Reducing Working Hours: When is it Good and Bad?

Yasin Rofcanin, Matthjis Bal

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Purpose: Driven by on-going financial crises, organizations have started to offer their employees "reduced working hours". Despite the growing prevalence of this flexible work practice (FWP), little is known whether employees and organizations benefit from it and under which conditions the effects of adopting a reduced working hours policy are observed. The aim of this study is to explore the contextual conditions that strengthen and weaken employee outcomes relevant for employees (affective commitment) and organizations (manager rated work performance).
Design: The Work Employment Relations Survey 2011 (Britain) is used to explore the deteriorating effects of perceived hindering work demands and the strengthening effects of managers' communication ability in the relationship between reduced working hours and employee outcomes.
Results: Findings from multilevel analyses (N= 19.444 employees nested in 455 workplaces) supported our proposed model. Contributions: This research provides a broader picture regarding the effects of a unique form of FWP and complements research which emphasizes the role of line managers in effectively translating the effects of certain HR practices relevant for employees and organizations.
Practical Implications: Organizations can adopt policies to encourage supportive and open communication between employees and managers. Caution is also needed in designing jobs; as hindering job demands such as time pressure and overload rule out the positive effects of reduced working hours.
Limitations: Cross-sectional design and single-country nature of this data are limitations that deserve note.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Work and Organisational Psychology Abstract Book 2017
PublisherEuropean Work and Organisational Psychology Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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