Publication Date



[Excerpt] Working time is a recurrent topic of study because the nature of work, its content, the conditions under which it is performed and the labour market itself keep changing. These changes have an impact on working time duration and the way working time is organised. One of the manifest results is the erosion of a clear demarcation between working time and non-working time – the work and private sphere.

The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) is among the sources that have clearly established the link between working time patterns and the health and wellbeing of workers. Eurofound’s research on job quality shows that working time quality is one of the crucial contributing elements.

]This report examines working time patterns in more detail. It provides an overview of the recent evolution of working time duration and organisation in the EU and highlights the most important trends and differences between Member States. Through an in-depth analysis of data from the sixth EWCS (2015), it also examines, from a gender and life course perspective, the links between working time patterns, work–life balance and working time preferences on the one hand and workers’ health and well-being, on the other. Finally, it explores the implications of working time patterns for the longterm sustainability of work.


Suggested Citation
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. (2017). Working time patterns for sustainable work. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.