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
Wayne Hochwarter | Newswise Science News
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy