Special Issue "Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Occupational Safety and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Holly Blake
Website
Leading Guest Editor
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Interests: workplace health; workplace wellness; health promotion; behaviour change; interventions; health screening, physical activity; self-management; digital health; eHealth; mHealth
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Natalia Stanulewicz
Website
Guest Editor
School of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Interests: workplace health; workplace wellness; health promotion; prosocial emotions; personality; interventions; behaviour change; health risk factors; health messaging and compliance
Ms. Maria Armaou
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Interests: workplace wellbeing; digital interventions; eHealth; mHealth; health promotion; organisational psychology; wellbeing and resilience

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An organisation’s greatest asset is its people, and there is a strong business case for investing in a healthy work culture. With the rise in sickness absenteeism and associated financial impacts on organisations and the economy, workplace health and wellbeing is a top priority. There is a focus on what organisations are doing to attract employees, promote attendance, and operate a healthy working environment. The workplace can provide a useful arena for reaching populations for health and lifestyle intervention. There are many contemporary threats to health and wellbeing in the workforce, particularly the ageing workforce; the increase in chronic disease and mental ill-health; work-related stress; presenteeism and leavism; as well as technological advances and issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion.

This Special Issue in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health follows on from a collection of 30 papers published in the successful "Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2019" issue. It will make a substantial contribution to the understanding of contemporary workplace health and wellbeing issues; the influence of health and wellbeing on individual and organisational outcomes; and the impact of workplace strategies, policies, and interventions on individuals and employers.

A wide range of topics will be included in this Issue, related to but not limited to the mental and physical wellbeing of employees and particular occupational groups; psychosocial risk factors; the implementation and effectiveness of workplace wellness programmes; the engagement of line managers in workplace health initiatives, promoting healthy lifestyles at work; health screening interventions in workplace settings; the prevention or management of chronic conditions at work; the impact of health on the capacity of employees to work (e.g., supporting people with disabilities, health conditions, and rehabilitation); studies around wellbeing and recruitment and/or retention; and the impact of workplace interventions on work engagement, work performance and/or productivity.

Prof. Dr. Holly Blake
Dr. Natalia Stanulewicz
Ms. Maria Armaou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • workforce
  • interventions
  • workplace wellness
  • health promotion
  • screening
  • occupational health
  • chronic diseases
  • mental health
  • return to work
  • retention

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Advanced Clinical Practitioners in Primary Care in the UK: A Qualitative Study of Workforce Transformation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4500; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124500 - 23 Jun 2020
Abstract
Escalating costs and changing population demographics are putting pressure on primary care systems to meet ever more complex healthcare needs. Non-medical ‘advanced clinical practitioner’ (ACP) roles are increasingly being introduced to support service transformation. This paper reports the findings of a qualitative evaluation [...] Read more.
Escalating costs and changing population demographics are putting pressure on primary care systems to meet ever more complex healthcare needs. Non-medical ‘advanced clinical practitioner’ (ACP) roles are increasingly being introduced to support service transformation. This paper reports the findings of a qualitative evaluation of nursing ACP roles across General Practices in one region of the UK. Data collection involved telephone interviews with 26 participants from 3 different stakeholder groups based in 9 practice sites: ACPs (n = 9), general practitioners (n = 8) and practice managers (n = 9). The data was analysed thematically. The study found a high degree of acceptance of the ACP role and affirmation of the important contribution of ACPs to patient care. However, significant variations in ACP education, skills and experience led to a bespoke approach to their deployment, impeding system-wide innovation and creating challenges for recruitment and ongoing professional development. In addition, a context of high workforce pressures and high service demand were causing stress and there was a need for greater mentorship and workplace support. System wide changes to ACP education and support are required to enable ACPs to realise their full potential in primary care in the UK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Ethical Conflicts Experienced by Nurses in Geriatric Hospitals in South Korea: “If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124442 - 20 Jun 2020
Abstract
Ethical conflicts among nurses can undermine nurses’ psychological comfort and compromise the quality of patient care. In the last decade, several empirical studies on the phenomena related to ethical conflicts, such as ethical dilemmas, issues, problems, difficulties, or challenges, have been reported; however, [...] Read more.
