Shift work and quality of life on tourism, hospitality and restaurant industry: the Portuguese Context


  • susana Silva Institute Polytechnic of Porto, School of Hospitality and Tourismo, CEOS.PP, CITUR
  • Dora Martins CEOS.PP, ISCAP, P.PORTO and GOVCOPP, University of Aveiro, Portugal,



This research aims to study the association between shift work and the quality of life of workers. On the one hand quality of life includes several aspects of life (e.g. personal, family, marital or social) and serves as an important aspect in understanding the well-being of individuals in relationship with work life. On the other hand, shift work can be defined as any work organization of working hours that differs from the traditional diurnal work period. Furthermore, they are two factors strongly related, considering the increasing use of shift work in industry and services, especially from tourism, hospitality, and restaurant sectors, where shift work has the potential to disrupt different aspects of quality life.

The main objective of this study is to characterize the quality of life of shift workers in the tourism, hospitality, and restaurant industry. More specifically to characterize their workers’ personal life, family life, marital life, and social life.

Through an online questionnaire, data were collected from 122 shift workers linked to the tourism, hotel, and restaurant industry in Portugal. Data were analysed with IBM SPSS 27.0.

Results showed significant differences between workers from fixed and rotative shifts for the personal life satisfaction level whereas workers from fixed shifts reported higher levels of satisfaction. Workers in the morning shift reported higher levels of personal life and family life satisfaction than workers that are not in the morning shifts. There are no differences between the satisfaction levels for workers from the afternoon, night, or weekend shifts. There are no differences among the marital life satisfaction according to the kind of shift (fixed or rotative; morning, afternoon, night, or weekend shift).

This study provides several insights into the shift work theory and practice and contributes to knowledge of how human resource management will be reconfigured some practices to support the quality of life of shift workers in this industry. Limitations and future research suggestions are drawn in the last part of the paper.



2022-05-11 — Updated on 2023-01-03