When Work Hours are Too Short, Too Long or Too Unstable: Consequences for Worker Health, Productivity and Work-Family Interfaces
Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
- Chair: Lonnie Golden, Pennsylvania State University
The Productivity and Turnover Costs of Unstable Schedules and Who Bears Them: An Examination of Work Hours in Warehousing
AbstractThe rise of e-commerce and growth in demand for rapid delivery are making scheduling instability an increasing part of the employment experience inside warehouses. Workers in these settings frequently face mandatory overtime, late hours, and long hours, often with short notice that their workday is being extended. This instability can heighten worker fatigue and harm worker wellbeing, which consequently impacts business-level outcomes. Using data from a large retailerâ€™s network of U.S. warehouses, we quantify the costs of unstable schedules. Specifically, we show how various dimensions of scheduling instability, including extended and volatile hours, affect worker productivity and turnover. An important consideration is that the downsides of unstable schedules are not felt alike by all workers who experience them. We thus study the person-level moderators of the relationship between scheduling instability and productivity and turnover, focusing on differences in gender, age, parental status, and job role. Our study provides evidence that the push to rapidly satisfy customer demand may have unacknowledged costs to business performance that operate through unstable schedulesâ€™ impact on workers.
The State of Scheduling Stability: IL and PA
AbstractThree thousand workers in Illinois and another five hundred in Pennsylvania, in 2019-2020, were issued a survey about their work schedules, hours, leaves and various potential well-being outcomes. Most previous surveys focus on a few sectors, such as retail, food service and hospitality. This survey's wider scope to all industries. The research focuses on 6 general properties of work scheduling: a. predictability (on-call, short advance notice, irregular shift times, open availability); b. stability (fluctuation, volatility, range of variability), c. adequacy (insufficiency, minimum floor, less than preferred hours), d. flexibility (positive - daily schedule input, say, choice, control, autonomy), e. compensability (additional or nonwage compensation for the adverse (hazard) work condition), f. security (perceived safety, risks, jeopardy with making requests, fear of retaliation). We estimate the likelihood of a worker having hours and scheduling instability type features of their work. OLS and logistic regressions will associate each practice with the key worker characteristics such as demographic group (gender, race/ethnicity, age); pay and income level; job characteristics such as industry, occupation, seniority, part-time status, hourly vs. salaried status, and type of work shift (i.e., traditional day time vs. non-day and irregular times). We explore the relationship of scheduling practices and leave availability with several subjective outcomes, such as: General health, Life satisfaction, Current happiness; Satisfaction with work scheduling and job; Time conflicts with caregiving, family, schooling, other jobs; Perceived financial vulnerability; and finally, three types of underemployment --a desire for more income over time (subjective), working part time involuntarily (objective), taking periodic multiple and/or gig-jobs (adaptive) underemployment. The results regarding which aspects of scheduling and leaves are more salient with which outcomes will yield evidence-based recommendations regarding the coverage of more industries (e.g., home health, construction, hospitals), salaried under the low FLSA threshold (low-level supervisors), and non-employees (temps, contractors, gig).
Involuntary Part Time Work and Underemployment in the United States and Its Consequences for Work-Life
AbstractDespite attention to underemployment, particularly involuntarily part time workers in the US, research is still limited on the ways to identify the prevalence of underemployment and its association with workers' well-being, including work-family conflict. We utilize unique data from a large, nationally representative survey - the Work Orientations IV module of the 2016 US General Social Survey. This paper develops four, alternative measures of involuntary part-time work (i.e., working shorter-than-preferred weekly hours or working part-time but prefer full-time work). The finding reveals higher rates of involuntary part time working, from 8 to 11 percent of the work force, relatively higher than the rates from the Current Population Survey. While spread across industries, underemployment among part time workers is notably higher in transportation and service jobs, and among Black and Hispanic workers. The latter is largely attributable to their concentrations in particular occupations and families with low income. Multivariate analysis reveals that, relative to voluntary part time workers, they face significantly greater odds of facing financial dis-satisfaction, stress from work, job dis-satisfaction and work to family conflict. That the involuntarily part-time face work-family conflict is on par with full time workers and greater than voluntary part timers, despite shorter weekly hours, is striking and novel. This may reflect the more variable schedules in part time jobs (Lambert and Henly, 2018) and the part time pay penalty (Golden, 2019). The findings will be contrasted to preliminary results using Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) panel data regarding potential health consequences of involuntary part-time work. The findings will suggest the importance of "access to hours" provisions in Fair Workweek and Part-Time Bill of Rights legislation, to help relieve the coming wave of part-time underemployment in the post Covid-19 recession.
Pennsylvania State University
Julie G. Vogtman,
National Women's Law Center
- J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor