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“One of My Basic Necessities of Life Is Work. That’s Just Broken Away.”—Explorative Triangulation of Personal and Work-Related Impacts for Supervisors and Disabled Employees in German Social Firms during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Institute for Occupational and Maritime Medicine (ZfAM), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Seewartenstr. 10, 20459 Hamburg, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this research.
Academic Editor: Stephanie Knaak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 8979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178979
Received: 27 July 2021 / Revised: 20 August 2021 / Accepted: 21 August 2021 / Published: 26 August 2021
Social firms are located on the general labor market and employ 30–50% of severely disabled people. Findings on personal and work-related impacts for employees and supervisors during the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet available and will be investigated in the present study. Using the approach of a method triangulation, focus groups with employees and individual interviews with supervisors of several social firms from the North of Germany were combined and collected in parallel. Between July and November 2020, 16 semi-structured telephone interviews with supervisors and three focus groups with 3–6 employees each working within the same team (14 employees in total) were conducted. Both formats were recorded, transcribed, anonymized, and analyzed by using Mayring’s qualitative content analysis. Because a large proportion of the employees and supervisors interviewed worked in the gastronomy sector, they were particularly affected by the “restriction of social contacts” beginning in March 2020. Hygiene and distance regulations were implemented and personnel planning and distribution of work were adapted. Challenges were raised for employees with disabilities due to the implementation of hygiene and distance regulations, a sudden loss of work, lacking routines, additional work, a lack of movement, social contacts and financial challenges. Both employees and supervisors reported fears of infection, conflicts, additional work and fears of job loss. Additionally, supervisors dealt with less staffing, challenges in detaching from work and a strained economic situation. Overall, new insights were gained into the work-related impacts for employees and supervisors in inclusive workplaces during the current COVID-19 pandemic but further research on health-promoting structures is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; occupational health; SARS-CoV-2; social enterprises; social firms; working conditions COVID-19; occupational health; SARS-CoV-2; social enterprises; social firms; working conditions
MDPI and ACS Style

Kordsmeyer, A.-C.; Efimov, I.; Lengen, J.C.; Harth, V.; Mache, S. “One of My Basic Necessities of Life Is Work. That’s Just Broken Away.”—Explorative Triangulation of Personal and Work-Related Impacts for Supervisors and Disabled Employees in German Social Firms during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8979. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178979

AMA Style

Kordsmeyer A-C, Efimov I, Lengen JC, Harth V, Mache S. “One of My Basic Necessities of Life Is Work. That’s Just Broken Away.”—Explorative Triangulation of Personal and Work-Related Impacts for Supervisors and Disabled Employees in German Social Firms during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(17):8979. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178979

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kordsmeyer, Ann-Christin, Ilona Efimov, Julia C. Lengen, Volker Harth, and Stefanie Mache. 2021. "“One of My Basic Necessities of Life Is Work. That’s Just Broken Away.”—Explorative Triangulation of Personal and Work-Related Impacts for Supervisors and Disabled Employees in German Social Firms during the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 17: 8979. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178979

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