Employee Stress and Health Complaints in Jobs with and without Electronic Performance Monitoring

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
Applied Ergonomics (Impact Factor: 1.33). 03/1992; 23(1):17-27. DOI: 10.1016/0003-6870(92)90006-H
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Current applications of electronic performance monitoring based on job design theories that consider worker performance rather than stress issues are likely to generate unsatisfying and stressful jobs (Smith et al, 1986). This study examines critical job design elements that could influence worker stress responses in an electronic monitoring context. A questionnaire survey of employees in telecommunications companies representative of each region in the United States examined job stress in directory assistance, service representative and clerical jobs with specific emphasis on the influence of electronic monitoring of job performance, satisfaction and employee health. Useable surveys were received from 745 employees representing seven operating companies and AT & T; a response rate of about 25%. The results of this survey indicated that employees who had their performance electronically monitored perceived their working conditions as more stressful, and reported higher levels of job boredom, psychological tension, anxiety, depression, anger, health complaints and fatigue. It is postulated that these effects may be related to changes in job design due to electronic performance monitoring.

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    • "In one study of monitoring as a stressor, 745 telecommunication workers working within the same company were compared based upon several psychological and physical health outcomes (Smith, Carayon, Sanders, Lim, & LeGrande, 1992). Employees who were constantly electronically monitored at work perceived their working conditions as significantly more stressful and reported significantly higher levels of psychological tension, anxiety, depression, anger, health complaints, and fatigue (Smith et al., 1992). "
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    Journal of Organizational Behavior Management 10/2011; 31(4):221-235. DOI:10.1080/01608061.2011.619388 · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Carayon (1993) proposed a conceptual model within which performance monitoring is considered as a technological work stressor, and there is empirical evidence of links to increased stress (Aiello & Shao, 1993; Smith, Carayon, Sanders , Lim & LeGrande, 1992). A study in the telecommunications industry (Smith et al., 1992) showed that monitored employees reported higher levels of work pressure than did employees whose performance was not monitored. Carayon (1993) also found higher employee stress where monitoring is highly intensive , frequent, continuous, and irregular. "
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    • "ployee computers, track how long employees were at their workstations, what software they used, and many other details of their computer use. Field research has provided substantial evidence that electronic monitoring of job performance has adverse associations with job satisfaction, psychological distress , job performance, and a number of related variables (Chalykoff & Kochan, 1989; DiTecco, Cwitco, Arsenault, & Andre, 1992; Kidwell & Bennett, 1994; Kraut, Dumais, & Koch, 1989; Smith, Carayon, Sanders, Lim, & LeGrande, 1992; Westin, 1992). A variety of laboratory-based investigations have attempted to unpack these effects by contrasting various conditions of computer monitoring, direct supervision , and no supervision (e.g., Aiello & Kolb, 1995; Aiello & Svec, 1993; Galletta & Grant, 1995; Griffith, 1993; Stanton & Barnes-Farrell, 1996). "
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