This article examines experiments with shorter working hours in Finnish municipalities between 1996 and 1998. The article focuses on the effects of different working time experiments on employees (work ability), on working units (quality of services) and substitutes recruited during the experiments. The results indicate that shorter working hours reduce job exhaustion, with respect to both 6‐hour shifts and other forms of reduced hours. The participants reported positive changes the quality and availability of services, especially in the case of 6‐hour shifts. In addition, during the experiment, new employees (substitutes) reported improved chances to obtain work in the future; after the experiment, however, only small a proportion of these employees were able to procure a new job. The analysis was based on three kinds of questionnaire data. First, in the three municipalities (Jyväskylä, Naantali and Espoo) — supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) — three‐phased panel data included 75 experimental and 42 control group participants. The second set of data was gathered in the other 14 municipalities implementing different working time experiments with a two‐phased questionnaire (panel data without control groups, n = 567). The third set of data included new employees (substitutes) recruited during the experiment in the three ESF municipalities and in Saarijärvi (n = 66).
NÄTTI, J. and ANTTILA, T. (1999), "Experiments of Reduced Working Hours in Finnish Municipalities", Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 45-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb029057
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