More stress and pressure at creative jobs: Study

Bangalore: A research done at the University of Toronto revealed that the demands related to creative jobs can create excessive job pressures for workers. The data sample included more than 1200 American workers.

The national level survey was carried out by Scott Schieman, sociology professor at University of Toronto and his co-author Marisa Young. The participants were asked questions like: "How often do you have the chance to learn new things?"; "How often do you have the chance to solve problems?"; "How often does your job allow you to develop your skills or abilities?" and "How often does your job require you to be creative?"

A "creative work activities" index was created based on the responses from the participants of the study. It was found that people who score higher on the creative work index are more likely to experience excessive job pressures, feel overwhelmed by their workloads, and more frequently receive work-related contact (emails, texts, calls) outside of normal work hours.

Also the people who engage in job related pressures are mostly expected to involve in "work-family multitasking"-that is, they try to juggle job- and home-related tasks at the same time while they are at home.

All this accumulated lead to more conflict between work and family roles-a central cause of problems for functioning in the family/household domain.

According to Schieman, "these stressful elements of creative work detract from what most people generally see as the positive sides of creative job conditions. And, these processes reveal the unexpected ways that the work life can cause stress in our lives-stress that is typically associated with higher status job conditions and can sometimes blur the boundaries between work and non-work life."

The study that appears in the Spring 2010 issue of the journal Social Science Research also revealed that people who score higher on the creative work index are more likely to think about their work outside of normal work hours. However many said they did not feel stressed out when these thoughts occurred.

Schieman added, "There are aspects of creative work that many people enjoy thinking about because they add a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment to our lives. This is quite different from the stressful thoughts about work that keep some of us awake at night: the deadlines you can't control, someone else's incompetent work that you need to handle first thing in the morning, or routine work that lacks challenge or feels like a grind."
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