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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Gunnar Aronsson, Eva Charlotta Nylén, Lars Ishall, Petra Lindfors and Magnus Sverke

Social welfare work contains elements that may be difficult for employees to put out of their minds when the working day ends, which may affect the recovery. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

Social welfare work contains elements that may be difficult for employees to put out of their minds when the working day ends, which may affect the recovery. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the length of recovery in relation to different work characteristics and to two types of welfare work.

Design/methodology/approach

All 1,365 employees, excluding managers, of two municipality administrations were invited to a survey study. Of these, 673 (49 percent) responded. After adjusting for partial missing, the effective sample included 580 employees (43 percent). Retrospective ratings of four recovery windows were analyzed: recovery after one night’s sleep, weekends, shorter holidays and vacations.

Findings

Employees with a university education were less recovered than those with a shorter education. For those with a university education, the long arm of the job mainly involved failures regarding qualitative job demands (task difficulty). For those with a shorter education, quantitative job demands (too much to do) were most prominent for their prolonged recovery. Feedback from managers had consistent and positive associations with all four recovery windows among employees with a university education, but not among those with a shorter education for whom instead having too much to do and social support had significant spillover effects.

Originality/value

The identified differences may relate to employees with a university education having more problem-solving tasks, which may result in a higher need of work-related feedback but also in difficulties detaching from work. Thus, education and job characteristics have differential associations with self-rated recovery.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Gunnar Aronsson, Klas Gustafsson and Christin Mellner

The purpose of this paper is to compare sickness presence (SP) and sickness absence (SA) regarding the strength of their relationship to health/ill‐health. In a previous…

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1105

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare sickness presence (SP) and sickness absence (SA) regarding the strength of their relationship to health/ill‐health. In a previous Canadian study a stronger association between SP and health/ill‐health than between SA and health/ill‐health was shown.

Design/methodology/approach

Five Swedish data sets from the years 1992 to 2005 provided the study populations, including both representative samples and specific occupational groups (n=425‐3,622). Univariate correlations and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed. The data sets contained questions on SP and SA as well as on various health complaints and, in some cases, self‐rated health (SRH).

Findings

The general trend was that correlations and odds ratios increased regularly for both SP and SA, with SP showing the highest values. In one data set, SRH was predicted by a combination of the two measures, with an explained variance of 25 percent. Stratified analyses showed that the more irreplaceable an individual is at work, the larger is the difference in correlation size between SP and SA with regard to SRH. SP also showed an accentuated and stronger association with SRH than SA among individuals reporting poor economic circumstances.

Practical implications

The results support the notion that SA is an insufficient, and even misleading, measure of health status for certain groups in the labor market, which seem to have poorer health than the measure of SA would indicate.

Orginality/value

A combined measure of sickness presence and absence may be worth considering as an indicator of both individual and organizational health status.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Christin Mellner, Göran Kecklund, Michiel Kompier, Amir Sariaslan and Gunnar Aronsson

Employees have gained increased flexibility in organizing their work in time and space, that is boundaryless work. Managing the boundaries between work and personal life…

Abstract

Employees have gained increased flexibility in organizing their work in time and space, that is boundaryless work. Managing the boundaries between work and personal life would seem to be crucial if one is to psychologically detach from work during leisure in order to unwind and get sufficient sleep. Drawing from a sample of Swedish professional workers (N = 3,846), a theoretical model was proposed testing the inter-relationships between boundaryless work in time and space, weekly work hours, psychological detachment, sleeping problems and sleep duration using a structural equation modelling (SEM) analysis. Findings showed that working boundlessly in time, that is spread out during the working day and week, was directly associated with both long weekly work hours and lack of psychological detachment. In contrast, working boundlessly in space, that is at several different places, was inversely associated with weekly work hours and had no association with psychological detachment. Psychological detachment, in turn, was directly associated with sleeping problems and inversely associated with sleep duration. Sleeping problems were inversely associated with sleep duration. Employees with long weekly work hours had a low degree of sleeping problems. There was also no association between long weekly work hours and sleep duration. These findings contradict earlier research, however, we interpret these findings as that if one works a great deal but is able to mentally detach from work-related feelings and thoughts during free time, then sleep will not be hampered because perseverative cognitions associated with prolonged biological activation will have been interrupted. As such, psychological detachment can be regarded as the mechanism that mediates the relationships between working ‘anytime’ and long weekly work hours, and sleep. It was concluded working boundlessly in time increases the likelihood for long weekly work hours and lack of psychological detachment. Hence, employees working ‘anytime – all the time’ run the risk of ‘always being on’ resulting in disturbed sleep.

Details

New Ways of Working Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-303-7

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Gunnar Aronsson and Victoria Blom

The aim of this paper is to investigate which work‐ and private life factors are associated with long‐term health, operationalized as low sickness absence and low sickness…

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1394

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate which work‐ and private life factors are associated with long‐term health, operationalized as low sickness absence and low sickness presence.

Design/methodology/approach

A representative sample of 2,297 individuals responded to a questionnaire on two occasions at an interval of one year. In total, 28 percent were classified as having good long‐term health.

Findings

Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that some quality‐related work environment factors were rather strongly associated with long‐term health. For some variables women showed a clear dose‐response pattern on the three‐level scale alternatives in relation to health, while men had a more asymmetric response pattern. The results are discussed in relation to the symmetry in the work environment factors, i.e. if there are different factors that explain health and illness.

Practical implications

Issues concerning health and health‐enhancing factors are of considerable interest to practitioners concerned with management issues, organizational structure, and rehabilitation.

Originality/value

The paper shows the importance of including a positive health variable within the health research paradigm to supplement the dominance of variables focusing on illness and disease.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Abstract

Details

New Ways of Working Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-303-7

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Book part
Publication date: 27 March 2006

Sabine Sonnentag and Charlotte Fritz

In this chapter, we review empirical research evidence on the relationship between stressors and catecholamines (i.e., adrenaline and noradrenaline) and cortisol. With…

Abstract

In this chapter, we review empirical research evidence on the relationship between stressors and catecholamines (i.e., adrenaline and noradrenaline) and cortisol. With respect to acute stressors, both laboratory and field research have shown that the exposure to stressors leads to an increase in catecholamine and cortisol levels. With respect to more chronic stressors, research evidence is less consistent. Chronic mental workload was found to be related to elevated adrenaline levels. With respect to cortisol responses the interaction between workload and other variables seems to play a role. Empirical studies suggest that chronic stressors affect the responsivity to acute stressors. Research showed that after the exposure to stressors catecholamine and cortisol recovery is delayed.

Details

Employee Health, Coping and Methodologies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-289-4

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Victoria Blom, Pia Svedberg, Gunnar Bergström, Lisa Mather and Petra Lindfors

Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL…

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL) in terms of paid and unpaid work relate to various subjective health complaints (SHC) (n=420) and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors explored how any variation in their TWL in terms of paid and unpaid work related cross-sectionally to SHC (n=420), and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Findings

Hierarchical regression analyses showed that stress of unpaid work was most strongly related to diurnal variations in cortisol. Both stress of paid and unpaid work as well as TWL stress, but not hours spent on TWL, were related to SHC.

Practical implications

Taken together, objective measures of hours spent on various TWL domains were unrelated to outcome measures while perceptions of having too much TWL and TWL stress were linked to both cortisol and SHC, i.e. how individuals perceive a situation seem to be more important for health than the actual situation, which has implications for research and efforts to reduce individual TWL.

Originality/value

This study is unique in showing that unpaid work and perceptions having too much TWL relate to stress markers in women working in the public health care sector.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Rebecka Cowen Forssell

The purpose of this paper is to explore what characterizes cyberbullying when it is performed in digital space and in an increasingly boundary blurred working life context.

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2323

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore what characterizes cyberbullying when it is performed in digital space and in an increasingly boundary blurred working life context.

Design/methodology/approach

Cyberbullying is explored through the lens of Erving Goffman’s theories on everyday life interaction and social media scholars understanding of social life on the internet today. The empirical material for the study is grounded in eight in-depth interviews with individuals who have been subjected to cyberbullying behavior in their professional life. The interview data were analyzed by means of thematic analysis.

Findings

Three key themes were identified: spatial interconnectedness, colliding identities and the role of the audience. The empirical data indicate that in order to understand cyberbullying in working life, it is necessary to consider the specific context that emerges with social network sites and blogs. Moreover, this study shows how social network sites tend to blur boundaries between the private and the professional for the targeted individual.

Originality/value

Cyberbullying in working life is a relatively under-researched area. Most existing research on cyberbullying follows the tradition of face-to-face bullying by addressing the phenomenon with quantitative methods. Given the limited potential of this approach to uncover new and unique features, this study makes an important contribution by exploring cyberbullying with a qualitative approach that provides in-depth understanding of the new situations that emerge when bullying is performed online.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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