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Title: Strategies used by women workers to reconcile family responsibilities with atypical work schedules in the service sector
Authors: Barthe, B
Messing, K
Abbas, L
Date: 2011
Citation: Barthe, B., Messing, K., & Abbas, L. (2011). Strategies used by women workers to reconcile family responsibilities with atypical work schedules in the service sector. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 40 (Suppl 1): 47-58. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2011-1267
Abstract: Objective: Workers' attempts to accommodate family needs may be considered illegitimate in the paid work sphere. Their attempts at work-family balancing (WFB) in that sphere can remain invisible, even when those attempts require considerable energy. Since identification of WFB strategies can potentially lead to suggestions to improve management practices, we report an attempt to find them in the work sphere. Participants: 14 care aides in a Québec residence for seniors and 2~schedule managers were recruited. Methods: Qualitative ergonomic analysis was employed. 24 hours observation; interviews of nursing and human resources staff; qualitative ergonomic analysis by two researchers; feedback collected from meetings with management and union. Strategies for schedule choice were compared between care aides with heavier vs. lighter family responsibilities. Results: For workers with heavier family responsibilities, choice of work schedules was almost entirely conditioned by family considerations, leaving little leeway to manage workers' own health protection. Conclusions: Family constraints affected activity at work, and strategies for handling family constraints could potentially be affected by changes in work organization. Managers should encourage full discussion of work-family balancing strategies if they wish to adapt their working conditions to the workers, and ergonomists should include this balancing as a facet of work activity, despite possible negative consequences.
ISSN: 1051-9815
Project Number: 103460
Project Title:  Teasdale-Corti Global Health Research Partnership
Copyright: IOS Press
Access Restriction: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this research output is not available in the IDRC Digital Library or by request from the IDRC Library. / Compte tenu des restrictions relatives au droit d`auteur, le texte intégral de cet extrant de recherche n`est pas accessible dans la Bibliothèque numérique du CRDI, et il n`est pas possible d`en faire la demande à la Bibliothèque du CRDI.
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