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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2018

Hanne Berthelsen, Tuija Muhonen and Susanna Toivanen

There is an increased interest for introducing activity-based offices at universities. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge about the importance of…

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Abstract

Purpose

There is an increased interest for introducing activity-based offices at universities. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge about the importance of the built environment for the psychosocial work environment within academia by analyzing how staff at a large Swedish university experienced the physical and psychosocial work environment before and after moving to activity-based offices.

Design/methodology/approach

A Web-based survey was distributed to all employees at two faculties at a university three months before (2015, n = 217, response rate 51 per cent) and nine months after (2016, n = 200, response rate 47 per cent) relocation to a new activity-based university building.

Findings

In the new premises, a vast majority (86 per cent) always occupied the same place when possible, and worked also more often from home. The social community at work had declined and social support from colleagues and supervisors was perceived to have decreased. The participants reported a lower job satisfaction after the relocation and were more likely to seek new jobs. No aspects in the physical or psychosocial work environment were found to have improved after the relocation.

Research/limitations implications

The study had a two-wave cross-sectional design, which does not allow establishing causal relations.

Practical implications

There is reason to be cautious about relocation to activity-based offices at universities. The potential savings in costs for premises may lead to may be followed by an increase in other costs. The risk that staff cannot concentrate on their work in activity-based university workplaces and lose their sense of community with colleagues are factors, which in the long run may lead to decreased efficiency, more conflicts and poorer well-being.

Originality/value

This paper contributes with new knowledge concerning changes in the physical and psychosocial work environment when relocating from cell offices to activity-based offices in a university setting.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Per Øystein Saksvik, Margrethe Faergestad, Silje Fossum, Oyeniyi Samuel Olaniyan, Øystein Indergård and Maria Karanika-Murray

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether a successful implementation of an intervention could result in an effect evaluated independently from a process evaluation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether a successful implementation of an intervention could result in an effect evaluated independently from a process evaluation. It was achieved by evaluating the effects of an intervention, the “employeeship program,” designed to strengthen the psychosocial work environment through raising employees’ awareness and competence in interpersonal relationships and increasing their responsibility for their everyday work and working environment.

Design/methodology/approach

An employeeship intervention program was developed to improve the psychosocial work environment through reducing conflict among employees and strengthening the social community, empowering leadership, and increasing trust in management. An earlier process evaluation of the program found that it had been implemented successfully. The present effect evaluation supplemented this by examining its effect on the psychosocial work environment using two waves of the organization’s internal survey and comparing changes in the intervention unit at two points and against the rest of the organization.

Findings

The intervention was effective in improving the psychosocial work environment through reducing conflicts among employees and strengthening the social community, empowering leadership, and increasing trust in management.

Research limitations/implications

More attention should be paid to developing and increasing positive psychosocial experiences while simultaneously reducing negative psychosocial experiences, as this employeeship intervention demonstrated.

Practical implications

An intervention focusing on employeeship is an effective way to achieve a healthier psychosocial work environment with demonstrable benefits for individuals and the working unit.

Originality/value

Although organizational-level interventions are complex processes, evaluations that focus on process and effect can offer insights into the workings of successful interventions.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 19 December 2019

Theophilus Tagoe and Kwesi Amponsah-Tawiah

The current happenings in the Ghana banking space and anecdotal evidence suggest that employees face psychosocial issues which impact their levels of work engagement. An…

Abstract

Purpose

The current happenings in the Ghana banking space and anecdotal evidence suggest that employees face psychosocial issues which impact their levels of work engagement. An intervention to manage these psychosocial hazards and promote work engagement among the employees is necessary. In effect, the study has proposed the promotion of a positive psychosocial safety climate (PSC) therein. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating effect of PSC on the relationship between psychosocial hazards (i.e. work stress, workplace violence and workplace bullying) and work engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The study gathered quantitative data from six commercial banks. Miller and Brewer’s (2003) sample determination formula was used to calculate the sample. The stratified random sampling technique was used to select the respondents. Questionnaires were used for the data collection, and Structural Equation Modelling was used to analyze the data from 543 usable responses.

Findings

Workplace bullying negatively predicted work engagement, whereas work stress and workplace violence had no significant effect on work engagement. PSC had a significant positive effect on work engagement. Furthermore, PSC only moderated the workplace bullying–work engagement relationship.

Originality/value

Based on the findings, PSC can be a national and organizational intervention promoted to create a positive psychological work environment devoid of such psychosocial hazards in the Ghanaian banking sector. Also, this will foster work engagement among the employees which will culminate into increased productivity.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2020

Akizumi Tsutsumi, Natsu Sasaki, Yu Komase, Kazuhiro Watanabe, Akiomi Inoue, Kotaro Imamura and Norito Kawakami

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a comprehensive review on the implementation and the effect of Japan's Stress Check Program, a national program to monitor and…

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1194

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a comprehensive review on the implementation and the effect of Japan's Stress Check Program, a national program to monitor and control workplace psychosocial factors that was initiated in December 2015.

