Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Are communications about work outside regular working hours associated with work-to-family conflict, psychological distress and sleep problems?

an article by Scott Schieman (University of Toronto, Canada) and Marisa C. Young (McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada) published in Work & Stress: An International Journal of Work, Health & Organisations Volume 27 Issue 3 (July-September 2013)


The sending and receiving of work-related communications outside of regular work hours spans the boundary between work and non-work, and with the adoption of new communication devices it is increasing.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether such communication, which we call Work Contact for short, was associated with psychological distress and sleep problems.

Using data from the 2011 Canadian Work, Stress, and Health Study, a large national sample of working adults (N=5729), we found that Work Contact was associated with higher levels of work-to-family conflict, distress and sleep problems. In addition, with the Job Demands-Resources model as a guiding framework, we found support for the “resource hypothesis” – the positive association between Work Contact and either distress or sleep problems is weaker among workers with more job autonomy, schedule control and challenging work.

By contrast, and consistent with the “demand hypothesis”, the positive association between Work Contact and sleep problems was stronger among those with more job pressure. Elevated levels of work-to-family conflict contributed to these interaction effects. Collectively, our findings elaborate on the complex consequences of the growing phenomenon of Work Contact, and underscore the relevance of job resources, demands and the work-family interface in these processes.

No comments: