This report uses data from the New Zealand Time Use Survey 1998/99 to analyse the timing and location of paid work. It provides a detailed picture of New Zealanders’ paid working time patterns, focusing particularly on work that is undertaken at non-standard times, and work that is undertaken in workers’ own homes. Results are given for sub-groups in the labour force as well as for all workers.
Around three-quarters of all paid working hours are undertaken within conventional business hours – between 8am and 6pm from Monday to Friday. Thus, paid work is concentrated within this core period. However, a very high proportion of workers perform some of their work outside core business hours. Working on the fringes of the standard business day is particularly common – for example, on an average weekday more than 40 percent of workers are at work before 8am, and about a quarter undertake some paid work in the evenings. Weekend work is also quite widespread – the data suggest that more than 40 percent of the employed undertake some paid work at some stage in the weekend. Night work, on the other hand, is uncommon. The pattern of working the majority of one’s hours at conventional times of the day and week and a few hours outside it is far more common than the pattern of working the majority of one’s hours at non-standard times.
Just under 10 percent of all the working hours of non-agricultural workers were performed at the worker’s own home, demonstrating that working at home is an important feature of the labour market. Outside the agricultural sector homework episodes tend to be short, and a majority of the non-agricultural workers who recorded some work at home also worked in a workplace on the same day. Overall, the data suggest that the pattern of combining small amounts of work at home with a conventional job in a workplace is far more common than the pattern of working predominantly from home.