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The best medicine for productivity
Date:2/6/2012

from a supervisor when an employee is experiencing psychosomatic symptoms of the stress can make a real difference. When the boss offers support in the form of, for example, a lightened work load or stress management training it is more likely to keep the worker from taking sick leave. This is because the worker feels more inclined to reciprocate the supportive treatment by keeping their work effort high. "The worker who is given this sort of support is more likely to overcome the somatic stress and continue to work productively, leaving recovery for the normal after-work hours when we recharge our batteries," explains Dr. Biron. A worker who develops the somatic symptoms of stress and does not receive this sort of support from the boss might stay at work out of fear for their position. But as the study shows, this worker is also less likely to be able to shake off the symptoms and will in due course need more sickness absence.

The study also shows that co-worker support early on, when the employee begins to experience workday stress, plays a role in attenuating the somatic effects of stress, thereby reducing the likelihood of even developing the need for sickness absence. "We see from this study that employers can provide concrete support for employees experiencing somatic stress symptoms, but can also encourage co-workers to support one another in the first place and minimize the effects triggered by their workload," Dr. Biron clarifies.

"With the enormous economic losses due to absenteeism and with this still being a poorly understood phenomenon, the results of this new study are shedding light on those factors influencing sickness absence and which can be considered in the effort to reduce the losses without compromising work ethic and commitment," explains Dr. Biron.


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Contact: Rachel Feldman
rfeldman@univ.haifa.ac.il
972-482-88722
University of Haifa
Source:Eurekalert

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