August/September 2012 (vol. 09/2)

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Research Plus

Control over working time

‘Only very limited causal inferences’ can be made regarding the impact on health and wellbeing of employees having enhanced control over their working time, according to this systematic review (63 papers). Thirty-one papers examined the impact of having general or ‘global’ control over working hours, while others looked at specific aspects, such as control over breaks, start/end times, daily working hours or freedom to choose when to take holidays. There is moderate-to-strong evidence for a positive association between global work-time control (WTC) and work/non-work balance, and moderate evidence that the relationship is causal. There is moderate evidence for a positive association between WTC and job-related outcomes, particularly job satisfaction, but no clear evidence for an association with health or wellbeing. There is moderate evidence for positive cross-sectional associations between access to flexitime and work/non-work balance, health and wellbeing, and job-related outcomes.


Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 2012; online first: doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3307

Occupational Health at Work August/September 2012 (vol. 09/2) pp39