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Does Work Stress Lead to Office Clutter, and How? Mediating Influences of Emotional Exhaustion and Indecision

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Abstract

Despite popular articles and books, researchers have failed to examine how office clutter emerges and potential mediators underlying clutter in personal workspaces. We hypothesized that workers whose jobs require them to deal with a heavy volume of work at a rapid pace would be more likely to experience job strain (i.e., emotional exhaustion), which, in turn, depletes their energy and makes workers more likely to delay decisions. Decisional procrastination (indecision) was expected to increase office clutter, which itself is a physical stressor. Data from an Internet survey with 290 U.S. office workers recruited through Prolific Academic supported the hypotheses. This study is the first to examine clutter as a physical stressor in the workplace. A greater understanding of the factors that promote office clutter might help organizations and workers address sources of workspace conditions and personal habits that impede productivity and well-being.

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... The studies on workplace stress have considered two main streams that help in understanding how stress is created. The first stream highlights the traditional job-related stress (Roster and Ferrari, 2019;Yunita and Saputra, 2019;Jex and Beehr, 1991). These researchers examined how stressful psychosocial aspects of work environments, such as increased workloads, role conflict, lack of autonomy, and lack of social support, can lead to job strains and hamper performance (Beehr et al., 2001;Kinyita, 2015;Kożusznik et al., 2018). ...
... At the same time, the work stress may harm the thinking processes of employees and hinder their new practices' adopting capacity. This slows down their pace of work, thus hampering their AP (Roster and Ferrari, 2019). ...
... However, this negative impact is much stronger for TP followed by CP. These results are consistent with the prior literature on work stress and EP in general (Jex and Beehr, 1991;De Ruyter et al., 2001;Saleem and Gopinath, 2015;Kożusznik et al., 2018;Roster and Ferrari, 2019) and under the COVID-19 pandemic in particular (Giorgi et al., 2020;Garcia et al., 2021;Kumar et al., 2021). ...
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During uncertain situations, such as the COVID-19 partial lockdown, maintaining satisfactory levels of employee performance (EP) is an important area of concern for many organizations. The current study examines the relationship of work stress due to COVID-19 (COVID-19 STR) and EP. Using social exchange theory (SET), safety culture (SC) is presented as a moderator for stress and performance relationships. A sample of 213 bank employees was collected using a convenient sampling method. Data were analyzed using stepwise linear regression and PROCESS Macro by Hayes (2013). Results revealed that COVID-19 STR has a negative impact on task and contextual performance (CP) and a positive impact on adaptive performance (AP). Similarly, the prevalence of SC significantly moderates the stress and performance relationships.
... Characterized by feeling exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced personal accomplishment, job burnout has been considered to affect both the physical and psychological states (Maslach and Leiter, 2016) and is associated with an increased risk of somatic diseases and their progression (von Känel et al., 2020). It depletes energy and makes employees more likely to delay decisions (Roster and Ferrari, 2020) and trapped into a risky decisionmaking style (Michailidis and Banks, 2016). Considering the necessity of work in our life and also the increasing social competition, it is worthwhile to figure out the impact of job burnout on prehospital decision delay. ...
... This conclusion can be corroborated by the finding that job burnout can result in the exhaustion of energy, make employees delay decisions (Roster and Ferrari, 2020), and be prone to have a more risky decision-making style (Michailidis and Banks, 2016). In addition, it is reported that burnout is a non-negligible cause and source of depression (Johansson et al., 2011); meanwhile, depression in patients with cardiac diseases is found associated with delay in seeking medical care (Arrebola-Moreno et al., 2020a). ...
