Female knowledge workers and the illusion of working-time autonomy
Tammelin, M., Koivunen, T., & Saari, T. (2017). Female knowledge workers and the illusion of working-time autonomy. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 37 (9/10), 591-604. doi:10.1108/IJSSP-08-2016-0100
Published inInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
© 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to ask: what are the temporal realities of female knowledge workers? It especially focusses on women’s possibilities of using working-time autonomy, and the work and non-work practices that shape their possibility to use work-hour autonomy. In knowledge work, working-time autonomy is usually high, but exercising autonomy is not always possible. The study was carried out in Finland, where full-time work is common also among women, even if they have small children. Design/methodology/approach – The data include 19 semi-structured interviews of women who have knowledge-intensive work. The method of analysis is problem-driven content analysis. Findings – Female knowledge workers intertwine several temporal realities. The utilisation of working-time autonomy is restricted by unpredictability, continuous interruptions, hurriedness and ineffective work practices. The temporal realities of family life, such as taking children to the daycare or school, other everyday routines and a spouse’s working-time autonomy have an effect on women’s possibilities to use working-time autonomy. The line between work and non-work blurs. Originality/value – This study sheds light on working-time autonomy among female knowledge workers. It adds an understanding to the temporal realities of work and outside work that influence the use of work-hour autonomy. This information is needed to understand time demands arising from work, which play a role in work-family research in particular ...