Work related stress in a further eudcation college in South Wales
Pierry, Alison M.
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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This study attempted to ascertain the incidence and perceived causes and effects of work related stress amongst academic lecturers in a Further Education establishment in South Wales. A case study methodology was used with questionnaires for the lecturers and interviews for both lecturers and two human resource managers of the college. Of the lecturers interviewed, two participants had suffered work related stress and had taken long-term sick leave absence as a consequence. It became apparent during the study that work related stress affected not just the lecturers but also college productivity. The author chose to examine departments that were easily accessible to her, using purposeful sampling. Out of 40 questionnaires distributed, 32 were received. Seven interviews were successfully undertaken. The results demonstrated that lecturers are stressed; 81% claimed they were either stressed or sometimes stressed. 94 % of females compared to 74 % of males claimed to be stressed. All lecturers are working extra-unpaid hours either in college or at home, although men work less hours at home and claim to be less stressed. Lecturer's perceived causes of stress included: an increase in administration; inspections and high workload. 100 % of the interviewed respondents agreed that increases in hours worked; increased administrative tasks and lack of time for the preparation for lessons were the reasons for their stress. Lecturers are not taking their full annual leave entitlement and some did not know what their entitlement was, 100 % of the men in the Auto engineering department take their full entitlement and six out of eleven of this group are not stressed compared with the Care and Community department where the women take less annual leave and claim to be more stressed. The perceived effects of stress are symptoms of ill health although the lecturers in this study are not visiting their GP or taking much sick leave. Well-being is affected by a conflictive work/home balance; high workload; cover of sick leave and management issues. 69 % of respondents had considered leaving the profession due to high workload; increasing administration; poor pay; workplace change and stress.
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