Exploring working time patterns of school teachers

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


In the last decades, society has imposed new challenges on schools and their teachers. It has led schools to implement a more economic and management-oriented policy discourse with new regulations and procedures to improve education quality. On a lower level new demands arise as well; more and more parents take on the role of consumer with regard to their child’s education and act accordingly. A tailor-made approach for every child seems the new norm. For most teachers, this implies an extension of their teaching role, as they have to take on more tasks in and outside the classroom. Nias (1999) found that teachers are both overburdened in the classroom and overwhelmed by the administrative tasks outside it. It is said that this increased workload intensifies work pressure and distracts teachers from the core of teaching.

Research states that teachers nowadays have adopted long working hours and lack the time to rest and recover. In Belgium, a fulltime teacher works no less than 41h a week (taking school holidays into account). For a large part of their working time, teachers are restricted to the temporal boundaries of a school day. However, little is known about the way they organise their working time outside school. In this contribution, we use diary data to examine the work time patterns of school teachers, their underlying factors and how these patterns relate to health outcomes. Are working time patterns among teachers gendered? Do working time patterns differ between preschool, elementary and secondary teachers? And are certain patterns associated with school context, time pressure, job satisfaction, burnout, etc.?

Our research is based on 8000 time-use diaries of school teachers (24 hours’ registration for 7 consecutive days), collected in 2018 in Flanders by means of a webtool and time-use app (MOTUS software).
Period25 Oct 2018
Event title40th International Association for Time Use Research Conference: Time for Us - Celebrating Time
Event typeConference
LocationBudapest, Hungary
Degree of RecognitionInternational