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A study about boundless work and its effect on employee mental health

By Elma Sabanovic and Marika Tibell


The labour market today is characterized by flexibility and a demand on the individual of maintaining employability by remaining educated, experienced and by having a positive approach concerning being available after work hours. The aim of the study is to understand the relation between the current conditions of the labour market and its effects on employee mental health.  Throughout the study, several aspects have been investigated: Boundless work, availability after work hours, previous education, the distinction between work life and private life, and the effect of these aspects on mental health. The empirical material has been analyzed with the following theoretical framework: the Theory of Power, the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model and the Control-Demand model, including the later updated version with the third variable; work-related social support. The empirical material is gathered by eight semi- structured interviews.  The results of the study showed distinctions between how the demands of the labour market are perceived and how it affects mental health. Hence, the negative effects on mental health depend on the demands of availability after working hours, which in turn vary depending on previous education, a lack of support from manager and colleagues, and an experienced demand of employability

Topics: employability, mental health, labour market, boundless work, availability, anställningsbarhet, psykisk hälsa, arbetsmarknad, tillgänglighet
Publisher: Högskolan i Borås, Akademin för vård, arbetsliv och välfärd
Year: 2016
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