Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Americans Rethinking Role of Work Amid Painful Recession

20.10.2010
Widespread layoffs and other job changes associated with the Great Recession have caused workers to question career-related sacrifices, including time away from family, less leisure time and fewer self-improvement activities.

Those are some of the findings of a recent study conducted by Wayne Hochwarter, the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in the Florida State University College of Business, and research associates Tyler Everett and Stuart Tapley. They examined the recession’s role in changing employees’ thoughts about work, commitment to their families, and the pursuit of a more balanced lifestyle.

“The objective of the study was to see if we could identify shifts in thinking, as well as the causes of these changes,” Hochwarter said.

Opinions gathered from more than 1,100 full-time employees, across a range of occupations and career stages, showed the following:

* 48 percent reported that the recession increased their appreciation of family;

* 37 percent reported that the recession promoted thoughts that work isn’t as important as it once was in the grand scheme of things;

* 49 percent admitted that the recession helped them recognize the value of people over things;

* 23 percent indicated that the recession increased awareness of an over-commitment to work at the expense of family and recreation;

* 42 percent confirmed that most of what happens at work is out of one’s control regardless of commitment and effort; and

* 43 percent agreed that the recession increased motivation to be a better person rather than just a better employee.

Finally, more than 70 percent of employees acknowledged that most days at work “seem like they will never end” — a commonly held belief in work settings where increasingly more time and output is expected with less support and fewer guaranteed rewards.

The study also indicated that recession-related stress tends to manifest differently in men and women.

“Digging a little deeper into the data, it was evident that men’s reflective, and often remorseful, thoughts were driven by recession-related job insecurity and its subsequent role in encouraging hostile work treatment,” Hochwarter said. He suggests that it is common for work stress to push employees to places that they would not otherwise go, both in terms of thoughts and actions, when it reaches intolerable levels.

Such stress is apparent in the comment of one study participant, a 48-year-old manager of a production facility who was laid off by his longtime employer.

“I broke my back for this company, missed my kids growing up, and for what? Nothing!” the man said.

Women’s thoughts, on the other hand, were triggered by conflicts between work and family obligations. Women reported that job obligations have increased in recent years — both in terms of time and energy — resulting in fewer hours engaged in family life.

The researchers cast these findings in a positive light, however.

“The fact that many employees spent time evaluating the importance of non-work factors may be the first step in reducing the stress associated with imbalanced lives,” Tapley said.

“Many of the people that we talked to felt that having less faith in work afforded them opportunities to direct more faith toward other often-neglected areas of life, and in most cases, it was family and friends,” Everett added.

The balance-seeking trend will likely continue as more Millennial Generation employees — those born roughly between the mid-1970s and the early 2000s — enter, and influence, the work force. With more than 70 million cohort members, Millennials offer a unique perspective, one in which work shares equal (or lesser) status with other important aspects of life such as friends, family and leisure.

Comments made by a 44-year-old accounting director, who experienced drastic changes in terms of responsibility and pay in recent years, characterize study results and conclusions: “I’ve learned a lot from the younger people we hired here in the past few years. I’ve learned that there is a big world out there away from work where there are fun things to do and people who care about me not because I pay the bills, but because I’m Dad. I wish management around here would take their lead, or better yet, let them run things. Everyone would feel less stressed out!”

Hochwarter’s research is being prepared for publication.

CONTACT: Wayne Hochwarter
(850) 644-7849; whochwar@cob.fsu.edu

Wayne Hochwarter | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht Preferential trade agreements enhance global trade at the expense of its resilience
17.02.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>