. M. (1985). Gender and leisure: Inequality in the distribution of leisure time: Journal of Leisure Research Vol 17(4) 1985, 266-282.
  • Smith, J. V. (1974). "Is everybody happy?" Personnel Journal Vol 53(1) Jan 1974, 26-29.
  • Stolzenberg, R. M. (2001). It's about time and gender: Spousal employment and health: American Journal of Sociology Vol 107(1) Jul 2001, 61-100.
  • Teiger, C., Laville, A., & Dessors, D. (1979). Field and laboratory: Significance of the two research functions in the psychophysiology of work: Bulletin de Psychologie Vol 33(4-11) 1979-1980, 219-226.
  • Tellier, R. D. (1974). The four-day workweek and the elderly: A cross-sectional study: Journal of Gerontology Vol 29(4) Jul 1974, 430-433.
  • Tijdens, K., & Dragstra, A. (2007). 'How Many Hours Do You Usually Work?' An analysis of the working hours questions in 26 large-scale surveys in six countries and the European Union: Time & Society Vol 16(1) Mar 2007, 119-130.
  • Toogood, S., Bell, A., Jaques, H., Lewis, S., & et al. (1994). Meeting the challenge in Clwyd: The intensive support team: II: British Journal of Learning Disabilities Vol 22(2) Jun 1994, 46-52.
  • Vagt, G., & Stavemann, H. H. (1980). Reduction of working hours, free-time problems and personality: Psychologische Beitrage Vol 22(3) 1980, 513-520.
  • van Echtelt, P. E., Glebbeek, A. C., & Lindenberg, S. M. (2006). The new lumpiness of work: Explaining the mismatch between actual and preferred working hours: Work, Employment and Society Vol 20(3) Sep 2006, 493-512.
  • Vecchio, R. P. (1984). Demographic and attitudinal differences between part-time and full-time employees: Journal of Occupational Behaviour Vol 5(3) Jul 1984, 213-218.
  • Vega, A., & Gilbert, M. J. (1997). Longer days, shorter weeks: Compressed work weeks in policing: Public Personnel Management Vol 26(3) Fal 1997, 391-402.
  • Vetto, J. T., & Robbins, D. (2005). Impact of the Recent Reduction in Working Hours (The 80 Hour Work Week) on Surgical Resident Cancer Education: Journal of Cancer Education Vol 20(1) Spr 2005, 23-27.
  • Volle, M., & et al. (1979). Compressed work-week: Psychophysiological and physiological repercussions: Ergonomics Vol 22(9) Sep 1979, 1001-1010.
  • White, C. B., Haftel, H. M., Purkiss, J. A., Schigelone, A. S., & Hammoud, M. M. (2006). Multidimensional Effects of the 80-Hour Work Week at the University of Michigan Medical School: Academic Medicine Vol 81(1) Jan 2006, 57-62.
  • Yang, B., & Lester, D. (1988). Wives who work full-time and part-time: Some correlates over the states of the USA: Psychological Reports Vol 62(2) Apr 1988, 545-546.


Additional materialEdit

BooksEdit

PapersEdit

DissertationsEdit

  • Allen, D. C. (1992). Part-time employment: An empirical investigation of hourly work schedules and job attitudes, job behaviors, and paths to turnover: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Athan, P. W., & McCord, L. C. (1973). The implications for reduced working hours in a hospital setting: Dissertation Abstracts International Vol.
  • Goldberg, A. S. (1981). A comparison of attitudes and job factors of part-time and full-time employees: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • la Pointe, E. J. (1979). A comparison of full-time and part-time faculty teaching performances at an Indian community college in South Dakota: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Mastin, R. E. (1980). Responses of Baptist ministers to occupational stress factors: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Neely, J. H. (1982). A study of socialization and job satisfaction of faculty at an urban two-year community college: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Redmon, J. A. (1990). Personality traits of family practice teachers and private practitioners: Effects of role modeling on specialty choice selection: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Smiderle, D. (1998). Apples and apples versus apples and oranges: Comparing part-time and full-time workers. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering.
  • Zirbel, D. D. (1985). Job satisfaction between part-time and full-time grocery employees: Dissertation Abstracts International.


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