Rhythms of the academic life

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Fulltime academics in Belgium work on average 55 hours a week. The impact of such an extensive workweek on workers’ wellbeing and their personal life is difficult to estimate when one only considers how much people work. Equally important is the time of the day that people are working. This is especially interesting in the case of academics workers as they generally enjoy high levels of autonomy and their work is not bound to a certain time or place. They have the possibility to vary their schedule accordingly and to work on non-standard hours (evening, weekend). In this presentation we want to address two questions. First of all, which working time patterns can be identified within a population of academics? And secondly, how do working time patterns correspond to workers’ wellbeing (subjective time pressure, work-life conflict, …)?

To answer these questions, we will be using time-use data that were gathered in 2015 among the academic staff at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. 170 academic professors (respons rate of 26%) kept track of their daily activities (work and non-work) in an online diary and this during a seven-day ¬period. By using an additional questionnaire we also obtained information on subjective aspects of their work. These unique data offer the opportunity to see how people organise their working time when given the autonomy to do so. To identify working time patterns, we will apply optimal matching techniques. Gender, discipline and career advancement will be controlled for, as we expect them to interact with people’s use of time.
Period19 Jul 201623 Jul 2016
Event title38th IATUR Conference on Time Use Research
Event typeConference
LocationSeoul, Korea, Republic of
Degree of RecognitionInternational