Work-Life Balance Is Dead: How The Best Companies Are Recognizing Employees’ Need For Work-Life Flexibility
In recent years, with advancements in technology, the lines between different aspects of people lives have become increasingly blurred, to the point that work-life balance is not possible for most modern workers. Through the analysis of the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ Fortune 500 companies to work for, this US study argues that ‘work–life flexibility’ is what is important to modern workers, and that the best companies are already recognizing and supporting this through time benefits offered to employees and governance structures used to support these benefits.
Key Topics: Work-life balance; Work-life flexibility; Time Benefits
With companies often designing employee reward systems with the goal of increasing employee effort and performance, a key consideration is why employees often react differently to the same reward system. A study in The International Journal of Human Resource Management sought to understand the role that happiness and sadness can play in how workers value effort and reward. The study found that happy individuals are more likely to exert efforts for future rewards, while sad individuals tend to seek rewards without extra effort.
Key Topics: Effort; Reward; Happiness; Sadness; Motivation
With anxiety disorders on the rise, and negatively impacting organizational and employee performance, a study in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine examined the influence that job stressors had on panic attacks (PA) and panic disorders (PD). The study's findings indicated a significant relationship between job stressors and anxiety, and most notably employees with a high effort-reward imbalance were found to be significantly more at risk of PAs and PDs than those with a low effort-reward imbalance.
Key Topics: Effort-reward imbalance; Job stress; Panic attacks; Panic disorders
Work Stress Makes You Fat
There is a growing acknowledgement by researchers and practitioners alike that adverse psychosocial work factors (i.e. work stress) can lead to negative physical health implications for workers, such as weight gain and high blood pressure. A Canadian study examined workplace effort-reward imbalance and its relationship with blood pressure and body mass index over a five-year period and found that effort-reward imbalance exposure was related to increases both in blood pressure and body mass index.
Key Topics: Effort–reward imbalance; Psychosocial work factors; Work stress; Body mass index; Blood pressure
In many sectors, particularly those with primarily low-skilled jobs, the use of temporary and often migrant workers is on the rise. While there are certain benefits to companies in using temporary migrant workers, their use may come at a cost. A study of the UK food manufacturing sector examined employee absence rates and the tools companies use to reduce absence issues. The results showed that companies were predominantly using punishment rather than reward techniques to combat absence. This study also found that settled migrant workers had similar absence behaviour to native workers, while newer transitory type migrant workers had less job commitment and were more likely to be absent from work.
Key Topics: Absence management; Temporary workers; Migration
Presenteeism Under The Microscope
Presenteeism is a phenomenon that has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years due to it numerous detrimental effects. A Belgian study sought to examine the relationship between various job content and psychosocial work factors and presenteeism. Both psychosocial work factors and job content related factors were found to be significantly related to presenteeism. The results found that high effort, high job demands, low rewards, and low support were all linked to presenteeism. Additionally, a significant relationship was found between presenteeism and both bullying and work-to-home conflict.
Key Topics: Job stress; Presenteeism; Psychosocial risk factors; Bullying; Work-family conflict; Reward
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