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Background Prehospital delay is associated with non-modifiable factors such as age, residential region, and disease severity. However, the impact of psychosocial factors especially for job burnout on prehospital decision delay is still little understood. Method This internet-based survey was conducted between 14 February 2021 and 5 March 2021 in China through the Wechat platform and web page. Self-designed questionnaires about the expected and actual length of prehospital decision time and the Chinese version of Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, Type D Personality Scale-14, and Social Support Rating Scale were applied. A total of 1,039 general participants with a history of perceptible but tolerable body discomfort were included. Results The top six reasons for prehospital decision delay were: (1) endure until self-healing (50.7%), (2) too busy to ask for leave (40.3%), (3) process for seeing a doctor too complicated (35.8%), (4) too tired after work (26.2%), (5) worry about the expenditure (16.6%), and (6) fear of being identified as with serious problem (14.5%). The univariate analyses revealed that older age ( p = 0.001), type D personality ( p = 0.025), job burnout ( p = 0.055), and worrying about expenditure ( p = 0.004) were associated with prolonged prehospital decision time, while engaged in medical-related job ( p = 0.028) and with more social support ( p = 0.066) would shorten the delay. The multivariate analysis using logistic regression model with forward selecting method showed that age [per 10 years, odds ratio (OR) 1.19 (1.09–1.31), p < 0.001], job burnout [per 10 points in Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS), OR 1.17 (1.04–1.31), p = 0.007], and worrying about expenditure [OR 1.75 (1.25–2.47), p = 0.001] were the three determinants for prehospital decision delay (>7 days). Mediating effects were analyzed by using bias-corrected percentile bootstrap methods ( N = 10,000). Social support was found partially mediated the relationship between the determinants and prehospital decision time. The partial mediating effect of social support accounted for 24.0% of the total effect for job burnout and 11.6% for worrying about expenditure. Conclusion Psychosocial factors have a non-negligible impact on prehospital decision delay. The crucial part of prehospital decision delay may be the lack of motivation inside. Job burnout and lack of social support, as two commonly seen features in the modern world, should be given enough consideration in disease prevention and treatment.
... Moreover, our study did not consider personality (e.g., openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism), situational (e.g., recognition, appreciation, social support) and work-related (e.g., work experience, control, lack of autonomy, work overload) variables, which have shown to be important with respect to job-related exhaustion and burnout (see Appel-Meulenbroek et al., 2020;Roster & Ferrari, 2020). Hence, future research should also take into account the influence of these socio-psychological dimensions also in combination with privacy features. ...
... From a practical point of view, organizations can promote actions that foster in workers a secure attachment to their workplace, with the ability to personalize it and make it comfortable (Inalhan et al., 2021). Personalization is also able to counteract workers' burnout, especially in work contests characterized by low privacy, as it allows for the creation of a sense of "psychological home," which can enhance satisfaction toward the design of their work environment (Laurence et al., 2013;Roster & Ferrari, 2020). Human resource management should also promote actions and training that foster the quality of relationships, communication, and confidence among colleagues (Inalhan et al., 2021;Scrima, 2020). ...
Article
The role played by place attachment in the prediction of positive or negative outcomes for people wellbeing has been analyzed in various environments, nevertheless the work environment is still understudied. The aim of this research was to test the relationship between the three workplace attachment styles (i.e., secure, avoidant, and preoccupied) and employees' exhaustion, considering also satisfaction toward the workplace design as a possible mediator and privacy as a possible moderator. Data were collected through a self-report questionnaire filled in by 270 employees in different offices. Results show that preoccupied and avoidant workplace attachment are associated with high exhaustion, whereas secure workplace attachment is connected to low exhaustion. Such relationships are mediated by workplace design satisfaction in opposite sense for secure and avoidant (but not for preoccupied) workplace attachment. Finally, the amplification effect of privacy was found only in the relationship between secure workplace attachment and exhaustion. Overall, these findings prove the importance of considering both workplace attachment patterns and design features (including privacy issues) for promoting a better work experience in office employees.
... If clutter might influence a person's general well-being, then it may be possible that office clutter affects work outcomes. Recently, Roster and Ferrari (2020b) reported that office clutter results in emotional exhaustion among workers, especially if they are persons with indecisive tendencies. Emotional exhaustion depleted energy and made decisional delays more likely. ...
... Furthermore, participants reported that office clutter was significantly negatively related to their satisfaction/pleasure from work and significantly positively related to a risk for burnout/tension from work. These results are consistent with previous studies exploring clutters impact on employee productivity (Roster & Ferrari, 2020a;2020b). In addition, we compared employees based on their status within an organization, comparing those in higher or leadership positions with associate or lower level positions. ...
