Working overtime hours: relations with fatigue, work motivation, and the quality of work

J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Dec;46(12):1282-9.


Objectives: We sought to better understand the relationship between overtime and mental fatigue by taking into account work motivation and the quality of overtime work and studying theoretically derived subgroups.

Methods: We conducted a survey-study among a representative sample of the Dutch full-time workforce (n = 1807). The prevalence of overtime work and the associations between overtime and job demands, job variety, decision latitude, fatigue, and work motivation was studied through descriptive statistics. We used MANCOVA (covariates: age, gender, salary level) to compare six overtime-fatigue subgroups with respect to work motivation and job characteristics.

Results: A total of 67% of the respondents worked overtime (mean, 3.5 hours). Overtime workers appeared to be nonfatigued, motivated workers with favorable work characteristics. MANCOVA revealed no significant overtime-fatigue interaction.

Conclusions: Moderate overtime is common among Dutch workers, who seem to be happy workers with attractive jobs rather than fatigued employees.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Reference Values
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*