Flexible work in call centres: working hours, work-life conflict & health
Bohle, PL and Willaby, H and Quinlan, M and McNamara, M, Flexible work in call centres: working hours, work-life conflict & health, Applied Ergonomics: Human Factors in Technology and Society, 42, (2) pp. 219-224. ISSN 0003-6870 (2010) [Refereed Article]
Call-centre workers encounter major psychosocial pressures, including high work intensity and undesirable working hours. Little is known, however, about whether these pressures vary with employment status and how they affect work-life conflict and health. Questionnaire data were collected from 179 telephone operators in Sydney, Australia, of whom 124 (69.3%) were female and 54 (30.2%) were male. Ninety-three (52%) were permanent full-time workers, 37 (20.7%) were permanent part-time, and 49 (27.4%) were casual employees. Hypothesised structural relationships between employment status, working hours and work organisation, work-life conflict and health were tested using partial least squares modelling in PLS (Chin, 1998). The final model demonstrated satisfactory fit. It supported important elements of the hypothesised structure, although four of the proposed paths failed to reach significance and the fit was enhanced by adding a path. The final model indicated that casual workers reported more variable working hours which were relatively weakly associated with greater dissatisfaction with hours. The interaction of schedule control and variability of hours also predicted dissatisfaction with hours. Conversely, permanent workers reported greater work intensity, which was associated with both lower work schedule control and greater work-life conflict. Greater work-life conflict was associated with more fatigue and psychological symptoms. Labour market factors and the undesirability of longer hours in a stressful, high-intensity work environment appear to have contributed to the results.
working hours,flexible employment, work intensity, work-life conflict, health, call centres