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Organizational factors affecting stress in the clerical worker.

Cohen BG
Human aspects in office automation, Elsevier series in office automation, no. 1. Cohen BGF, ed. New York: Elsevier Science Publishers, 1984 May; :33-42
Factors affecting job satisfaction and organizational measures to alleviate job dissatisfaction and stress among office workers are discussed. Job satisfaction was found to be the most relevant determinant of longevity in a longitudinal study of elderly men. The communication of respect for individual employees which provides a sense of belonging to personnel was identified as fundamental to the creation of a healthy atmosphere at the workplace. Work automation through computerization, resulting in routinization, simplification and fragmentation of jobs which limits the use of worker's education and skills was considered a significant source of frustration and stress as well as an inefficient use of resources. Active job participation which allowed involvement of workers in decisions that affect their job tasks was demonstrated to have significant influence on supervisor/subordinate relationships, personnel turnover, and the mental and physical health of workers. Work overload, the most researched job stressor, was found to be associated with job dissatisfaction, low self esteem, high cholesterol levels, increased heart rate, and increased smoking. Working women were found to face unique problems, such as bias, poor advancement opportunities, role conflicts, and balancing responsibilities between home and work. Suggestions to minimize the harmful effects of stress on the office worker and provide enhancement of self esteem included: providing organizational support to employees by humanizing supervision and giving positive rewards; allowing flexible hours to alleviate conflicts between family obligations and work responsibilities; and promoting social support and wellness programs on the job. The author concludes that the organizational system creates much of the job stress experienced by clerical and secretarial workers and that changes in the organization can eliminate these problems.
Office-workers; Job-stress; Emotional-stress; Workplace-studies; Mental-health; Lifespan; Epidemiology; Psychological-effects
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Cohen BGF
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Human aspects in office automation, Elsevier series in office automation, no. 1
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division