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Research on the effect of moving away from minute-by-minute schedules in the home care service

Addressing concerns over inflexible scheduling practices in home care, several municipalities are now opting for increased staff autonomy and flexibility. A new study led by Nora Hansson Bittár aims to uncover the impact on well-being and care quality.

Amid criticism of minute-by-minute scheduling practices in home care services, a significant change is underway in several municipalities. The transition from rigid scheduling to a more flexible approach, where employees have greater control over their schedules, is not merely anecdotal. It is backed by ongoing research aimed at understanding the impact of empowering staff to have greater control over their time.

Under the leadership of Nora Hansson Bittár, a doctoral student at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), a series of field experiments will be conducted in several municipalities to explore this transition. Home care staff and their respective units will be randomly assigned to either adopt a flexible and trust-based scheduling approach or adhere to the traditional status quo. Through longitudinal analysis, researchers will discern the potential effects on well-being and care quality.

The overarching objective is to deepen both academic and practical insights into whether and how novel approaches in home care services can tangibly enhance health and well-being, along with care quality, without compromising legal compliance and economic efficiency.

The research project is funded by AFA Försäkring and Vinnova Impact Innovation.

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