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The Conversation: Adjusting jobs to protect workers’ mental health is both easier and harder than you might think

14 Jun 2023
Work doesn’t have to make you feel burned out.

Originally found at The Conversation.

U.S. employees are increasingly struggling with mental health challenges tied to their jobs, such as depression, anxiety and burnout.

We’re professors who research how employees interact and workplace well-being. After noticing that research on mental health and work had not kept up with the increasing prevalence of mental health challenges, we reviewed existing findings on mental health and work to see how scholars can best investigate these issues going forward.

We found that employers could greatly reduce the causes of many of their employees’ mental health challenges through basic human resources approaches, such as taking tasks away from someone who is perpetually swamped or providing more job flexibility. But those fixes, as we explained in the journal Academy of Management Annals, would require work-related changes employers rarely make or authorize.

We analyzed the findings from 556 articles by researchers on this topic and observed that helping individual employees cope after their problems emerge is far more common than taking steps to preemptively fix problems that are contributing to workers’ conditions.

Continue reading the original article at The Conversation.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Annals.

Read the Academy of Management Insights summary.

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