Stable Scheduling Study: Health Outcomes Report

Improving schedule stability in the retail sector means better sleep for sales associates. This is what the researchers leading the Stable Scheduling Study uncover in their new Health Outcomes Report.

Health Outcomes Report

Poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation have negative short- and long-term effects on health and impede the ability to learn.  The scheduling intervention evaluated improved the quality of sales associates’ sleep by 6-8%.  The findings provide evidence for businesses and for legislative efforts of the potential health benefits of improving the stability and predictability of scheduling in retail and beyond.

The Stable Scheduling Study reflects a partnership between an interdisciplinary team that includes Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California, Hastings College of the Law; Susan Lambert, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA); and Saravanan Kesavan, Associate Professor and Sarah Graham Kenan Scholar at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School; and the Gap, Inc.

Read the Report Read the Executive Summary


Authors: Distinguished Professor Joan C. Williams, Associate Professor Susan J. Lambert, Associate Professor Saravanan Kesavan, Rachel M. Korn Peter J. Fugiel, Erin Devorah Carreon, Dylan Bellisle, Meghan Jarpe, and Lisa McCorkell.

Highlights of the study's findings include:

Worker experiences before intervention implementation:

  • 47% of workers reported that their work schedule interfered with their sleep.
  • 51% of workers reported at least moderate food insecurity in the past month.
  • 26% were late on utility payments in the past three months.
  • 19% delayed going to the doctor or getting prescriptions filled because of financial concerns in the past three months.

Effects of the intervention: 

  • Self-rated sleep quality improved by 6-8% on average as a result of the intervention.
  • The effects of the intervention on other health outcomes vary by subgroup. For example, the intervention reduced stress among parents and workers holding a second job.

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