Article
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Office clutter might significantly impact productivity, yet no study examined workers differences across upper and lower employee status. The present study surveyed 202 U.S. on-site workers on work-related variables, including office clutter. Job classifications were aggregated, creating two groups: upper- and lower-level employees. A significant difference in office clutter impacted worker-levels: upper-level workers compared to lowerlevel workers had higher office clutter scores. Exploratory factor analysis created a two-factor solution (explaining 62.6% of the common variance): satisfaction/pleasure from one’s work and risk for work-related burnout/tension. There was a significant difference in office clutter perception: upper-level workers were significantly more likely to report clutter and being at risk for burnout/tension than lower-level workers. Office clutter significantly negatively predicted satisfaction with one’s job and positively related with risk for work-related burnout. Frequently reported office clutter items (in order of frequency) were paper, trash (e.g., used coffee cups), and office supplies.
... Clutter may also appear outside of the home, particularly in office spaces. It may even act as a physical stressor in work environments (Roster & Ferrari, 2020). The present study was an initial step toward understanding the impact of office clutter among adults employed in different settings. ...
... They found that the perception of clutter was a significant predictor of psychological home; young persons who were less affected by clutter reported a higher sense of psychological home. Roster and Ferrari (2020) believed that the negative effects of clutter occurred in work settings. In the first study to look at office clutter, these researchers crowd-sourced 290 employed adults (109 females; 177 males; M age range = 25 -35), finding that a heavy workload at a quick pace was positively related to emotional exhaustion. ...
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Clutter in the home negatively influences a person's well-being, but this tendency has not been investigated in workplace settings. The present study addressed whether office clutter impacted workplace well-being (job satisfaction, job tension, employee engagement, burnout, and occupational stress) using a crowd-sourced sample of U.S. adults (n = 290; 177 male, 113 female) employed full-time in office and/or home settings. It was hypothesized that office clutter would negatively impact job satisfaction and employee engagement, positively impact emotional exhaustion and occupational stress, and job-related tension would moderate the relationship between office clutter and job satisfaction. Multiple hierarchical linear regressions and a moderated hierarchical regression analyzed the data and tested the hypotheses. Results showed that office clutter did predict emotional exhaustion and stress.
... Clutter may also appear outside of the home, particularly in office spaces. It may even act as a physical stressor in work environments (Roster & Ferrari, 2020). The present study was an initial step toward understanding the impact of office clutter among adults employed in different settings. ...
... They found that the perception of clutter was a significant predictor of psychological home; young persons who were less affected by clutter reported a higher sense of psychological home. Roster and Ferrari (2020) believed that the negative effects of clutter occurred in work settings. In the first study to look at office clutter, these researchers crowd-sourced 290 employed adults (109 females; 177 males; M age range = 25 -35), finding that a heavy workload at a quick pace was positively related to emotional exhaustion. ...
Article
Full-text available
Clutter in the home negatively influences a person's well-being, but this tendency has not been investigated in workplace settings. The present study addressed whether office clutter impacted workplace well-being (job satisfaction, job tension, employee engagement, burnout, and occupational stress) using a crowd-sourced sample of U.S. adults (n = 290; 177 male, 113 female) employed full-time in office and/or home settings. It was hypothesized that office clutter impact would negatively influence job satisfaction and employee engagement, positively relate to emotional exhaustion and occupational stress, and job-related tension would moderate the relationship between office clutter and job satisfaction. Multiple hierarchical linear regressions and a moderated hierarchical regression analyzed the data and tested the hypotheses. Results showed that office clutter impact did predict emotional exhaustion and stress.
... Research also suggests that clutter and disorganization in the work environment are a source of stress and lost productivity. Roster and Ferrari (2019) demonstrated that clutter is an external manifestation of experienced stress created by heavy workloads, which further perpetrates workplace stress. Excessive clutter may also present physical hazards, such as trips and falls, which may serve not only as source of physical harm but also psychological stress. ...
