Time Squeeze


The research project (implemented during 2005-2007), funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund, examines wage earners experiences of time-squeeze. In addition to studying the extent of time-squeeze, the project aims to investigate factors associated with it, its’ consequences and management of it. The project adopts a broad approach to the experiences of time-squeeze, including time-squeeze at paid work and other spheres of life. The study supplements and builds on our previous research on working time and knowledge intensive work.

Keywords: time-squeeze, time famine, wage earners, gender, socio-economic status, household



Time has both quantitative and qualitative aspect, which calls for both studying the objective time use as well as subjective experience of time. Time Use Surveys have shown that time-squeeze is a paradoxical phenomenon: even while time family and leisure time have increased, also experiences of time-squeeze have increased among wage earners.

According to the Finnish Working Conditions Surveys, employees reported increased hurriedness during 1977 – 1997. Approximately a third of employees suffer from hurriedness constantly, and half every now and then. All in all, time-squeeze and hurriedness can be understood as a new social problem of the post-industrial societies. On the one hand it is understood as a consequence of increased work pressures and engagement to work, while on the other hand of the changing nature of leisure time and consumption.

Aims and data

The aim of this research is to examine the experienced time-squeeze among wage earners. The research approach emphasizes gender difference and difference in socioeconomic status. Research questions derive from the following topics:

1. Conceptualization of time-squeeze
- discussion and clarification of concepts

2. prevalence of experienced hurriedness and time-squeeze
- subjective and objective time-squeeze

3. Examining factors associated with time-squeeze
- especially the dimension of work time

4. Consequences of time-squeeze
- the effects of time-squeeze?

5. Control and management of time-squeeze
- how do wage earners handle time famine?

The research is based on:

1. Statistics Finland: Household Time Use Survey (1999-2000)

2. Statistics Finland: Household Time Use Survey (1987-1988)

3. Interviews of app. 15 persons