In the health care sector shift work is common and a variety of flexible working hour arrangements have been implemented and evaluated. High variability of working hours is repeatedly being related to ill health, especially if the variability is company controlled. In order to minimize the harmful effects on health and psychosocial wellbeing individually controlled flexible working time arrangements have been put into practice.
The aim of this study was to explore health care staff’s opinions about their individually controlled and flexible working time arrangement.
Eight focus group interviews were conducted, between November 2002 and February 2003, at a medical emergency ward in a medium sized Swedish hospital. Sixteen nurses and 19 assistant nurses where mixed in the eight groups. The interviews aimed at being unstructured and the main question emanated from the aim of the study. The analysis was influenced by qualitative content analysis. Five interviews were chosen through a condensation process and these interviews were transcribed verbatim by an external secretary.
Two patterns of employees’ opinions were revealed. Some of the participants expressed a positive attitude towards their individually controlled and flexible working time arrangement. They enjoyed the possibility to adjust their working schedule to their family situation and leisure activities. The positive ones were also talking about a health promoting possibility for reflection and learning, emanating from frequently working with different co workers, as a result of the flexibility. These participants emphasised an importance of everyone taking part in the planning process and taking turns in adjusting their schedule after the needs of the establishment. Other participants linked the individually controlled and flexible working time arrangement to a negative experience. They talked about a time consuming planning process resulting in less predictable working hours. These participants wanted to have a permanent schedule so that they could adjust their private life after their working hours. The negative ones wanted work to be characterised by predictability and efficiency. They linked this type of work to knowing their co workers well, so that they knew what the other ones were doing without having to communicate while working. The latter group of participants were reluctant to adjusting their schedule after the needs of the establishment.
It seems as if an individually controlled and flexible working time arrangement can result in either positive or negative experiences. Negative feelings form the base for psychological and biological processes that might have a negative impact on health. It is therefore important to reflect on how we implement and organise individually controlled and flexible working time arrangements for employees to have positive experiences with opportunities for sustained or improved health.
|Status||Publicerad - 2009|
|Evenemang||The International Symposium on Shiftwork and Working Time. Health and Wellbeing in the 24-h Society - |
Varaktighet: 1980-jan.-01 → …
|Konferens||The International Symposium on Shiftwork and Working Time. Health and Wellbeing in the 24-h Society|
|Period||80-01-01 → …|
- Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi (30302)