Split shifts and the fragmentation of working lives

Project Details

Financing body

Austrian Science Fund


Split shifts are a working time model in which the workday is interrupted by one or more hours of an unpaid break. Split shifts can imply long total workdays, involving alternating shifts of paid and unpaid work, and multiple travel times. Yet little is known about how split shifts shape and structure workers’ lives. Focussing on the cleaning and the care sectors, and comparing the findings for Austria with empirical data from Norway and Sweden, this research project aims to provide a comprehensive study of split-shift work. The main objectives of the research are (1) to develop a grounded theory of split-shift work linking the individual, organisational and regulation levels; (2) to contribute empirically and theoretically to a paradigm shift in work research that considers interactions between paid work, unpaid work, and other areas of the workers’ lives (Jürgens 2009; Glucksmann 2005); (3) to provide, through new findings on split shifts, empirical evidence on a little investigated aspect of the transformation of service work and the modes of working-time flexibility; (4) to contribute to a differentiation of work of similar content being done in different spheres; (5) to provide evidence on the distribution of unpaid work in couples with split-shift schedules; and (6) to provide a scientific basis for policy-making with regard to the regulation of split shifts.
Austrian Science Fund (FWF): V-598
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/23

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (OEFOS)

  • 509
  • 504001 General sociology
  • 504014 Gender studies