Over the holiday season, many might want to take a few days off to relax and recover from the end-of-the-year hassle at work. Research shows that vacations do in fact have short-term positive effects on well-being and health. Unfortunately, these positive effects fade our rather quickly after starting to work again. A study among teachers showed that high job demands after a vacation swiftly decreased the beneficial effects of a vacation. However, study participants who relaxed more after resuming work showed more stable recovery benefits from their vacation time. So winding down over the holiday season is great. But how about also making a new years resolution to relax and detach from work more regularly after the vacation?
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Job insecurity is the perception of being threatened by job loss and concerns about the continued existence of one's job in the future. A new review of 57 longitudinal studies suggests that job insecurity negatively affects psychological well-being and physical health. The results imply that companies and governments should make an effort to reduce the perceived threat of job insecurity.
De Witte, H., Pienaar, J., & De Cuyper, N. (2016). Review of 30 years of longitudinal studies on the association between job insecurity and health and well-being: Is there causal evidence? Australian Psychologist, 51(1), 18-31.
Helping out work colleagues is usually associated with positive outcomes such as higher satisfaction and commitment at work and a better team climate. A recent study uncovered a less beneficial side of helping. Researchers from the USA found that responding to numerous help requests during the day is increasingly depleting for employees and manifests itself as reduced willpower and ability to focus, manage emotions or persist at difficult tasks. Responding to many help requests was particularly problematic for people who value helping others and who help on a regular basis.
Koopman, J., Lanaj, K., & Scott, B. A. (2016). Integrating the bright and dark sides of OCB: A daily investigation of the benefits and costs of helping others. Academy of Management Journal, 59(2), 414-435.
In order to maintain their health, motivation, and work ability, older employees should proactively manage their careers, as researchers from the Netherlands revealed in a recent study. The authors found that by changing tasks and relationships at work (so called job crafting) aging workers could adjust their jobs to their changing goals and motives, thus improving current as well as future person-job fit.