More Employment Security and Flexibility are Associated with Greater Mental Health, According to a Survey Study

Working with a psychiatrist from Brown University, a group of community health professionals at the Boston University School of Public Health has discovered evidence that suggests employees with more flexible and secure work schedules generally have better mental health.

The team polled almost 18,000 working Americans for their study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, in order to find out more about their occupations and mental health.

As businesses and white-collar workers have negotiated return-to-work policies following the epidemic during the past few years, mental health specialists have taken advantage of the chance to gain further insight into job satisfaction.

The purpose of this new study was to investigate the effects of job stability and flexibility on employees’ overall well-being, with a focus on their mental health.

In order to get more information, scientists asked employed Americans a series of questions about their degree of flexibility and job security in addition to routine mental health questionnaires that numbered in the thousands.

The researchers’ definition of flexibility for their study was the capacity to modify one’s own work schedule to accommodate demands from personal life, such planning a vacation or taking time off while ill. Employer-made schedule modifications were also included. Conversely, job security quantified an employee’s level of assurance that their position would be stable in the near future.

The researchers discovered that there was a 26% reduction in the likelihood of psychological stress among those who reported having more flexible jobs. In addition, they had a 13% lower chance of experiencing anxiety on a daily basis, an 11% lower chance of experiencing anxiety on a weekly basis, and a 9% lower chance of experiencing anxiety on multiple occasions annually.

The study team also discovered that those with strong job stability had a 25% lower risk of psychological stress and a 25% lower risk of anxiety, either on a weekly or long-term basis.

Additionally, the researchers discovered that increased job stability and flexibility decreased absenteeism and made it more comfortable for employees to take sick days.

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