Design/methodology/approach

We comprehensively reviewed articles published in Japanese and English, assessed the performance of the Stress Check Program and summarized future challenges. We also discussed the implications for practice.

Findings

The available literature presented a scientific basis for the efficiency and validity of predictions using the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire, which is the instrument recommended to screen workers with high stress in the program. No study has verified the effect of the program on workers' mental health by using group analysis of stress check results. There is room for improvement in tools that contribute to identifying workers with high stress and in measures for improving the work environment. The Stress Check Program contrasts with risk management of psychosocial factors at work, widely adopted in European countries as a strategy for improving workers' mental health by focussing on the psychosocial work environment.

Practical implications

Although the effectiveness of the Japanese program needs further evaluation, future developments of the program would provide insight for national policies on psychosocial risks/psychosocial stress at work.

Originality/value

This paper is the first systematic review on the implementation and effects of Japan's Stress Check Program.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Caroline Biron, Jean‐Pierre Brun, Hans Ivers and Cary Cooper

Many studies have shown that an unfavourable psychosocial environment increases the risk of mental and physical illness, as well as absenteeism, or sickness absence…

Abstract

Many studies have shown that an unfavourable psychosocial environment increases the risk of mental and physical illness, as well as absenteeism, or sickness absence. However, more costly than absenteeism is presenteeism, where a person is present at work even though disabled by a mental or physical illness. We sought to identify factors explaining why workers would come to work even when their health is impaired. In a cross‐sectional design data were collected from 3825 employees of a Canadian organisation. The results show a high occurrence of presenteeism: workers went to work in spite of illness 50% of the time. Presenteeism propensity (the percentage of days worked while ill over total number of sick days) was higher for workers who were ill more often. Heavier workloads, higher skill discretion, harmonious relationships with colleagues, role conflict and precarious job status increased presenteeism, but decision authority did not. Workers reporting high psychological distress and more severe psychosomatic complaints were also more likely to report higher rates of presenteeism. These results suggest that stress research should not only include absenteeism as an outcome indicator, but also consider presenteeism.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2012

Jonathan Houdmont, Robert Kerr and Raymond Randall

There is a paucity of contemporary evidence on the organisational (as opposed to operational) psychosocial hazard (OPH) exposures of UK police officers. The purpose of…

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Abstract

Purpose

There is a paucity of contemporary evidence on the organisational (as opposed to operational) psychosocial hazard (OPH) exposures of UK police officers. The purpose of this study is to report on OPH exposures measured via an instrument developed by the UK government – the management standards indicator tool – among police officers sampled from an entire UK force. The study seeks to provide reference values for UK police officers' OPH exposures, to consider these in relation to government exposure targets, and to examine the association between officers' OPH exposures and perceived work‐related stress.

Design/methodology/approach

Police officers (n=1,729) completed the management standards indicator tool which measures perceived exposure to seven psychosocial work environment dimensions: demands, control, managerial support, peer support, relationships, role, and change. In addition, a single‐item measure of perceived work‐related stress was applied.

Findings

Sector‐specific reference values were generated by job role and rank on each of the seven dimensions assessed by the indicator tool. Scores on all seven dimensions were below government target levels (indicating that scores fell below the 80th percentile in relation to benchmark data). In total, 46 per cent of police officers reported their work to be very or extremely stressful. A significant positive correlation (p <0.01) was found between scores on each of the seven psychosocial work characteristics and perceived work‐related stress.

Originality/value

This study is the first to report on the assessment of UK police officers' OPH exposure using the management standards indicator tool. It provides reference values that UK forces will find useful for benchmarking and intervention‐targeting purposes, and against which progress in reducing OPH exposures can be assessed.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2017

Joanne Crawford, Alice Davis, Halimatus Minhat and Mohd Rafee Baharudin

It is estimated that we spend at least a third of our working lives in the workplace and the duration of this, due to the extension of working lives through legislative…

Abstract

It is estimated that we spend at least a third of our working lives in the workplace and the duration of this, due to the extension of working lives through legislative changes and increased pension ages, is set to increase. Ageing of the workforce is a growing concern but health and safety issues cannot be used as an excuse for not employing older workers. A healthy workplace is one where the risks are managed and where workers and their managers work together to improve the work environment and protect the health of the workers. Furthermore, linking this to personal health resources and the local community can improve the health of all involved. Within the workplace this includes both the psychosocial and physical work environment. To create a healthy workplace there is a need to ensure risk management measures are in place and our older workers participation in risk assessment and risk reduction programmes. In addition to this, targeted occupational health promotion programmes may be beneficial. There are few integrated policies with regard to age and work but research does identify good practice, including participation of employees in change measures, senior management commitment and taking a life-course approach. While there are challenges in relation to age-related change, the work ability concept can improve understanding. The use of a comprehensive approach such as Age Management can help employers who have a critical role in making the workplace age-ready.

