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Atypical Working Time

Mental Health in the Working World

In recent years, "normal" working hours averaging eight hours per day between 7am and 7pm have been increasingly differentiated and extended during the past years.

"Normal" working hours are more and more a thing of the past. They are being replaced by working time systems that are referred to as "atypical working time", in spite of their increasing prevalence. Atypical working time systems are, for example, shift work, long working hours, weekend work and flexible working hours.

For more and more employees, this change to increased atypical working time means that valuable time is filled with work. This reduces the time they have available for social participation. In particular, the time for the family, social and leisure activities is reduced, or falls in periods that are only partly reconcilable with the processes of the social life of other family members or friends. Health problems arising from aypical working time are attracting increasingly greater research interest.

Current state of knowledge

A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health summarises the state of scientific knowledge on atypical working time. The work focuses on long working hours, flexible working hours and weekend work and considers their interrelationships with (mental) health and well-being. It also describes their relations to motivation, job satisfaction and performance. In addition, the scoping review reveals research gaps and discusses options for designing this factor.

The project "Mental Health in the Working World"

The scoping review on atypical working hours is part of the project "Mental Health in the Working World - determining the current state of scientific evidence". The project assesses mental load factors by means of the state of scientific knowledge.

For further detailed information please refer to our German Website.