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While healthcare design research has primarily focused on patient outcomes, there is a growing recognition that environmental interventions could do more by promoting the overall quality of care, and this requires expanding the focus to the health and well-being of those who deliver care to patients. Healthcare professionals are under high levels of stress, leading to burnout, job dissatisfaction, and poor patient care. Among other tools, mindfulness is recommended as a way of decreasing stress and helping workers function at higher levels. This article aims to identify potential environmental strategies for reducing work-related stressors and facilitating mindfulness in healthcare settings. By examining existing evidence on workplace mindfulness and stress-reducing design strategies, we highlight the power of the physical environment in not only alleviating stressful conditions but intentionally encouraging a mindful perspective. Strategies like minimizing distractions or avoiding overstimulation in the healthcare environment can be more effective if implemented along with the provision of designated spaces for mindfulness-based programs. Future research may explore optimal methods and hospital workers' preferences for environments that support mindfulness and stress management. The long-term goal of all these efforts is to enhance healthcare professionals' well-being, reignite their professional enthusiasm, and help them be resilient in times of stress.
... Meanwhile moderating effect of social support between employee's workload and their organizational outcome cannot be ignored. Some other studies have also provided theoretical and empirical contribution from the context of workload and performance (Alsuraykh et al. 2018;Avanzi et al., 2018;Baeriswyl et al., 2017;Gaillard, 2017;Ho, 2018;Huyghebaert et al., 2018;Miller et al., 2018;Prasad et al., 2018;Roster & Ferrari, 2019). Based on these arguments, the researcher concludes with the following research hypotheses; H1: Work load has a significant positive effect on employee performance. ...
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A workload is one of contradictive variables, whether it influences the performance of employees or not. The purpose of this study is to analyze whether or not the workload influences the performance of bank employees. It employs quantitative approach and path analysis is employed to analyze the effect of workload on the performance of bank employees. The research samples include 74 bank employees around the City of Blitar, East Java, Indonesia. The result shows that a workload had a significant positive effect on the performance of bank employees. It also has greater influence on employee performance through motivation variables. The managerial implication of the current research is that the provision of workload which is in accordance with the competence and comfort of employees may improve their performance. In addition, employees who have higher education level are able to adjust more on the workload because they have higher-achievement motivation.
... Frost and Hartl (1996) found that individuals with excessive clutter were unable to use the living areas of their homes for intended purposes due to excessive clutter, had limited access to furniture, difficulty preparing food, and unsanitary living conditions (Frost, 2010). Roster et al. (2016) found that clutter impacts negatively on one's sense of home and security, and Roster and Ferrari (2019) found that in office settings, abundant clutter impacts on work productivity and adds to work stress. reported that older adults have greater negative impact on psychological adjustment from clutter than younger adults (see also Crum & Ferrari, 2019). ...
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We examined psychological home, place attachment, clutter, and life satisfaction with adult women of color (n = 99; M age = 50.33 years old) drawn from a larger national sample of women who self-identified with clutter tendencies. We assessed resource (i.e., annual household income, homeownership status, and relationship status) and contextual (i.e., type of dwelling, number of people in household, and years in residence) variables, plus measures of psychological home, place attachment, and clutter, as predictors of life satisfaction among women of color. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that psychological home was a significant predictor of life satisfaction over and above resource and contextual variables. Place attachment and clutter did not moderate the relationship between home and life satisfaction. However, clutter mediated the relationship between home and life satisfaction. Implications for women of color, study limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Chapter
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We propose that interdependence in a work context determines to what extent work roles are embedded within a broader social system and, further, that uncertainty determines whether work roles can be formalized or whether they emerge through adaptive and proactive behavior. Cross-classification of task, team member, and organization member behaviors with proficiency, adaptivity, and proactivity produced nine subdimensions of work role performance. Ratings from 491 supervisors from 32 organizations and self-ratings from employees in two organizations (n's = 1,228 and 927) supported the proposed distinctions. Self-reports of proactivity were positively correlated with two external measures of proactivity.
