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Atypical Working Time

Mental Health in the Working World

"Normal" working hours with an average of eight hours per day between 7am and 7pm have been increasingly differentiated and extended in recent years.

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

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

Current state of knowledge

A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) summarises the state of scientific knowledge on atypical working time. The work focuses on long working hours, flexible working hours as well as weekend work and considers their interrelations 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.

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