Implications of work effort and discretion for employee well-being and career-related outcomes

An integrative assessment
How does work effort affect employee outcomes? The authors bridge distinct literatures on the well-being versus career-related implications of work effort by analyzing the relation of overtime work and work intensity to both types of outcomes. They also extend examination of the role of discretion in modifying the effects of work effort from well-being to career-related outcomes. Using data from the fifth and sixth European Working Conditions Surveys, the authors show that greater work effort relates strongly to reduced well-being and modestly to inferior career-related outcomes, while discretion may attenuate these adverse implications. Even with discretion, work intensity generally is a stronger predictor of unfavorable outcomes than overtime work. Implications include the need for employees to become aware of the broader limitations of excessive work effort, for employers to give discretion when viable, and for public policy to devise strategies that help limit the adverse consequences of work intensity.

Source: Avgoustaki, A. et Frankort, J. (2018). Industrial and Labor Relations Review.

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