Psychology 2060 Lecture Notes - Role Theory, Flextime

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17 Aug 2013
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Applied to Yourself
Last summer I worked for a party rental company as an administrative assistant. When I was
hired, I was assured that there would be someone in the office with me at all times and that I
would be trained by the former administrative assistant for the first week. On my first day, it
was made clear by the former administrative assistant that she did not like me. She sent me
to get her lunch and displayed anger when I didn’t do things exactly the way she did (i.e.
folding documents for customers). I tried to ignore it, as I knew she would no longer be
around the next week, however it introduced stress and I had anxiety before going into work
that whole week. After the first week, I found myself alone in the office the majority of the
time and had trouble with questions from customers and other administrative duties I was
not informed of. My lack of training in certain areas hindered my productivity and I felt that I
did not have the resources to complete my job; particularly I had a lack of social and
organizational support. Not only did I not have access to resources that would assist with the
completion of my work and lessen the burden of the work demands, I experienced multiple
negative social interactions with both co-workers and customers. I would come home
everyday and feel emotionally and physically drained because I perceived my work
environment to be stressful. Because the lack of resources and negative health and work
outcomes, I feel that the Job Demands-Resources Model best described my situation.
Applied to a Case
Andrew is experiencing work demands (career concerns), work-life conflict (time demands and
role strain) and is also likely to experience burnout (from his lack of sleep and cynical attitude
towards his supervisor). I feel that Andrews poor work outcomes and stress stem from his
lack of sleep and he is correct in feeling that it will affect his health and well-being. Also, lack
of sleep contributes to counterproductive workplace behavior and increased stress. That being
said, I feel that the most important stressor for Andrew is his lack of sleep/work scheduling.
As Andrew works non-standard work hours, he is more likely to experience emotional
exhaustion, more job stress and higher overall burnout. I feel that the best solution for him is
to inquire about flexible work arrangements. He can reduce time with compressed
workweeks, where his hours are not actually reduced but he works longer hours over fewer
days. Or, he can increase control with flextime, where he can choose what time he starts
work. Another solution is to inquire about workplace initiatives that could possible provide
him with on-site daycare or financial subsidies for childcare. These workplace initiatives would
work in conjunction with flexible work hours as he could start work at 8a.m., like his wife, and
bring his son to the on-site daycare or if he was to apply of compressed workweeks, he could
receive financial subsidies for childcare on the days that he needs to work.