Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: “If you stay inside the stress thing, you don't stand a chance” : stress perception of older employees during corona times
Authors: Meidert, Ursula
Egger, Selina Marita
Klamroth-Marganska, Verena
et. al: No
Conference details: 2021 Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association : "Social Justice in Times of Uncertainty", Geneva, Switzerland (online), 28-30 June 2021
Issue Date: 29-Jun-2021
Language: English
Subjects: Stress perception; Work-related stress; Older employees; Life course perspective; Corona times; Coping
Subject (DDC): 158: Applied psychology
331: Labor economics
Abstract: Background: Employees often face job-related stress. Persistent stress can be harmful for both physical and mental health. Furthermore, stress affects job performance and may lead to absence from work, thus imposing not only a disruption on a personal and institutional level but also financial burden on society. During corona-times ordinary work life has for many employees been disrupted. This empirical study focus on stress perception of older employees, and their coping strategies. Furthermore, it explores how stress changes during their working career and how they perceived stress during their life course and during the corona crisis. Method: A moderated online-focus group of 90 minutes was conducted with 5 participants. All participants were 50 years of age or older and were mature in their career. Participants were recruited through notices on websites, direct mailings to companies and mailing lists as well as personal contacts. The interview was conducted in December 2020 during the second corona wave in Switzerland. The interview was recorded and transcribed, its content analyzed with content analysis. Results: Participants stated that external control of work-tasks and the responsibility for others as well as unplanned tasks/incidents on top of already high work-load created stress. Not all participants were affected the same through the corona crisis. While some had an increase in tasks and demands, others felt no change. Moreover, already stressful situations got worse through additional work, various communication channels due to home-office situation and disruption of the usual workflow. Own attitude towards work, such as need for recognition, to achieve something in life and perfectionism were powerful motives for participants that lead them in the past frequently into stressful situations or prolonged times under pressure and stress. On the other hand, they felt that prolonged stress was a sign of time, as they felt a faster pace and increased demands, tight deadlines and a general shortage of time at work than it used to. On the other hand, others felt more relaxed now than when they started their career as they felt they already achieved something in life and could better let things be. However, participants stated to need more rest and longer recovery time than they used to. Participants value the possibility to reflect on stress and share personal experiences especially during times when many employees are bound to work at home. Conclusion: While for some the corona crisis lead to additional stress, most factors related to stress were either in the personal mind set and/or preceded the corona situation.
Further description: Part of the session "Social justice in times of uncertainty : perspectives from health and medical sociology"
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Health Sciences
Organisational Unit: Institute of Occupational Therapy (IER)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: mHealthINX: The mental Health eXperience; Indication - iNtervention - eXperience
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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