Modern workplace stress straining women’s family relationships

December 15th, 2007 - 5:39 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Dec 15 (ANI): A new study has suggested that working in team and other modern human resource management practices can put as much strain on employees’ family relationships as working an extra 120 hours a year, especially in case of women.
During the research, it was found that employers have maintained long-term career relationships with employees, and in spite of competitive market pressures, they have devised ways of extracting more effort and higher performance.
The ways are human resource management practices, which include team-based forms of work organization, individual performance-related pay, and policies that emphasize the development of individual potential.
Such practices are thought to be good for motivating the staff as well as an essential ingredient of successful modern business performance.
However, the new study has suggested that the pressure to perform has a knock-on effect on employees’ families.
These employment practices have more adverse effect on women’s family relationships rather than men’s. In addition, both women and men are more likely to become anxious about childcare arrangements when placed under pressure by workplace practices. Women are also less likely to get help at home from male partners if the men have jobs in which they face the pressures of modern human resource management.
A significant new source of stress in the modern workplace is ICT surveillance. The study shows that more than half - 52 per cent - of all employees report that a computerised system keeps a log or record of their work. This picture is confirmed by employers, with managements of one in five workplaces reporting that all employees are now covered by computer-based monitoring systems.
The spread of ICT surveillance has led to a sharp increase in work strain, reflected by feelings of exhaustion, anxiety and work-related worry. There is an overall 7.5 per cent rise in strain among employees whose work is checked by ICT systems compared with those in similar jobs, which are controlled by more traditional methods.
Evidence of work strain is particularly strong among administrative and white-collar staff in places such as call centres, where it rises by 10 per cent among employees whose work is continually checked by ICT systems.
“Computers and IT systems are bringing surveillance to most workplaces. Now for the first time we can see how this development is damaging employees’ well-being,” Michael White, who co-directed the research study
The research covered the period 1984-2004 and shows significant changes in the prospects and job conditions of British employees.
The results are published this week in a book ‘Market, Class, and Employment’ co-authored by Patrick McGovern, Stephen Hill, Colin Mills and Michael White. (ANI)

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