- This study conducted at Fairview Hospital and Training Center,
Salem, Oregon was part of a larger study by the Mental Health Division,
Department of Human Resources, State of Oregon. The purpose
was to determine a course of action to be followed by the Food Service
Department to compensate for decreasing numbers of resident
(patient) workers available to assist with work in the serving areas.
The purpose of the thesis study was to compare and analyze
worker utilization and productivity in two cottage serving areas,
Martin and Patterson, using random sampling observations. The
cottages were alike in all respects except the composition of the staff.
Resident workers as well as regular employees were scheduled in
Martin, but only regular employees in Patterson.
A preliminary study, by continuous observation, was conducted
in each area for one complete work day to determine how workers
spent their time and the tasks involved. All tasks were grouped into
three work classifications, direct work, indirect work and delays,
based on those used by Donaldson, University of Wisconsin. Results
of how time was spent, 61 percent direct work, 6 percent indirect
work and 33 percent delays, provided estimates from which to calculate
the minimum number of random observations required for the
next part of the study.
Data for the work sampling study were collected by trained
observers over a two-week period. Total observational readings in
each cottage varied because of the different number of persons working
in each area. Findings showed:
1. Regular employees and resident workers working together
spent 54. 18 percent of their time for direct work, 5.76 percent for
indirect work, and 46.29 percent for delays.
2. Regular employees working alone spent 65.26 percent of their
time for direct work, 1. 99 percent for indirect work and 32.75 percent
3. The productivity rate, determined as the total of direct
work and indirect work time, was 67 percent for regular employees
working alone, 54 percent for employees and resident workers working
together (80 percent for employees and 44 percent for resident
workers). 4. Time spent in direct work was spread fairly evenly throughout
the day when resident workers were present. When employees
worked alone, direct work time had pronounced peaks around meal
5. The average labor time per meal served for employees and
resident workers combined was 1 0.46 minutes, for employees working
alone, 4.60 minutes.
6, Findings did not support the three hypotheses tested: that
the total percent of direct and indirect work combined will be the
same with either staffing pattern; that direct work time will be greater
without resident workers present, but there will be a corresponding
difference in indirect work activities relating to resident workers;
and that delay time will be the same for both staffing patterns.
7. Statistical analyses showed the following: Chi square test
indicated a significant difference (0.01 level) in percent of time spent
for direct work, indirect work, and delays between the two cottages;
multiple correlation analysis showed significant correlation (0. 05
level) between age and experience of employees and indirect work
time; regression analysis showed age and experience accounted for
65 percent of the variables influencing indirect work time.
Based on the findings, the conclusion was that employees
appeared to be more productive when resident workers were present
than when employees worked alone. Employees probably worked at a
slower speed to keep pace with the resident workers; thus activities
took longer to complete.
Recommendations from findings included: (1) staff in each
cottage serving area be comprised of employees only; (2) resident
workers should not be used as a source of labor, but those in the Food
Service Training Program be given opportunity for experience in the
serving areas; (3) two part-time employees, one from 6:00 am to
10:00 am and the second from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm, be considered as
optimal replacement for resident workers in each serving area.
Other recommendations, for long-range planning were: staggered
meal hours in the cottages to allow one full-time employee to work
between two cottages; integration of staff in cottages to form a
"cottage staff" and reduce departmentalization; and alternative
methods of food delivery to cottages.