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Ergonomics. 2004 Jul 15;47(9):987-1002.

The impact of shiftwork on work--home conflict, job attitudes and health.

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  • 1Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The present study was designed to test the impact of rotation and timing of shifts on work--home conflict, job attitudes, health and absenteeism among the military police. A total of 3122 employees participated in the study. Discriminant analysis was used to examine the relationships between rotation and timing of shifts on the one hand, and the outcome measures on the other. Whether employees had fixed dayshifts, fixed non-day shifts including weekends, or rotating shifts with or without weekends, could be predicted on the basis of the experienced work--home conflict, job attitudes, health and absenteeism. Each of the two parameters of shiftwork differentially affected the experience of the outcome measures. Rotation was most clearly related to unfavourable job attitudes (namely job satisfaction, cynicism, turnover intentions and professional efficacy), whereas timing was most clearly related to increased work--home conflict. The results suggest that fixed non-day shifts including weekends (i.e., during highly valuable times) should be avoided in order to minimize the conflict between work and home and that rotation rosters should be designed with a high degree of individualization and flexibility. These seem to be the most promising ways to reduce the negative consequences of shiftwork for employees, their families and organizations.

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