Employer practices

IKEA Self-Scheduling Intervention: Baseline Report

Last updated on May 21, 2024
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The publication title on this page was updated May 21, 2024, to "IKEA Self-Scheduling Intervention: Baseline Report." A previous version inadvertently used the title of another report.

Widespread unpredictability in work scheduling leads to decreased job satisfaction, higher turnover rates, economic instability, and compromised worker health. To address these challenges, IKEA partnered with The Shift Project to develop a Self-Scheduling Intervention for its hourly workers to give them greater control over their shifts. They selected intervention and comparison stores to measure its impact on worker and business outcomes, and over four years, held weekly meetings to strategize and analyze data.

This report draws upon Shift Project surveys of workers at IKEA and competing employers to compare scheduling conditions. It provides context for research on self-scheduling, examines pre-intervention conditions, introduces new features, outlines research design, and explores future directions.

Key findings:

  • IKEA workers’ schedules were more predictable than those of workers at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart. They were more likely to receive at least three weeks' advance notice of their shift schedules and less likely to have worked on-call, had a shift canceled, or experienced a last-minute change to work schedules.
  • However, IKEA's schedule control, or the extent to which a worker has control or input into when and how much they work, is lower and more aligned with industry practices. Before the Self-Scheduling Intervention, IKEA's scheduling system limited worker control over availability changes, shift swapping, and picking up open shifts.
  • Before the intervention, turnover rates were comparable between the selected IKEA intervention and comparison stores. However, comparison stores had more male and racially diverse respondents than intervention stores.