Association between working hours, work engagement, and work productivity in employees: A cross-sectional study of the Japanese Study of Health, Occupation, and Psychosocial Factors Relates Equity

Emi Okazaki, Daisuke Nishi, Ryoko Susukida, Akiomi Inoue, Akihito Shimazu, Akizumi Tsutsumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: The aims of the study were to investigate the association between working hours, work engagement, and work productivity, and to examine if work engagement moderates the influence of working hours on work productivity. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the Japanese occupational cohort survey, which involved 2093 employees in a manufacturing industry. Working hours were self-reported by the study participants. Work productivity was assessed with absolute presenteeism based on the scale of the validated Japanese version of World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (WHO-HPQ). Work engagement was assessed with the Nine-item Utrecht work Engagement Scale (UWES-9). Univariate and multivariable regression analyses were conducted to examine the association of working hours and work engagement with work productivity. We also carried out stratified multivariable regression analysis separately for those with high-work engagement and those with low-work engagement. Results: Working >40 to 50 hours per week and >50 hours per week were significantly positively associated with work productivity in univariate analysis. However, the significant association no longer held after adjusting for work engagement. Work engagement was positively associated with work productivity even after controlling for potential confounders. Working hours were not significantly associated with work productivity among those with high-work engagement or among those with low-work engagement. Conclusions: Working hours did not have any significant associations with work productivity when taking work engagement into account. Work engagement did not moderate the influence of working hours on work productivity, though it attenuated the relationship between working hours and work productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of occupational health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Work engagement
  • Work productivity
  • Working hours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this