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The long arm of the job – work characteristics and recovery windows in social welfare work
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Division of Work and Organizational Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Lifelong learning/Encell.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1556-4223
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: International Journal of Workplace Health Management, ISSN 1753-8351, E-ISSN 1753-836X, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 15-27Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Social welfare work contains elements that may be difficult for employees to put out of their minds when the working day ends, which may affect the recovery. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the length of recovery in relation to different work characteristics and to two types of welfare work.

Design/methodology/approach: All 1,365 employees, excluding managers, of two municipality administrations were invited to a survey study. Of these, 673 (49 percent) responded. After adjusting for partial missing, the effective sample included 580 employees (43 percent). Retrospective ratings of four recovery windows were analyzed: recovery after one night’s sleep, weekends, shorter holidays and vacations.

Findings: Employees with a university education were less recovered than those with a shorter education. For those with a university education, the long arm of the job mainly involved failures regarding qualitative job demands (task difficulty). For those with a shorter education, quantitative job demands (too much to do) were most prominent for their prolonged recovery. Feedback from managers had consistent and positive associations with all four recovery windows among employees with a university education, but not among those with a shorter education for whom instead having too much to do and social support had significant spillover effects.

Originality/value: The identified differences may relate to employees with a university education having more problem-solving tasks, which may result in a higher need of work-related feedback but also in difficulties detaching from work. Thus, education and job characteristics have differential associations with self-rated recovery. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019. Vol. 12, no 1, p. 15-27
Keywords [en]
Health promotion, Occupational health and safety, Recovery, Stress, Welfare work, Workplace health, article, employee, executive function test, human, human experiment, job characteristics, night, occupational health, sleep, social support, social welfare, workplace
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-42407DOI: 10.1108/IJWHM-11-2017-0089ISI: 000456683400002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85058172856OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-42407DiVA, id: diva2:1274549
Available from: 2019-01-02 Created: 2019-01-02 Last updated: 2019-02-20Bibliographically approved

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