Research Report 2007

Working around the clock?

Portrait of Dr. Gordon Cooke

Dr. Gordon Cooke

In the work titled "Flexible Work Schedules in Canada: Determinants and Outcomes," Dr. Gordon Cooke Memorial's School of Business and lead investigator Dr. Isik Zeytinoglu from the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University are studying how work schedules impact the more vulnerable groups in society. "The stereotypical work schedule, for several decades prior to the 1990s, was full-time, stable, during business hours on weekdays, and in the range of 40 hours per week," said Dr. Cooke. "Now, many Canadian employees are working shorter or longer work schedules, have variable work hours (that might be chosen by the employer or the employee), and/or work evenings or weekends. We find this to be worthy of additional investigation because females, young workers, lesser-educated workers, and other vulnerable worker subgroups seem to be overrepresented among those with relatively poor work schedules."

He added that, at the same time, there are relatively privileged workers who now are likely to enjoy a more favourable work schedule and that a worker's schedule potentially impacts a number of worker outcomes, including job satisfaction levels. The researchers are also interested in exploring the possible connection between employers' business strategies and the work schedules of their employees.

"Hopefully, the results of this research will be food for thought for employees, unions, employers, and public policy makers in Canada and elsewhere."

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