Ethical conflicts among nurses can undermine nurses’ psychological comfort and compromise the quality of patient care. In the last decade, several empirical studies on the phenomena related to ethical conflicts, such as ethical dilemmas, issues, problems, difficulties, or challenges, have been reported; however, they have not always deeply explored the meaning of ethical conflicts experienced by nurses in geriatric care. This study aims to understand the lived experiences of ethical conflict of nurses in geriatric hospitals in South Korea. A phenomenological study was conducted. In-depth, face-to-face interviews were performed with nine registered nurses who cared for elderly patients in geriatric hospitals in South Korea between August 2015 and January 2016. Three main themes emerged from the analysis: (1) confusing values for good nursing, (2) distress resulting from not taking required action despite knowing about a problem, and (3) avoiding ethical conflicts as a last resort. It was found that for geriatric nurses to cope with ethical conflicts successfully, clear ethical guidance, continuing ethics education to improve ethical knowledge and moral behaviors, and a supportive system or program to resolve ethical conflicts involving nurses should be established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Can Psychopathy Be Adaptive at Work? Development and Application of a Work Focused Self- and Other-Report Measure of the Triarchic Psychopathy Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113938 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
Psychopathy may have both adaptive and maladaptive effects at work but research into workplace psychopathy is constrained by the lack of short, work-relevant measures that can be used for both self- and other-report. We adapt the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM) for this purpose [...] Read more.
Psychopathy may have both adaptive and maladaptive effects at work but research into workplace psychopathy is constrained by the lack of short, work-relevant measures that can be used for both self- and other-report. We adapt the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM) for this purpose and distinguish the (mal)adaptive effects of psychopathy at work in two time-lagged survey samples. Sample 1 consisted of managers reporting their psychopathic traits and work outcomes (well-being, engagement, burnout and job performance). Sample 2 reported on their managers’ psychopathic traits and leadership styles (servant and abusive supervision) and their own work outcomes. The TriPM (Work) is a reliable, valid, 21-item measure of triarchic psychopathy at work with self- and other-report forms. Using this measure, we demonstrate that the triarchic model’s boldness trait is related to servant leadership and predicts improved well-being and performance while meanness and disinhibition are related to abusive supervision and predict increased burnout. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Factors Related to Presenteeism among South Korean Workers Exposed to Workplace Psychological Adverse Social Behavior
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103472 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
Presenteeism negatively affects both individuals and society. This study identified factors of presenteeism among workers in South Korea, especially in relation to exposure to adverse social behaviors. Here, an adverse social behavior refers to any forms of workplace violence or intimidation. This study [...] Read more.
Presenteeism negatively affects both individuals and society. This study identified factors of presenteeism among workers in South Korea, especially in relation to exposure to adverse social behaviors. Here, an adverse social behavior refers to any forms of workplace violence or intimidation. This study used the data from 23,164 full-time salaried employees, who participated in the fifth Korean Working Conditions Survey. This study attempted to predict presenteeism based on the exposure to adverse social behaviors and working conditions using logistic regression. Presenteeism was reported in 15.9% of the sample. Presenteeism was significantly higher among workers with the following characteristics: females, aged 40 years or older; middle school graduates; over 40 working hours a week; shift workers; no job-related safety information received; exposure to adverse social behavior and discrimination; and those with a high demand for quantitative work, low job autonomy, high emotional demands, and high job stress. The workers exposed to adverse social behavior showed a higher prevalence of presenteeism (41.2%), and low job autonomy was the most significant predictor of presenteeism. The findings of this study suggest that allowing enough autonomy in job-related roles may help alleviate presenteeism among those who have experienced adverse social behavior at work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Antecedents of Psychological Well-Being among Swedish Audit Firm Employees
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103346 - 12 May 2020
Abstract
The attractiveness of audit firms as employers appears to have decreased in recent years and the audit profession is currently experiencing high employee turnover. A shortage of personnel increases the risk of long-term stress and illness. This paper therefore proposes audit firm employees’ [...] Read more.
The attractiveness of audit firms as employers appears to have decreased in recent years and the audit profession is currently experiencing high employee turnover. A shortage of personnel increases the risk of long-term stress and illness. This paper therefore proposes audit firm employees’ well-being as an important research topic and explores the antecedents of well-being of Swedish audit firm employees in comparison with those of other business professionals. Based on a nationwide survey of members of the Swedish association of business professionals, with a focus on psychological well-being (measured through General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12)), the study shows that the psychological well-being of the professionals in this study generally aligns with the results from similar studies in a Swedish context. However, the findings indicate that audit industry respondents have the lowest psychological well-being and that employer change, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction were the strongest antecedents of their psychological well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Relevant Work Factors Associated with Voice Disorders in Early Childhood Teachers: A Comparison between Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers in Yancheng, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093081 - 28 Apr 2020
Abstract
Background: Early childhood teachers consist of kindergarten and elementary school teachers in the lower grades. Young children at school may increase the vocal load of these teachers. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of voice disorders and the [...] Read more.
