Working time in multi-project settings

Multi-project management is increasing as an organizing mode in the workplace. However, it leads to multiple issues for project workers, such as intense pressure and work overload. This paper explores how project workers experience work overload in a multi-project context, especially regarding practices that contribute to maintaining or preventing it. It builds on a case study of a financial institution in which employees are assigned to many projects at the same time. Findings uncover four practices related to working time (extending working hours and managing boundaries) and prioritization (prioritizing emergencies and negotiating work and deadlines). This paper exposes how issues such as work overload are both, framed by a larger context driving work intensification and sustained through practices. It also displays the power and agency of individuals, who are not passive toward work overload. As such, it contributes to extending perspectives and advancing understanding of project work.

Delisle, J. (2020). Working time in multi-project settings: How project workers manage work overload. International Journal of Project Management, 38(7), 419-428.