Saf Health Work.  2018 Mar;9(1):109-114. 10.1016/

Time Pressure, Time Autonomy, and Sickness Absenteeism in Hospital Employees: A Longitudinal Study on Organizational Absenteeism Records

  • 1Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  • 2Philipps University of Marburg, Germany.
  • 3Centre for Human Resource Management and Organizational Engineering, Bern, Switzerland.
  • 4Bern University of Applied Sciences, Health, Bern, Switzerland.
  • 5National Centre of Competence in Research, Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, CISA, Geneva, Switzerland.


Although work absenteeism is in the focus of occupational health, longitudinal studies on organizational absenteeism records in hospital work are lacking. This longitudinal study tests time pressure and lack of time autonomy to be related to higher sickness absenteeism.
Data was collected for 180 employees (45% nurses) of a Swiss hospital at baseline and at follow-up after 1 year. Absent times (hours per month) were received from the human resources department of the hospital. One-year follow-up of organizational absenteeism records were regressed on self-reported job satisfaction, time pressure, and time autonomy (i.e., control) at baseline.
A multivariate regression showed significant prediction of absenteeism by time pressure at baseline and time autonomy, indicating that a stress process is involved in some sickness absenteeism behavior. Job satisfaction and the interaction of time pressure and time autonomy did not predict sickness absenteeism.
Results confirmed time pressure and time autonomy as limiting factors in healthcare and a key target in work redesign.


healthcare; occupational health; time autonomy; work absenteeism; work stress
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