Background: Early childhood teachers consist of kindergarten and elementary school teachers in the lower grades. Young children at school may increase the vocal load of these teachers. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of voice disorders and the associated factors in early childhood teachers, and to determine if differences exist between kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Method: A cross-sectional survey was performed in July 2019 as a network questionnaire. Through cluster sampling, teachers (n = 414) from all five public kindergartens (n = 211) in the urban area of Yancheng, China, and four public elementary schools (n = 203) in the same school district participated in this study. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to analyze the associations among the prevalence of voice disorders in the teachers, school type, and relevant factors. Results: Our results indicated, based on the Voice Handicap Index scale (VHI-10, China), that the prevalence of voice disorders in early childhood teachers was 59.7%, while that in elementary school teachers (65.5%) was significantly higher than that in kindergarten teachers (54.0%) during the previous semester. Contributing factors included daily class hours, classroom air humidity, and speaking loudly during teaching. Additionally, certain types of voice usage in teaching such as falsetto speak, speaking more than other teachers, not using vocal techniques, and habitual voice clearing, were significantly associated with voice disorders. Conclusion: Most early childhood teachers have voice disorders. Compared with the kindergarten teachers, the elementary school teachers experienced a significantly higher prevalence of voice disorders. Several factors among work organization, work environment, and types of voice usage in teaching were associated with the voice disorders in early childhood teachers. The finding suggests that voice training should be provided for early childhood teachers, classroom teaching time should be decreased, and the number of teachers in basic subjects should be increased in the lower grades of elementary schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Mitigating the Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Workers: A Digital Learning Package
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 2997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17092997 - 26 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) will undoubtedly have psychological impacts for healthcare workers, which could be sustained; frontline workers will be particularly at risk. Actions are needed to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health by protecting and promoting the psychological wellbeing of [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) will undoubtedly have psychological impacts for healthcare workers, which could be sustained; frontline workers will be particularly at risk. Actions are needed to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health by protecting and promoting the psychological wellbeing of healthcare workers during and after the outbreak. We developed and evaluated a digital learning package using Agile methodology within the first three weeks of UK outbreak. This e-package includes evidence-based guidance, support and signposting relating to psychological wellbeing for all UK healthcare employees. A three-step rapid development process included public involvement activities (PPIs) (STEP 1), content and technical development with iterative peer review (STEP 2), and delivery and evaluation (STEP 3). The package outlines the actions that team leaders can take to provide psychologically safe spaces for staff, together with guidance on communication and reducing social stigma, peer and family support, signposting others through psychological first aid (PFA), self-care strategies (e.g., rest, work breaks, sleep, shift work, fatigue, healthy lifestyle behaviours), and managing emotions (e.g., moral injury, coping, guilt, grief, fear, anxiety, depression, preventing burnout and psychological trauma). The e-package includes advice from experts in mental wellbeing as well as those with direct pandemic experiences from the frontline, as well as signposting to public mental health guidance. Rapid delivery in STEP 3 was achieved via direct emails through professional networks and social media. Evaluation included assessment of fidelity and implementation qualities. Essential content was identified through PPIs (n = 97) and peer review (n = 10) in STEPS 1 and 2. The most important messages to convey were deemed to be normalisation of psychological responses during a crisis, and encouragement of self-care and help-seeking behaviour. Within 7 days of completion, the package had been accessed 17,633 times, and healthcare providers had confirmed immediate adoption within their health and wellbeing provisions. Evaluation (STEP 3, n = 55) indicated high user satisfaction with content, usability and utility. Assessment of implementation qualities indicated that the package was perceived to be usable, practical, low cost and low burden. Our digital support package on ‘psychological wellbeing for healthcare workers’ is free to use, has been positively evaluated and was highly accessed within one week of release. It is available here: Supplementary Materials. This package was deemed to be appropriate, meaningful and useful for the needs of UK healthcare workers. We recommend provision of this e-package to healthcare workers alongside wider strategies to support their psychological wellbeing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Psychosocial Risk, Work-Related Stress, and Job Satisfaction among Domestic Waste Collectors in the Ho Municipality of Ghana: A Phenomenological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082903 - 22 Apr 2020
Abstract
Domestic waste collectors play key roles in the collection and disposal of solid waste in Ghana. The work environment and conditions under which domestic waste collectors operate influence their job satisfaction ratings and health outcomes. This study investigated psychosocial risk factors, work-related stress [...] Read more.
