Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of employees in flexible work from home has increased markedly along with a reliance on information communication technologies. This study investigated the role of an organisational factor, psychosocial safety climate (PSC; the climate for worker psychological health and safety), as an antecedent of these new kinds of demands (specifically work from home digital job demands) and their effect on work-life conflict. Data were gathered via an online survey of 2,177 employees from 37 Australian universities. Multilevel modelling showed that university level PSC to demands, y=−0.09, SE=0.03, p<0.01, and demands to work-life conflict, y=0.51, SE=0.19, p<0.05, relationships were significant. Supporting the antecedent theory, university level PSC was significantly indirectly related to work-life conflict via demands (LL −0.10 UL −0.01). Against expectations PSC did not moderate the demand to work-life conflict relationship. The results imply that targeting PSC could help prevent work from home digital job demands, and therefore, work-life conflict. Further research is needed on the role of digital job resources as flexible and hybrid work takes hold post COVID.
The home has become a new physical workplace, and can therefore influence the work, health, and life of workers. This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the chronology of the effects of work hazards at home on factors such as workers’ health, productivity, and well-being (WB). Information on novice working-from-home (WFH) workers was derived from the “Occupational health of WFH” project. The selected variables in the hypothesis model comprised problems such as perceived indoor environmental quality (IEQ), working conditions (WC), sick house syndrome (SHS), occupational stress (OS), work productivity (WP), and WB. The relationship between these variables was analyzed using a structural equation model. The group analysis results showed the following significant indirect path effects from work environment through WP: IEQ-> SHS->OS->WP. A non-significant direct effect was observed between IEQ and WP. While WC problems could also have a significant direct effect on WP, or be mediated by OS, WP is a significant consequence and a direct effect of WB. In conclusion, the WFH model’s causal impact between home environment, WP, and WB is a physiopsychological pathway. Therefore, creating a healthy home environment and WC, along with OS management, comprise important issues for improving productivity and WB for this new work style.
Despite the increasing need for nursing care services, the turnover rate of care workers is high in Japan. Since the most common reason for quitting nursing care jobs was problems with interpersonal relationships at work, creating psychosocially safe working environments is urgent. This study aimed to investigate the mediating effects of trust in supervisors (TS) on the association between positive feedback (PF)/negative feedback (NF) and work engagement (WE) based on the job demands–resources theory and conservation of resources theory. We conducted anonymous cross-sectional surveys of 469 employees at elderly care facilities in Japan. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the causal relationships between the variables. The results showed that PF had significant positive effects on WE, directly and indirectly through TS. By contrast, NF had a nonsignificant positive effect on TS or WE. Tucker–Lewis Index [TLI] was 0.917, Comparative Fit Index [CFI] was 0.927, Root Mean Squared Error of Approximation [RMSEA] was 0.096, and Standardized Root Mean squared Residual [SRMR] was 0.042. The study results indicate that sufficient PF is needed to improve subordinates’ WE through TS in elderly care facilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sudden switch to remote working that many organisations and workers were unprepared for. The study investigates the perceived impact of remote working on workers’ health and influencing factors. The topic has received limited attention within published studies. A cross-sectional online survey was distributed to IT and communication remote workers in Malta (N=459). Closed-ended questions were analysed quantitatively in order to identify perceived changes in health. Open-ended questions were analysed qualitatively to determine the perceived reasons for such changes. More workers reported that their health had deteriorated than improved during the first 12 months of the pandemic. Greater proportions of remote work were associated with improved levels of health. Several factors were perceived to have influenced levels of health, including: health behaviours, such as physical activity, nutrition, and sleep; the development of disease, particularly mental health issues; work related factors, such as social support, work demands, and the blurring of work-life boundaries; and personal factors, including family life and leisure. The study concludes that remote working can be beneficial for health when workers engage in the correct health-promoting behaviours and are provided with the necessary support, both during their working and private life.
Notifications that related 1st degree burns to reflective striping and impermeable clothing elements did reach the investigators, while the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are still unclear. Material tests for thermal and evaporative resistance, and for heat transmission under dry and wet conditions at low radiation levels were done to evaluate the performance of protective clothing with and without printed logos or reflective striping. The results under the specified conditions showed reduction of heat loss capacity under impermeable elements from dry to wet conditions. Reflective surfaces, even when more impermeable, showed still lower heat transmission through the textile package than materials without striping under tested moisture and radiation combinations. It can be expected that the reported 1st degree burns were related to clothing design and tightness/fit rather than to reflective striping. However, due to the fine balance between clothing thermal and evaporative resistance, outer material emissivity, moisture quantity and location in clothing and applied radiation level, a different setup could lead to different results.
Evidence of the impact of domain-specific sitting time (ST) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is currently limited. This study aimed to examine the associations between CRF and domain-specific STs in relation to CVD risk and annual healthcare costs among office workers. This cross-sectional study included 1,749 workers from an insurance company. The Worker’s Living Activity-time Questionnaire was used to measure the domain-specific STs, including occupational ST and non-working day ST. Additionally, estimated maximal oxygen uptake as the CRF data was calculated using a validated equation: 59.96 − 0.23 × age + 7.39 × sex − 0.79 × body mass index + 0.33 × physical activity score. The company provided medical checkup results for CVD risk factors and healthcare costs. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) for CVD risk. Significantly lower ORs for CVD risk were seen only with high CRF levels, and it was also associated with low annual healthcare costs. There were no associations between domain-specific STs and annual healthcare costs. Further explorations of domain-specific STs, physical activity, and health risks are warranted, and guidelines should focus on increasing CRF to prevent CVD risk among office workers.
Short rest (<11h) between evening and day shifts—known as quick returns (QRs)—impede recovery and may impair health. Nevertheless, QRs remain popular among some shift workers. This study explores nurses’ and nurse assistants’ perceptions of the merits and demerits of QRs from individual and organizational perspectives. Participants were recruited from eleven wards at two Swedish hospitals as part of a larger quasi-experimental intervention study. The majority (79%) had influence over their work schedules. Frequency distributions of responses are presented. Ninety six undertook a baseline survey regarding recovery, tolerance and work performance in relation to QRs. A majority experienced difficulties unwinding before bedtime (76%), insufficient sleep (80%), and daytime fatigue (72%). A third experienced an increased risk of errors and mistakes. However, QRs appeared to facilitate taking reports from patients and planning work, as this task was more often rated as ‘very easy’ following a QR compared to other shift combinations. Tolerance of QRs varied substantially. In conclusion, QRs seem to benefit continuity in work processes, but may do so at the expense of recovery and safety. Wards planning to reduce QRs—through participatory or fixed schedule models—should consider impacts on work processes.