Well-being at work
A heavy workload and stress have a negative impact on well-being at work – early intervention, occupational health care and a supportive work environment help!
Well-being at work, as an experience, is the sum of many factors. Professionals in the education, training and education sector who thrive in their jobs are satisfied with their work, have the energy to perform their work to a high standard, can handle failures and are able to resolve conflicts.
Work well-being is not automatic, it is built co-operatively by the entire work community.
Teachers have cited a high workload as one of the major factors that weaken their well-being at work. Work overload reduces work well-being, and the quality of the work suffers. On the other hand, having too little work reduces motivation and increases the risk of marginalisation.
Workload factors in the education sector
The workload in the education sector is related to the following:
- children, pupils and students: responsibilities, integration, the demand for individuality, poor behaviour
- limited resources: amount of work, lack of support
- the work community and organisation of the work: core task and other work, projects, endeavours, work distribution, haste
- the work environment and ergonomics: indoor climate conditions, noise, commotion, work spaces, equipment, structural safety
- children’s parents/guardians: demands for special treatment, inappropriate behaviour
- co-operation with other actors and networks: work forms, use of time
Dealing with work overload
The best way to influence your workload is to discuss the matter openly and honestly with your supervisor, colleagues and occupational health-care service.
Work-related stress is a state that appears in one or more employees. Harmful work-related stress is a concern for both the employee and employer, as long-term stress causes health problems for the employee and costs for the employer.
How work stress is manifested
The impacts and symptoms of work-related stress vary according to the individual. A change in behaviour, increased absences, fatigue, aggression, hyperactivity, increased use of intoxicants, weight loss, weight gain, cynicism and apathy are possible signs of excessive stress.
Work-related stress is reflected by, for example:
- a high rate of absences
- a high employee turnover rate
- personnel conflicts
- feedback from the employees about situations that cause too much stress
Prevention is key
Prevention plays a key role in managing work-related stress. A workload that causes stress should be addressed if possible even before any problems arise.
The employer’s responsibility is to arrange working conditions and tasks in such a way that they do not create too much of a load or safety risks.
Occupational health care
Every employer in the education and training sector must have an agreement on occupational health-care services. The level of occupational health care must be the same for all employees, regardless of the type of their employment relationship.
You are entitled to occupational health care whenever you need it.
You might need occupational health care, e.g., for the following matters:
- determining and assessing the health and safety of your work and working conditions
- determining, assessing and monitoring work-related health hazards, your state of health and your ability to work and function
- information, guidance and advice in matters related to the health and safety of your work
- monitoring and promoting coping at work if your ability to work is impaired
- a work-ability assessment
- first aid
Still looking for answers?
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