Too high demands at work and lack of freedom of action or right to control the process worsen mental health. According to the scientists, the stress for the employee, the direct road to death. Understand it now, in a pandemic, it is especially important, they emphasize.

Mental health and vitality of a man turned out to be closely associated with workload and volume of the demands that are there requirements, as well as with a person’s ability to cope with them and autonomy in work processes.

this is stated in the study “This work is (literally) killing me,” published in the journal “Applied psychology” (Journal of Applied Psychology), the publication of the American psychological Association (APA).

the study authors — associate Professor of the Department of psychology Business school of Indiana University’s Kelley Eric Gonzalez-Mule and associate Professor of management Northern Illinois University Bethany Cockburn track and analyze data about work and health 3148 residents of Wisconsin for over 20 years.

“We have studied how workers’ control, that is, the degree of autonomy and independence for individuals in the workplace, and cognitive ability, i.e. the ability to learn and solve tasks influence how stressors, such as lack of time or burden impact on mental and physical health and in the end determine the probability of death, explains Eric Gonzalez-Mule.

However, the same workloads and high demands have led to improved physical health and reduced the probability of death in those cases where he had more personal control in meeting its responsibilities, more freedom and independence in decision-making.

“the Autonomy allows people to make their own work plan to prioritize such a way that it contributed to the work. And people with advanced cognitive abilities easier to adapt to the demands of work even under stress and find ways to cope with this stress,” — says Eric Gonzalez-Mule.

the Current study was a continuation of earlier works of two authors and an additional confirmation before they made conclusions. In the first study, published in 2015, researchers interviewed 10 thousand residents of Wisconsin who graduated from high school in 1957. Respondents reported their education, specialization, place of work, and emotional experience at different stages of life.

Of the 10 thousand people were selected 2363 people who in 2004 still continued to work, and ��m asked questions about their jobs, the level of load, autonomy , etc. In 2011, the group again conducted an interview and, as it turned out, those who all these years have worked under stress and had little supervision, had died.

At the same time, those who worked in conditions of high requirements, but have considerable freedom in decision-making and independence, the probability of death was reduced by 34% in comparison with those people who have the burden and the requirements were low.

Commenting on obtained in the new study results, the authors provide recommendations to employers to work their employees was most effective. According to them, it would be better if people performing more complex or require significant work, the administration has provided a greater degree of autonomy.

And in those situations where it is impossible or impractical, it is better to reduce requirements. “For example, if you allow employees to set goals, or choose how to perform a specific job or to reduce working hours to employees, it may be beneficial to health,” say the study authors.

“In this case, the organization will benefit from increased productivity of their employees and preserve the health of its staff”, — stressed Gonzalez-Mule.

it is Particularly important to bear this in mind, experts believe that now, during the pandemic, when the General situation and without that provokes a rise in mental health problems of people. Therefore, even in a greater degree than before the pandemic, leaders should be careful about what requirements they impose on workers, the authors of the study. It is necessary to consider the opportunities and abilities of specific people in the formulation of work tasks, and not to forget the importance of independence and autonomy of employees.

Alena Miklashevskaya