Domestic waste collectors play key roles in the collection and disposal of solid waste in Ghana. The work environment and conditions under which domestic waste collectors operate influence their job satisfaction ratings and health outcomes. This study investigated psychosocial risk factors, work-related stress and job satisfaction needs among municipal solid waste collectors in the Ho Municipality of Ghana. A phenomenological design was applied to collect data among 64 domestic waste collectors, 12 managers, and 23 supervisors of two waste companies in Ho Municipality, Ghana. Data were collected from June–August 2018 using in-depth interview and focus group discussion guides. Interviews were supplemented by field observations. Data were analyzed using inductive and deductive content procedures to form themes based on the study aim. Four themes emerged from the study. The study results revealed that domestic waste collector’s poor attitudes and safety behaviors such as not wearing personal protective equipment, poor enforcement of safety standards by supervisors and managers, and work-related stress caused by poor working environments impact negatively on domestic waste collector’s health and safety. Other factors such as poor enforcement of standard company regulations, poor work relations, non-clear work roles, lack of social protection to meet medical needs, poor remuneration, negative community perceptions of domestic waste collectors job, work environments, and workloads of domestic waste collectors were reported to negatively impact on work stress and job satisfaction needs. In conclusion, the findings are important in informing the necessary waste management policies aimed at improving decent work environments, as well as improving the health and well-being of domestic waste collectors in both the formal and informal sectors in Ghana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
Open AccessArticle
The Antecedents and Consequences of Psychological Safety in Airline Firms: Focusing on High-Quality Interpersonal Relationships
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072187 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A comprehensive review of the literature on service creativity revealed the necessity to expand the line of creativity-based research in the service-driven industry. It also called for the creation of a survey instrument that entails high-quality interpersonal relationships, psychological safety, and learning from [...] Read more.
A comprehensive review of the literature on service creativity revealed the necessity to expand the line of creativity-based research in the service-driven industry. It also called for the creation of a survey instrument that entails high-quality interpersonal relationships, psychological safety, and learning from failures, by including two creativity-related constructs, namely, creative self-efficacy and employees’ creative work involvement to the model. The current study aimed; (a) to assess the validity and reliability of measurement models; and (b) to empirically examine the integrated proposed model consisting of salient constructs. A convenience sample of 341 airline employees responded to a self-report questionnaire that was developed using the steps of researchers’ in a comprehensive literature review and refined based on the feedback provided by a panel of five professionals who had worked in airline firms. The resultant data were subjected to exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), second-order CFA, and structural equation modeling (SEM) using version 23.0 of AMOS. The results showed that high-quality interpersonal relationships positively influenced psychological safety, which in turn, positively influenced learning from failures and creative self-efficacy. Further, learnings from failures positively influenced creative self-efficacy but not employees’ creative work involvement. Finally, both psychological safety and creative self-efficacy positively influenced employees’ creative work involvement. These findings have significant implications for human resource management practices that aim to promote the creative involvement of airline employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Work–Life Balance: Weighing the Importance of Work–Family and Work–Health Balance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030907 - 01 Feb 2020
Abstract
To date, research directed at the work–life balance (WLB) has focused mainly on the work and family domains. However, the current labor force is heterogeneous, and workers may also value other nonworking domains besides the family. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
To date, research directed at the work–life balance (WLB) has focused mainly on the work and family domains. However, the current labor force is heterogeneous, and workers may also value other nonworking domains besides the family. The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of other nonworking domains in the WLB with a particular focus on health. Moreover, the importance of the effects of the work–family balance (WFB) and the work–health balance (WHB) on job satisfaction was investigated. Finally, we explored how the effects of the WFB and the WHB on job satisfaction change according to worker characteristics (age, gender, parental status, and work ability). This study involved 318 workers who completed an online questionnaire. The importance of the nonworking domains was compared with a t-test. The effect of the WFB and the WHB on job satisfaction was investigated with multiple and moderated regression analyses. The results show that workers considered health as important as family in the WLB. The WHB explained more of the variance in job satisfaction than the WFB. Age, gender and parental status moderated the effect of the WFB on job satisfaction, and work ability moderated the effect of the WHB on job satisfaction. This study highlights the importance of the health domain in the WLB and stresses that it is crucial to consider the specificity of different groups of workers when considering the WLB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Environmental Factors that Impact the Workplace Participation of Transition-Aged Young Adults with Brain-Based Disabilities: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072378 - 31 Mar 2020
Abstract
Workplace participation of individuals with disabilities continues to be a challenge. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) places importance on the environment in explaining participation in different life domains, including work. A scoping review was conducted to investigate environmental facilitators [...] Read more.
Workplace participation of individuals with disabilities continues to be a challenge. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) places importance on the environment in explaining participation in different life domains, including work. A scoping review was conducted to investigate environmental facilitators and barriers relevant to workplace participation for transition-aged young adults aged 18–35 with brain-based disabilities. Studies published between 1995 and 2018 were screened by two reviewers. Findings were categorized into the ICF’s environmental domains: Products and technology/Natural environment and human-made changes to environment, Support and relationships, Attitudes, and Services, systems and policies. Out of 11,515 articles screened, 31 were retained. All environmental domains of the ICF influenced workplace participation. The majority of the studies (77%) highlighted factors in the Services, systems and policies domain such as inclusive and flexible systems, and well-defined policies exercised at the organizational level. Social support mainly from family, friends, employers and colleagues was reported as a facilitator (68%), followed by physical accessibility and finally, the availability of assistive technology (55%). Attitudes of colleagues and employers were mostly seen as a barrier to workplace participation (48%). Findings can inform the development of guidelines and processes for implementing and reinforcing policies, regulations and support at the organization level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2020)
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