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The authors articulate a model specifying links between (a) individuals and the physical environments they occupy and (b) the environments and observers' impressions of the occupants. Two studies examined the basic phenomena underlying this model: Interobserver consensus, observer accuracy, cue utilization, and cue validity. Observer ratings based purely on offices or bedrooms were compared with self-and peer ratings of occupants and with physical features of the environments. Findings, which varied slightly across contexts and traits, suggest that (a) personal environments elicit similar impressions from independent observers, (b) observer impressions show some accuracy, (c) observers rely on valid cues in the rooms to form impressions of occupants, and (d) sex and race stereotypes partially mediate observer consensus and accuracy. Consensus and accuracy correlations were generally stronger than those found in zero-acquaintance research.
Article
Hoarding behaviours associated with the accumulation of physical objects has become a newly diagnosed psychiatric disorder, with the demographic, social and psychological characteristics of individuals who hoard items being reasonably well established. Online forums, blogs, and the media have long-speculated about the existence of ‘digital hoarding’ (the over-accumulation of digital materials such as emails, photographs, files and software), and the extent to which it may be a ‘problem’. However, identifying the characteristics of and potential problems associated with digital hoarding has thus far received little scientific attention. The current qualitative study gathered data from 24 females and 21 males aged 20–52 and asked them about their digital hoarding behaviours, underlying motivations and potential negative consequences. The questions covered both personal and work-place materials. Thematic analysis identified themes common to physical hoarding, these related to the over-accumulation of digital materials, difficulties in deleting such materials, and feelings of anxiety relating to this accumulation/difficulty deleting. Some differences were found in relation to work versus home. The implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Article
This research investigates a “dark side of home,” created when the experiential quality of home is compromised by ‘clutter,’ defined as an overabundance of possessions that collectively create chaotic and disorderly living spaces. Based on relationships among constructs largely developed by phenomenologists, we conceptualize psychological home as a reflection of one’s need to identify self with a physical environment. Clutter was proposed as an antagonist to the normally positive benefits and consequences of home for subjective well-being. An online survey was conducted with a population of U.S. and Canadian adults. A structural equation model was used to test hypotheses. Findings reveal that place attachment and self-extension tendencies toward possessions positively contribute to psychological home. Clutter had a negative impact on psychological home and subjective well-being. These findings contribute to a broader understanding of how meanings of home are both cultivated and undermined by individuals’ place-making efforts.
Article
The tips offered by the author on the better organization of work while working on a big project are discussed. Author believed that the better organization of work results in time saving and also increases productivity and effectiveness. Author recommended to minimize the use of papers for storing information and emphasized the use of calender for writing information. Author also recommended to put all the electronic files into one folder and stated that it helps in finding the information and transferring of data much simpler.
Article
This study investigated the relationships between job characteristics and procrastination in the workplace. Locus of control was proposed to moderate this relationship. Participants were 147 employees of a health care maintenance organization. Results showed that job enrichment is associated with lower procrastination. A significant interaction was found between work locus of control and autonomy in predicting procrastination. Internals and externals with low autonomy reported the most procrastination, followed by externals with high autonomy. Internals with high autonomy reported the least procrastination. Greater autonomy for employees, particularly for internals, may be associated with less procrastination in the workplace.
Chapter
Three things make stress an important area of study for a variety of disciplines. First, stress emotions and their effects are of the greatest importance to satisfaction and morale. Second, stress emotions strongly influence every aspect of adaptive functioning, including, for example, problem solving, social competence, and somatic health/illness. Third when stress emotions such as anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, sadness-depression, and jealousy occur, we can certain that some important transaction has been taking place between the person and the environment; in other words, we have response evidence of a psychological event that is anything but trivial in the eyes of the affected person.