Details

Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-639-6

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Cecilia Ljungblad, Fredrik Granström, Lotta Dellve and Ingemar Åkerlind

The purpose of this paper is to investigate general psychosocial work conditions and specific workplace health promotion (WHP) measures in relation to employee health and…

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3578

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate general psychosocial work conditions and specific workplace health promotion (WHP) measures in relation to employee health and sickness absence in Swedish municipal social care organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

In a random sample of 60 out of the 290 municipalities in Sweden, 15,871 municipal social care employees working with elderly and disabled clients were sent a questionnaire concerning psychosocial work environment, WHP, and self-rated health. The responses (response rate 58.4 per cent) were complemented by register data on sickness absence (>14 days). All data were aggregated to employer level.

Findings

A structural equation modelling analysis using employer-level data demonstrated that employers with more favourable employee ratings of the psychosocial work conditions, as well as of specific health-promoting measures, had better self-rated health and lower sickness absence level among employees.

Practical implications

The results from this representative nationwide sample of employers within one sector indicate that employers can promote employee health both by offering various health-specific programmes and activities, such as work environment education, fitness activities, and lifestyle guidance, as well as by forming a high-quality work environment in general including developmental and supportive leadership styles, prevention of role conflicts, and a supportive and comfortable social climate.

Originality/value

This study with a representative nationwide sample demonstrates: results in line with earlier studies and explanations to the challenges in comparing effects from specific and general WHP interventions on health.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Thomas George Campbell, Tony Westbury, Richard Davison and Geraint Florida-James

As exposure to psychosocial hazard at work represents a substantial risk factor for employee health in many modern occupations, being able to accurately assess how…

Abstract

Purpose

As exposure to psychosocial hazard at work represents a substantial risk factor for employee health in many modern occupations, being able to accurately assess how employees cope with their working environment is crucial. The workplace is generally accepted as being a dynamic environment, therefore, consideration should be given to the interaction between employees and the acute environmental characteristics of their workplace. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of both acute demand and chronic work-related psychosocial hazard upon employees through ambulatory assessment of heart rate variability and blood pressure.

Design/methodology/approach

A within-subjects repeated measures design was used to investigate the relationship between exposure to work-related psychosocial hazard and ambulatory heart rate variability and blood pressure in a cohort of higher education employees. Additionally the effect of acute variation in perceived work-related demand was investigated.

Findings

Two dimensions of the Management Standards were found to demonstrate an association with heart rate variability; more hazardous levels of “demand” and “relationships” were associated with decreased standard deviation of the normal-to-normal interval. Significant changes in blood pressure and indices of heart rate variability were observed with increased acute demand.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to combine the Health and Safety Management Standards Indicator Tool with physiological assessment of employees. The results provide evidence of associations between scores on the indicator tool and ambulatory heart rate variability as well as demonstrating that variation in acute perceived work-related demand is associated with alterations to autonomic and cardiovascular function. This has implications not only for employee health and workplace design but also for future studies employing ambulatory physiological monitoring.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2018

Caroline Biron, Annick Parent-Lamarche, Hans Ivers and Genevieve Baril-Gingras

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the effect of psychosocial safety climate (PSC – a climate for psychological health) on managerial quality and the mediating…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the effect of psychosocial safety climate (PSC – a climate for psychological health) on managerial quality and the mediating processes explaining that association. It is posited that the alignment between what is said (espoused PSC) and what is done (enacted PSC via managerial quality) is important for successful organizational interventions. Managers’ own psychosocial work factors act as resources to facilitate the enactment of managerial quality.

Design/methodology/approach

Two waves of survey were administered over a three-month period (n at Time 1=144, n at Time 2=166, overall n=115) in a study of four organizations involved in implementing the Quebec Healthy Enterprise Standard (QHES). A cross-lagged panel analysis was used to determine the temporal direction of the PSC–managerial quality relationship. A longitudinal mediation model of PSC as a determinant of managerial quality was tested using job demands, job control, social support and quality of relationships with subordinates as mediators.

Findings

The cross-lagged panel analysis showed that PSC is temporally prior to managerial quality in that the relationship between PSC at T1 and managerial quality at T2 was stronger than the relationship between managerial quality at T1 and PSC at T2. A two-wave mediation analysis showed that PSC was positively associated with managerial quality, and that job control partially mediated this relationship. Contrary to expectations, managers’ workload, their social support and the quality of their relationships with subordinates did not mediate the PSC–managerial quality relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the small sample size and short timeframe of this study, it contributes to knowledge on the resources facilitating managerial quality, which is important for employees’ psychological health. Little is known regarding the mediating processes that explain how managers’ own context and psychosocial work factors affect their management practices during organizational health interventions.

Practical implications

From a practical view point, this study contributes to the literature showing that managers need to be supported during the implementation of health interventions, and need the leeway to pursue the organization’s prevention objectives.

Originality/value

Whereas previous studies have focused on describing the impact of leadership behaviors on employee health outcomes, the study offers insights into the resources that help managers translate PSC into action in the implementation of a national standard, the QHES.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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