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Does Work Matter?

Discover the psychological and physical impacts work has on humans.
Man tying his shoes
© Photo by Shelbey Miller on Unsplash

Work matters. It matters not only for the material effect it has on our lives and our standard of living but in terms of the psychological and physical impact it has on our health and wellbeing.

Work can give us purpose, a sense of meaning and identity. That work matters so much is not surprising given we spend so much time working. A recent survey found that British employees will on average work for 34 hours and 26 minutes a week, adding up to a total of 1,795 hours a year, and 84,365 hours over a lifetime. Whether that is the right amount of work to be doing is a separate, but interesting question! But it is true that for many people work is a significant and important part of their lives. This in turn explains why a survey which found that 37% of British workers say their job is making no meaningful contribution to the world was such a shock. Of course work and working practices have changed for many since the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown which occurred in the UK on the 23rd March, 2020. Many people were furloughed and many of those who continued to work did so from home which brought with it its own challenges and opportunities. We are in period of great change for work and working practices and understanding some of the factors that impact stress and performance in the workplace is timely.

In this course we will explore the demands that work places on individuals and families, the impact that these demands have on stress and the link to performance in the workplace. We conclude by exploring the strategies that people use to manage the demands and maintain performance levels. We also recognise that there is a great variety in the demands that workplaces and careers place on individuals and in return how individuals mange and respond to those demands. Throughout this course we will be interested to hear you share your thoughts on the demands that you face, the ways in which these can be managed and how these link to stress and performance.

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Workplace Wellbeing: Stress and Productivity at Work

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