During this lab we discussed how there is an increasing prevalence of poor mental health and mental illness in the work place. I think North America particularly has high standards for “work” and what it means to be “successful”. The demands for efficiency at work can put pressure on an individual and thus impact their work-life balance. This can lead to “workaholism” which is “…defined as an excessive and uncontrollable need to work that permanently disturbs health, happiness, and relationships” (Matsuka, 2010). A study indicated that Canadians from 19-64 stated that they were workaholics, expressed a dissatisfaction with their work-life balance and wished that they could spend more time with their families (Matsuka, 2010). Understanding this study, we can see that the Canadian/ North American lifestyle can place unnecessarily extreme pressure on individuals to excel in the work place and can impact wellbeing as a result. Occupational therapists especially need to understand the dynamics of the work place and be conscious of the psychological, cognitive, behavioural and emotional demands that are involved with different occupations- this is because OTs will be rehabilitating client’s with various disabilities and goal’s could include a “return to work” plan with a client. Success in “returning to work” means understanding the demands of work and how this individual may be able to cope with the stresses of the job. In class we discussed that standardized testing for understanding the demand of work needs to to be researched and developed further. We practiced a “job demand analysis” with our classmates. Components related to psycho-emotional determinants of this assessment tool is shown below.
As future health care professionals we should be aware of the dynamics of the workplace and how demands of work can play a big role in the health of individuals. In addition, the stresses of work or even workaholism can evoke various emotions or behaviours and ultimately impact function in many areas of someone’s life.
Krupa, T. (2013, March). Introduction to psychoemotional demands. OT 845 psychoemotional
determinants of occupation. Lecture conducted from Queen’s University,
Matsuka, K. M. (2010). Workaholism, life balance and well-being: A comparative analysis.
Journal of Occupational Science, 17, 104-111.