Does anyone want to work 5 days per week and 8 hours per day? Issues in R&D work efficiency

  • Raul Ruubel
  • Aaro Hazak

Abstract

Social norms in regard to weekly and daily working times emerged more than a century ago. The nature of work and the means of doing work have, however, changed a lot over that time. Based on a survey among Estonian creative R&D employees, we sought to understand what types of employees prefer what types of work schedules. It appears that compared to men, women prefer a week where work is concentrated into 3–4 days, while men have a higher preference for a working week spread over 6–7 days. Those who sleep less than the usual 7–8 hours tend to prefer the latter working week arrangement as well. Moreover, general health, morning-types versus evening-types as well as educational level appear to have a significant impact on preferences about weekly and daily work schedules. The standard five-day working weeks and eight-hour working days may not be optimal for everyone. This is an important aspect that R&D employers and regulators should keep in mind when aiming to benefit from the full creative potential of their employees and maximising their individual wellbeing.

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Published
2017-08-31
Section
Research Briefs