Article
This study focused on the relationship between overtime and psychological health in high and low reward jobs, and in jobs with high and low external pressure to work overtime. Data were collected for 535 full-time employees of the Dutch Postal Service. In general, overtime was associated with negative work-home interference and negative home-work interference. Split-sample logistic regression analyses showed that employees reporting low rewards had elevated risks of burnout, negative work-home interference and slow recovery. In addition, the combination of overtime and low rewards was associated with negative home-work interference. A second analysis was conducted separately for employees who reported overtime in order to study the effects of external pressure to work overtime. In this subgroup, low rewards were associated with elevated risks of health complaints, emotional exhaustion and negative home-work interference. Moreover, employees who reported overtime and a high pressure to work overtime in combination with low rewards had elevated risks of poor recovery, cynicism, and negative work-home interference. The results suggest that even a limited number of hours of involuntary overtime is associated with adverse mental health, but only in low reward situations.
Article
This research examined a model in which experience of privacy served as a mediator between architectural privacy and emotional exhaustion in the workplace and personalization of one's workspace served as a moderator, mitigating the adverse effect of low levels of experienced privacy at work on emotional exhaustion. The results generally supported our hypotheses by indicating that in its role as a mediator, experience of privacy is initially affected by architectural privacy and its effect on emotional exhaustion is contingent on (moderated by) personalization of the employee's personal work area (i.e., quantity of personal items in one's work area). As expected, higher personalization at work reduced the adverse effect of the experience of low levels of privacy on emotional exhaustion. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Article
This study examined whether the individual capacity for self-control (as a psychological resource) moderates (i.e., buffers) the adverse influences of self-control demands (as a psychological work stressor) on employees’ perceived job strain and well-being. To our knowledge this relationship has not previously been studied. In line with the match principle proposed by de Jonge and Dormann (2006), it was assumed that this moderator effect was most likely to emerge in psychological outcomes, whereas physical outcomes were expected to reflect no equivalent relationships. Data collected from 249 health care workers employed in an area of Eastern Germany confirmed both hypotheses. Psychological outcomes (such as emotional exhaustion, depressive symptoms and sleep disorders) clearly indicated that the detrimental impacts of self-control demands are attenuated with an increase in self-control capacity. By way of contrast, musculoskeletal complaints as a physical outcome, which was mainly included as a control variable, failed to reflect any effects of both predictors. Our findings draw attention to the importance of improving the match between self-control demands and self-control capacity of service employees in order to make self-control demands less stressful.
Article
Most burnout research has focussed on environmental correlates, but it is likely that personality factors also play an important part in the development of burnout. Previous meta-analyses, however, have been limited in scope. The present meta-analysis examined the relationship between personality and three dimensions of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI): emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Consistent with our hypotheses, self-esteem, self-efficacy, locus of control, emotional stability, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, positive affectivity, negative affectivity, optimism, proactive personality, and hardiness, each yielded significant relationships with burnout. Type A Personality, however, was only related to personal accomplishment. Furthermore, regression analysis found that core self-evaluations, the Five-Factor Model personality characteristics, and positive and negative affectivity explained significant variance in each of the burnout dimensions. Finally, moderator analyses found several instances in which the strength of personality–burnout relationships depended upon whether burnout was assessed with the Human Services Survey of the MBI or the General Survey version of the MBI. It is concluded that employee personality is consistently related to burnout. Given the practical importance of employee burnout, it is recommended that personality variables be included as predictors in future research on burnout.
Article
This article reports the results of a questionnaire survey examining the effects of sound on office productivity and assessing the relationship between changes in office productivity and noise sources as well as five environmental and office design factors, namely temperature, air quality, office layout, sound and lighting. The convenience sample for the survey comprised 259 office workers in 38 air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong. The subjects were requested to complete the questionnaires themselves. The results show that among the five environmental and office design factors examined, sound and temperature were the principal factors affecting office productivity. A strong and significant correlation was also found between changes in office productivity and sound, temperature and office layout. Participants were separated into low- and high-productivity groups using the mean productivity score of all participants as the cut-point. The three most annoying noise sources, including conversation, ringing phones and machines, differed little in mean annoyance scores for the low- and high-productivity participants, indicating that they had a significant negative impact on all participants. The results also indicate that low-productivity participants were easily influenced by noises such as background noise, closing doors, and human activity, as well as those coming from both inside and outside the office. Practical applications: This study evaluates the effects of sound and other environmental and office design factors on office productivity. It suggests that sound is a principal factor affecting office productivity in modern air-conditioned offices.
