• Presenteeism in academic employees - occupational and individual factors

      Kinman, Gail; Wray, Siobhan; University of Bedfordshire; York St John University (Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy B - Oxford Open Option D, 2018-01-17)
      Background: There is growing evidence that presenteeism can be damaging for individuals and organisations. It is therefore important to identify the prevalence of working while sick in different working environments and the factors that contribute to such behaviour.   Aims: To examine the prevalence of self-reported presenteeism in academic staff working in UK universities and colleges and the extent to which job demands, control, support and work engagement are risk factors. Methods: Scales from the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool were used to measure job demands, control and support from managers and co-workers. Work engagement was assessed using a validated measure and the frequency of self-reported presenteeism was measured. The effects of demands, control, support and engagement on presenteeism were examined with ordinal regression analysis. Results: The study sample comprised 6,874 people working in academic roles in UK colleges and universities (59% female).  Most respondents (88%) reported working while sick at least sometimes. The risk factors for presenteeism were job demands, control, support from managers and work engagement. Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate that presenteeism is commonplace in UK colleges and universities. Some of the features of the job that might encourage employees to work while sick are highlighted, whereas engagement in work was an additional risk factor.  
    • The psychosocial hazards of academic work: an analysis of trends

      Wray, Siobhan; Kinman, Gail (Routledge, 2020-07-22)
      This study examines the psychosocial hazards experienced by academic staff working in UK institutions over time. A risk assessment framework developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was used to measure seven key hazards: demands, control, support from managers and colleagues, relationships, role and change management. Data were obtained from three waves of a national survey of academic staff across the UK (2008, n = 6,203; 2012, n = 7,068; 2014, n = 3,952). Mean scores for each hazard were compared with HSE benchmarks from the UK working population and changes over the three waves were examined. Apart from job control, none of the benchmarks was met and the risk associated with demands, manager and peer support, role and change was particularly high. An increase in most of the psychosocial hazards was found over time, particularly for job demands, control, role and relationships, showing clear cause for concern. How the findings could be used to monitor the wellbeing of academic staff over time and develop targeted interventions is considered.
    • Wellbeing in academic employees– a benchmarking approach

      Kinman, Gail; Wray, Siobhan (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2019-04-27)
      Research from several countries indicates that university lecturers and researchers are particularly vulnerable to work-related stress from various sources. This chapter draws on the findings of research conducted by the authors in the United Kingdom (UK) over several years to highlight the value of a benchmarking approach in monitoring the wellbeing of academic employees.  The literature on the stressors and strains experienced by academics is initially reviewed.  The findings of three studies using a well-established framework to assess psychosocial hazards in the university sector in the UK are then presented and discussed.   Except for job control, respondents reported lower wellbeing for each of the seven specified hazards than recommended, with evidence of deterioration over time in some areas. The implications of these findings and the value of supplementing the benchmarking approach with hazards reflecting the current working context are discussed. Priority areas for interventions to enhance wellbeing among academic employees are identified and topics for future research proposed.
    • Work-related wellbeing in UK higher education - 2014

      Kinman, Gail; Wray, Siobhan; University and College Union (University and College Union, 2017-08-30)
      This report presents the findings of a national survey of work-related wellbeing in higher education. The sample comprised 6439 respondents working in academic and academic-related roles in UK universities and colleges.  The Health and Safety Executive framework for measuring work-related stress was used and findings compared with data obtained in previous waves of the research.  Other factors, such as perceptions of stress, illegitimate tasks and change fatigue and job satisfaction were examined.  Mental and physical health, absenteeism and presenteeism and work-life balance were also assessed. The implications for UK higher education are discussed.