Julia Hiemer and Prof. Dr. Maike Andresen published a new article concerning overemployment from the perspective of employees
Many employees desire to work less than they currently do and are therefore considered "overemployed". The existing understanding of overemployment, however, is inconsistent and simplistic. Mrs. Hiemer and Prof. Dr. Andresen therefore used Grounded Theory interviews with overemployed employees to examine how overemployment is defined from affected employees' perspective. In addition, they investigated the causes and consequences of overemployment.
The results show that overemployment is not only a question of work time duration, as previously assumed, but is also composed of competition between work time and non-work time, the distribution of work time on different tasks and work density. A self-reinforcing circle of personal and situational factors explains why overemployment persists. For example, a strong career striving (personal factor) combined with corresponding organisational norms (situational factor) can contribute to the persistence of overemployment. Regarding the psychosocial consequences of overemployment, the results show large variations between persons. While some feel strong consequences for well-being, others seem to be barely affected by overemployment. Work time sovereignty could play a moderating role here: high work time sovereignty seems to reduce the negative consequences of overemployment. Derived from these results the study identifies future directions for research and appropriate measures to reduce overemployment.
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