Article
Presents a general descriptive theory of decision making under stress, which includes a typology of 5 distinctive patterns of coping behavior, including vigilance, hypervigilance, and defensive avoidance. The theory is illustrated with discussions of laboratory experiments, field studies, autobiographical and biographical material, and analyses of managerial and foreign policy decisions. Two analytical models, a schema for decision-making stages and a decisional "balance sheet," are also presented to clarify the theory. (28 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two studies examined individual differences in indecision on performance speed, accuracy, and subsequent self-control. In Study 1, indecisives (n = 36) took longer yet maintained accuracy as decisives (n = 39) on a Stroop task anticipating feedback (no feedback, success, or failure). Indecisives in the no feedback condition depleted their self-regulatory resources while maintaining accuracy. In Study 2 the number of Stroop trials increased with no performance feedback. Indecisives (n = 25) compared to decisives (n = 25) maintained accuracy yet took significantly longer and experienced depleted self-control. Prior choice exertion by indecisives to regulate effectively performance accuracy depleted capacity for subsequent self-control, and indecisives seem aware of lowered self-regulation energy. A self-control strength model may be important in understanding indecision.
Article
The present paper shows the results of a literature survey aimed at exploring how the indoor environment in buildings affects human comfort. The survey was made to gather data that can be useful when new concepts of controlling the indoor environment are developed. The following indoor environmental conditions influencing comfort in the built environment were surveyed: thermal, visual and acoustic, as well as air quality. The literature was surveyed to determine which of these conditions were ranked by building users as being the most important determinants of comfort. The survey also examined the extent to which other factors unrelated to the indoor environment, such as individual characteristics of building occupants, building-related factors and outdoor climate including seasonal changes, influence whether the indoor environment is evaluated as comfortable or not. The results suggest that when developing systems for controlling the indoor environment, the type of building and outdoor climate, including season, should be taken into account. Providing occupants with the possibility to control the indoor environment improves thermal and visual comfort as well as satisfaction with the air quality. Thermal comfort is ranked by building occupants to be of greater importance compared with visual and acoustic comfort and good air quality. It also seems to influence to a higher degree the overall satisfaction with indoor environmental quality compared with the impact of other indoor environmental conditions.
Article
Hoarding behavior, patterns of use of possessions, and emotional attachment to possessions were examined among a sample of female undergraduates and a sample of community volunteers. Hoarding behavior was associated with a decreased frequency of use of possessions and excessive concern about maintaining control over possessions. Furthermore, high scores on the hoarding scale were associated with higher levels of perceived responsibility for: (1) being prepared; and (2) the well-being of the possession. Hoarding was also associated with greater emotional attachment to possessions and to the reliance on possessions for emotional comfort. The implications of these findings for the definition of hoarding are discussed.
Article
Compulsive hoarding is a little studied phenomenon within the research literature. The information available on compulsive hoarding is diverse and not well integrated. In the present article we propose a tentative cognitive-behavioral model of compulsive hoarding. The purpose of such a model is to provide a framework for the development and testing of hypotheses about compulsive hoarding. In this model hoarding is conceptualized as a multifaceted problem stemming from: (1) information processing deficits; (2) problems in forming emotional attachments; (3) behavioral avoidance; and (4) erroneous beliefs about the nature of possessions. Specific hypotheses about each of these are discussed.
Article
A stress-management model of job strain is developed and tested with recent national survey data from Sweden and the United States. This model predicts that mental strain results from the interaction of job demands and job decision latitude. The model appears to clarify earlier contradictory findings based on separated effects of job demands and job decision latitude. The consistent finding is that it is the combination of low decision latitude and heavy job demands which is associated with mental strain. This same combination is also associated with job dissatisfaction. In addition, the analysis of dissatisfaction reveals a complex interaction of decision latitude and job demand effects that could be easily overlooked in conventional linear, unidimensional analyses. The major implication of this study is that redesigning work processes to allow increases in decision latitude for a broad range of workers could reduce mental strain, and do so without affecting the job demands that may plausibly be associated with organizational output levels.
