How does the interaction between an employee and their work environment impact their health?
One study by Yeow et al in 20127 examined how ergonomic factors can lead to stress. They found that workers succumbed to repetitive jobs were at especially high risk for mental and physical stress and that the working environment has a significant relationship with ill health – excessive noise, vibration, temperature and dust, were all named as important factors.
The HSE statistics2 also cited workload pressure, tight deadlines and a lack of managerial support as the main factors associated with work related mental health illness. A review also undertaken by the HSE examined psychosocial risk factors in call centres9. This review showed how employees in different roles are affected by their job – call handlers were most likely to report depressive tendencies and were second behind managers in terms of anxiety. This review also reiterated what numerous other studies have previously reported that the size of the organisation has a significant impact on health and job satisfaction – the larger the company in terms of employees, the higher the prevalence of ill health is, particularly mental health illnesses.