Situational factors and wellbeing
Situational factorsSituational factors are elements of a job that may have an effect on employee wellbeing.There are a number of different factors which could affect wellbeing, some of which are discussed briefly below:
Job contentThis can refer to a number of elements that are involved in doing a job, including long working hours, intense physical or cognitive work, or a job that constantly requires meeting deadlines.
WorkloadEmployees may have too much work, referred to as quantitative overload, which means they may have to work long hours in order to complete their work. Alternatively, they may have work that they perceive as too difficult, this is referred to as qualitative overload.In addition, workers may have too little work to do or work that is boring and repetitive, which is equally capable of affecting employee wellbeing.
2. Working hours
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Wellbeing at Work: An Introduction
‘An increasing number of studies have reported the association between long working hours and negative health outcomes, including sleep deprivation, depression and anxiety disorders, and cardiovascular diseases, especially stroke. The relative risk of stroke is 1.33 for those working 55 hours or more than those working 36 to 40 hours (standard working hours).’(Seong-Sik et al. 2018: 475)
3. Emotional labourIs when an employee has to manage their own emotions in response to other people’s emotions. An example might be a person who works in a customer services job who is dealing with frustrated customers on a daily basis.
4. Work-life-balanceThis is the balance between a person’s work life and their home life. When these boundaries become blurred, a person may feel a certain amount of conflict that can have a negative impact on their wellbeing.Arnold and Randall (2016: 409) argue that there are three main types of conflict:
Time-based conflictWhen time pressures in one domain (work) conflict with the other domain (home).
Strain-based conflictWhen engagement in one domain impacts the other. It can be a physical strain, cognitive or emotional. An example might be a person who works as a counsellor not having the emotional energy to deal with the demands of family life.
Behaviour-based conflictThis may occur when a person has one role at work and a very different role at home. For example, a person who works as a police officer and who is dealing with violent situations on a daily basis may be expected to behave in an impersonal and ‘tough’ way at work, but a calm and personal way at home, which may cause conflict.The boundaries between work and home are becoming increasingly blurred, especially with the increased use of technology and flexible working hours, which means we no longer have traditionally fixed-working hours or locations. We will explore this in more detail later in the program.We will look at further situational factors affecting employees’ wellbeing in the next step.
ReferencesArnold, J., Randall, R. (2016) Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace [online] Harlow, England: Pearson. available from https://locate.coventry.ac.uk/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=COV_ALMA2183136280002011&context=L&vid=COV_VU1&search_scope=LSCOP_COV&isFrbr=true&tab=local&lang=en_US [10th May 2019]Seong-Sik, C., Young-Su, J., Domyung, P., Hyunjoo, K., Kyunghee, J. (2018) ‘The Combined Effect of Long Working Hours and Low Job Control on Self-Related Health: An Interaction Analysis’. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 60 (5), 475-480
Wellbeing at Work: An Introduction
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