Time Work by Overworked Professionals: Strategies in Response to the Stress of Higher Status

Phyllis Moen, Jack Lam, Samantha Ammons, Erin L. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


How are professionals responding to the time strains brought on by the stress of their higher status jobs? Qualitative data from professionals reveal (a) general acceptance of the emerging temporal organization of professional work, including rising time demands and blurred boundaries around work/nonwork times and places, and (b) time work as strategic responses to work intensification, overloads, and boundarylessness. We detected four time-work strategies: prioritizing time, scaling back obligations, blocking out time, and time shifting of obligations. These strategies are often more work-friendly than family-friendly, but "blocking out time" and "time shifting" suggest promising avenues for work-time policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-114
Number of pages36
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was conducted as part of the Work, Family and Health Network ( www.WorkFamilyHealthNetwork.org ), which is funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant No. U01HD051217, U01HD051218, U01HD051256, U01HD051276), National Institute on Aging (Grant No. U01AG027669), Office of Behavioral and Science Sciences Research, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Grant No. U010H008788). Grants from the William T. Grant Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Administration for Children and Families have provided additional funding. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of these institutes and offices.


  • professionals
  • strategies
  • stress of higher status
  • time strains
  • time work
  • work-family


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