Psychological pressures at work felt by residents slightly increase over 5 years
The idea that employment is a factor of social cohesion is widespread. However, all forms of employment do not contribute effectively to enhancing social cohesion. For the employment to play this role, the job must be of ‘quality’. The assessment of a job’s quality can be determined especially by job insecurity, working hours, psychological demands, decision-making flexibility, or social support.
What psychological demands mean?
Psychological demands at work are the psychological pressures experienced by employees as part of their job. Measuring the level of psychological demands for an employee takes into account the pace and the amount of his/her work as well as the level of emotional involvement at work.
A slight increase for Luxembourg
Similar to France, the level of psychological demand in Luxembourg has slightly increased between 2005 and 2010, from 2.82 to 2.97. This trend contrasts with that of other countries in the Greater Region where the level of psychological demand had a tendency to stabilise (Belgium) or even to decrease (Germany).
The idea that employment is a factor of social cohesion is widespread. However, to play this role, the job must be of quality in addition to the individual having a positive relation to it. Since the global financial crisis of 2007 and the economic crisis that followed, employment has known fundamental changes, which lead to changes in the conditions and the quality of work. In this instance, we are interested in the evolution of one of the dimension of the quality of employment *: the psychological demands of the job. Studies on psychosocial risks in the work environment have shown the detrimental effects on the individuals’ health when these risks increase. (Hélardot & Druhle, 2007**; Karasek & Theorell, 1990***).
In Luxembourg, between 2005 and 2010, residents have seen their level of psychological demands in the work environment slightly increased, as has France. On a scale from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high), the level increased in Luxembourg from 2.82 to 2.97 and in France from 2.77 to 3.02. This trend contrasts with the one of Germany, where the level of psychological demand decreased (from 3.23 to 3.05) and with the constant level in Belgium. These differences in trends lead to a convergence of the levels of psychological demands in the work environment in the Greater Region between 2005 and 2010.
* Psychological demand in the work environment is one of the many dimensions that define the quality of employment. The indicator presented here is extracted from:
FLEURY C., HAURET L., MARTIN L. Qualité et caractère cohésif de l’emploi : évolution de 2005 à 2010 et comparaisons internationales. In : E. Marlier, J. Brosius, A. Decoville (et al.) Cohésion sociale et territoriale au Luxembourg. Regards croisés. Éditions Peter Lang, 2014, pp. 105-123.
**Hélardot V. et Druhle M. (2007), « Précarisation du travail et de l’emploi : vers de nouvelles dynamiques d’inégalités sociales de santé », Revue Sociologie Santé, 25 : 241-259.
***Karasek R. et Theorell T. (1990), Healthy work: stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life, Basic Book, New York.
Residents of the countries in the study, aged at least 15 years old, and who were employed (not self-employed) at the time of the survey.
European Working Conditions Survey, 2005 and 2010, LISER calculations.
The psychological demands score in the work environment is created from five items:
1) working under very strict and very short deadlines, 2) having an emotional implication in work, 3) not having enough time to do the work/tasks asked, 4) being interrupted to do other unplanned tasks, 5) having a work pace that depends on the work done by colleagues.
Notes: * means that the difference between 2005 and 2010 for the country concerned is significant at 10%; ** at 5 %; *** at 1%.
On a scale ranging from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high), the average score of psychological demand perceived by employees in Luxembourg is 2.82 in 2005 and 2.97 in 2010. The difference between 2005 and 2010 is statistically significant (p≤0.10).