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Updated 23 August 2013

Shorter working hours don't guarantee happier workers

A study has found that reduction in working hours had no significant impact on overall job and life satisfaction.

EurekAlert

A reduction in working hours does not necessarily mean happier employees, as it might merely be adding stress to their general working environment. This is according to a study by Robert Rudolf of Korea University, Seoul, that looks at the impact of South Korea’s recently introduced Five-Day Working Policy. The paper, published online in Springer’s Journal of Happiness Studies, focuses on the overall individual and family happiness of married and co-residing couples living with children, and also assesses the impact of working hours on people’s overall job and life satisfaction.

Rudolf found that working wives and mothers are generally more pleased with the reformative measures than their male counterparts. This is because women face higher work-family role conflicts within the traditional Korean society, and thus suffer more from long overtime hours. Even though full-time workers, and women in particular, are generally thankful that their work week was cut by four hours on average, it has had no significant impact on their overall job and life satisfaction. This is because much of the positive spin-offs gained from fewer working hours are often offset by rising work intensity demands set by employers, while some firms tend to give less holiday time.

 
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