Free days for future? Longitudinal effects of working time reductions on individual well-being and environmental behaviour

Neubert, Sebastian; Bader, Christoph; Hanbury, Hugo; Moser, Stephanie (2022). Free days for future? Longitudinal effects of working time reductions on individual well-being and environmental behaviour. Journal of environmental psychology, 82, p. 101849. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101849

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Working time reductions (WTR) are a promising strategy to foster both environmental behaviour and individual well-being. It is unclear, however, whether these possible effects are more likely due to reduced income or to more discretionary time. Moreover, prior studies have only tested the environmental effects of WTR cross-sectionally, and have only tested the well-being effects of WTR including wage compensations. We conducted a longitudinal three-wave study with Swiss employees, including one group who voluntarily reduced their working hours following the first questionnaire. Between-subject analysis suggested that decreased working time is associated with decreased GHG-related behaviours, and increased individual well-being. While the improved GHG-related behaviour is mainly due to reduced income, the well-being effects arise despite lower income. Analyses over time revealed that after reducing their working hours, participants reported increased well-being, more intent-related pro-environmental behaviour, less car commuting, and decreased clothing expenditures. However, no improvement was found regarding other GHG-related behaviours, which are strongly linked to income levels. Thus, reducing standard working time, and simultaneously reducing income, may be a promising strategy. However, voluntarily working a day less per week will probably not reach the full ecological potential of a societal-level WTR.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Neubert, Sebastian Felix; Bader, Christoph; Hanbury, Hugo Alexander and Moser, Stephanie

ISSN:

0272-4944

Publisher:

Elsevier

Projects:

[1008] Zeit als neuer Wohlstand: Reduktion der Erwerbsarbeitszeit zur Förderung suffizienter Lebensstile
[804] Socio-Economic Transition

Language:

English

Submitter:

Melchior Peter Nussbaumer

Date Deposited:

17 Aug 2022 11:46

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:22

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101849

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/172033

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/172033

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