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Predictors of time famine among Finnish employees – Work, family or leisure?

By Timo Anttila, Tomi Oinas and Jouko Nätti


The recent survey data indicates that the time famine is a common experience among employees, while the data of time use indicates increased leisure time. Similarly, there are different views on the causes of time famine. Firstly, in working life research time famine is usually explained by increasing requirements of work life. Secondly, in gender studies time famine is considered to be a product of family obligations. Thirdly, some authors interpret time famine as a phenomenon relating to the intensification of leisure. The aim of the study was to examine the extent and causes of time famine among Finnish employees. The analysis was based on the Finnish Use of Time data (1999–2000) and focused on 15-64-year old employees (n=4866). The first aim of the study was to compare different measures of time famine. The descriptive analysis indicated that time famine was overrepresented among women and those who were aged between 25-54 years, who were well-educated, and had children at home. The second aim was to examine predictors of time famine. The predictors of time famine were classified in three groups: work, family, and leisure factors. The logistic regression analyses were conducted separately for men and women. The analysis focused on two indicators of time famine representing different dimensions. Lack of time indicated general time famine and being busy during the diary day indicated more dayspecific situation. The two approaches to time famine – general and day-specific – raised different explanations. The general feeling of the lack of time was predicted all three predictor groups. Daily busyness was related strongly to work factors and only weakly to family obligations or leisure activities. Thus, time famine can be examined with different ways, which produce similar picture on the overrepresentation of it among women, well-educated and families with children. However, the predictors of time famine do vary depending on gender and how time famine is measured.Time famine, time pressure, time-use diaries

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