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Workplace Stress, Health and Well-being Sharon Clarke, Marilyn Davidson, Sandra Fielden, Helge Hoel, Sheena Johnson, Dieter Zapf.

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Presentation on theme: "Workplace Stress, Health and Well-being Sharon Clarke, Marilyn Davidson, Sandra Fielden, Helge Hoel, Sheena Johnson, Dieter Zapf."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workplace Stress, Health and Well-being Sharon Clarke, Marilyn Davidson, Sandra Fielden, Helge Hoel, Sheena Johnson, Dieter Zapf

2 The Problem: The Cost of Stress at Work Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Absenteeism: Loss of nearly 6.5 million working days per year in Britain Confederation of British Industry: Cost of mental health and stress problems to employers at £5 billion per year. The number of workers who had sought medical advice for what they believed to be work related stress reached an estimated 530,000 (2006). The European Union estimates that work-related stress affects at least 40 million workers in its 15 (Western ) Member States and that it costs the European Union at least 20 billion annually

3 Recent Trends and Developments A shift from physical to psychological work stressors –Physical work stress reduced –Environmental stressors reduced –Instead: Psychological stressors Consequence: Increase in stress-related illnesses –Anxiety & depression –Psychosomatic symptoms –Burnout

4 Recent Trends and Developments Stressors and resources at work –Stressors have negative consequences on health –Resources have positive consequences well-being and personal development –Resources buffer against stress –Decrease stressors, increase resources

5 Psychological Stressors at Work Task related and organisational stressors –High workload, time pressure –Role conflicts, organisational constraints Social stressors – colleagues, supervisors, subordinates –Negative social climate –Task conflicts, relationship conflicts –Unfair behaviour, destructive leadership, workplace bullying Social and Emotional stressors – customers, clients –Customer-related social stressor: Aggressive customers, exaggerated customer expectations –Emotional dissonance Job insecurity and unemployment

6 Resources at Work Task related and organisational resources –Job control, autonomy, decision latitude Social resources –Social support by supervisors –Social support by colleagues

7 Studies at MBS Measuring occupational stress (Johnson, Hoel, Zapf) Human safety and risk management (Clarke) –Safety climate –The role personality Stress & Gender: –Unemployment (Fielden & Davidson); –Temporary workers (Crozier & Davidson) Social stressors at work (Zapf) Emotional work and older employees (Johnson, Hoel, Zapf, MBS; Stock-Homburg, TU Darmstadt; Zapf, Frankfurt University)

8 Measuring Occupational Stress Research team investigating stress at work –includes academics from a number of UK universities ASSET questionnaire database (approx. 40k) Current projects investigating: –Stress and bullying across occupations with emphasis on the interaction between bullying from supervisor / colleagues / clients –The role of commitment in the stressor and health relationship Commitment from and to organisation Professional commitment

9 Emotional Work and Older Employees The problems –Low employment rate of older employees, but: –Demographic change –Decline of physical and basic cognitive abilities (however, often compensated by experience) The hypothesis: Older employees are good service workers –Customer orientation: The friendly smile –Little influence on the situation (e.g., on negative interaction with customers) –Use of intra-psychological strategies such as: - use humour, perspective taking, play down –Consequence: less affected by customer-related stress


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