Article
Compulsive hoarding is a common and debilitating, yet poorly understood, condition characterized by excessive acquisition of and failure to discard a large number of objects, resulting in cluttered and often hazardous living conditions. The aim of this study was to examine the onset and course of compulsive hoarding, and the relationships between stressful or traumatic life events and course of illness. Seven hundred fifty-one adults with self-reported hoarding symptoms completed an online survey regarding the severity of hoarding behavior over the lifespan and the incidence of stressful or traumatic life events. Median age of onset was between 11 and 15 years, with most respondents reporting symptom onset before age 20. Late-onset (e.g., after age 40) hoarding was rare. Most respondents described a chronic course of illness, with a significant minority describing an increasing or relapsing/remitting course. Stressful and traumatic events were common in this sample; changes in relationships and interpersonal violence were disproportionately associated temporally with periods of symptom onset or exacerbation. These results highlight the chronic nature of compulsive hoarding, its associated public health burden, and the potential impact of life stressors on symptom development. Directions for further research are discussed.
Article
This paper examines the relationship between the physical office environment and the psychological well-being of office workers. The results indicate that adverse environmental conditions, especially poor air quality, noise, ergonomic conditions, and lack of privacy, may effect worker satisfaction and mental health. The data also provide substantial evidence that worker assessments of the physical environment are distinct from their assessments of general working conditions, such as work load, decision-making latitude and relationships with other people at work. Stated another way, people who reported problems with the physical environment could not simply be characterized as dissatisfied workers exhibiting a tendency to 'complain' about every aspect of their working conditions. Taken together, these findings lend support to the position that the stress people experience at work may be due to a combination of factors, including the physical conditions under which they labor. Both theoretical and practical considerations arise from these data, including the need for work site based health promotion and stress reduction programs to consider both the physical and psychological design of jobs.
Article
Theory and research in psychological stress has shifted from an earlier perspective of environmental inputs or outputs to a relational one. Stress is now treated as harms, threats and challenges, the quality and intensity of which depend on personal agendas, resources and vulnerabilities of the person, as well as on environmental conditions. This implies a knowing person who construes or appraises the significance of what is happening for his or her well-being. Such a “paradigm shift” requires a different approach to stress measurement, one that takes into account the cognitive activity evaluating the personal significance of transactions, and examines the multiple specific variables of person and environment that influence the appraisal process. The need for a different approach to stress measurement has generated research by the Berkeley Stress and Coping Project on what we have called daily hassles and uplifts.
Article
Despite the widespread use of self-report measures of both job-related stressors and strains, relatively few carefully developed scales for which validity data exist are available. In this article, we discuss 3 job stressor scales (Interpersonal Conflict at Work Scale, Organizational Constraints Scale, and Quantitative Workload Inventory) and 1 job strain scale (Physical Symptoms Inventory). Using meta-analysis, we combined the results of 18 studies to provide estimates of relations between our scales and other variables. Data showed moderate convergent validity for the 3 job stressor scales, suggesting some objectively to these self-reports. Norms for each scale are provided. The scales can be found at http://shell.cas.usf.edu/~pspector/scalepage.html
Article
This paper briefly reviews research studies of interest to environmental ergonomists. It includes some recent work on the health effects of office lighting, especially the effects of daylighting, fluorescent lighting and full-spectrum lighting. It also covers studies of indoor air quality in offices, especially investigations of localized air filtration and the sick building syndrome. It argues the value of a systematic, ergonomics approach to designing the built environment.
Reducing office clutter
  • P Heydlauff
Heydlauff, P. (2009, March). Reducing office clutter. EHS Today, pp. 48-49.
Demand/Control model: A social, emotional, and physiological approach to stress risk and active behavior development
  • R Karasek
Karasek, R. (1998). Demand/Control model: A social, emotional, and physiological approach to stress risk and active behavior development. In J. M. Stellman (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of occupational health and safety (4th ed., pp. 3406-3414).