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缺乏自主權的工作會讓人短命

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Lacking Autonomy at Work May Literally Kill Us
研究:缺乏自主權的工作會讓人短命
 
The Covid-19 pandemic has been stressful in so many ways that it can be hard to tease apart the strands of what’s getting us down or freaking us out. But amidst the health concerns, family worries, and social distancing strangeness, increased work stress certainly stands out as a widespread consequence of the pandemic.
 
新冠肺炎給人們帶來了很多方面的壓力,各種壓力交織在一起,簡直分不清是什么在導致我們感到沮喪或抓狂。這些壓力當中,有對健康的憂慮,有對家庭的擔心,也有社交隔離產生的陌生感,當然工作壓力的增加作為疫情造成的一個普遍后果也很突出。
 
In this environment, a new study titled “This job is (literally) killing me” seems particularly timely.
 
在這種環境下,一項名為《這份工作真要了我的命》的新研究似乎特別應景。
 
The study, by researchers at Northern Illinois University and Indiana University, used data collected over a 20-year period to find out whether there is a link between how we feel at work and when we die. Sure enough, the researchers discovered that two specific factors – having a high-stress job and low control over one’s work – were correlated with higher mortality rates.
 
這項研究是由北伊利諾伊州大學和印第安納大學的研究人員開展的。為了獲知人們的工作感受和人們的死亡年齡之間是否有關聯,該研究運用了在20年間收集的數據。果不其然,研究人員發現了高壓力的工作和缺乏自主權的工作著兩個特定因素與更高的死亡率有關。
 
During the 20-year period, over 3,000 Americans, most of whom were in their 40s at the outset of the study, were tracked at three separate points by the Midlife in the United States Survey. Analyzing that data, the current study found that those with high-stress, low-control jobs were 43% more likely to die than those in lower-risk categories.
 
在20年的時間里,“美國中年調查”在三個不同的時間點對3000多名美國人進行了追蹤調查,多數人在研究開始時都是40多歲。當前的這項研究分析數據發現,那些工作壓力大、自主權低的人比工作壓力小、自主權高的人死亡率高出43%。
 
People who died in the course of the study died for all kinds of reasons. People who suffered from depression were 130% more likely to die early, according to Erik Gonzalez-Mulé, an assistant professor at the University of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business, who co-authored the study. Those with high-stress, low-autonomy jobs who died were also likely to have suffered depression.
 
在研究過程中去世的人死因各有不同。研究報告的合著者、印第安納大學凱萊商學院的助理教授埃里克·岡薩雷斯-穆勒說,患有抑郁癥的人早逝可能性高出130%。那些工作壓力大、自主權低的早逝者也可能患有抑郁癥。
 
Gonzalez-Mulé says his takeaway is not that everyone should quit their jobs in terror. Rather, he says, those with influence over employees’ work experience – like company heads and managers – should do as much as possible to increase workers’ feelings of autonomy, especially for workers in high-stress jobs.
 
岡薩雷斯-穆勒說,他要說的重點不是大家應該驚恐地辭職,而是那些對員工的工作體驗有影響力的人——比如公司領導和經理——應該盡可能提高員工的自主感,尤其是那些工作壓力大的員工。
 
Lowering stress at work isn’t always possible: Some jobs, like working on a tricky contruction site or attending medical emergencies, are inherently stressful. But adding a sense of autonomy is sometimes possible. Gonzalez-Mulé says one comparatively simple option is to allow people to decide where to work, whether that’s from home or, in former times, from a café or other non-office workspace. In that way, the Covid-19 pandemic may have actually moved things forward: Employers who were reluctant to take the step of allowing flexible working on employees’ terms have had to adapt fast and, in many cases, have seen positive results.
 
降低工作壓力并不總是可行的:有些工作,比如棘手的建筑工地或急診部的工作本質上就是高壓的。但是增加工作的自主感有時候還是可能的。岡薩雷斯-穆勒說,一個相對簡單的選擇是,允許人們決定在哪里工作,無論是在家,還是像過去那樣在咖啡館或其他非辦公室的場所。從這個角度來看,新冠疫情也許還真是推動了事物的進步:過去不愿意讓員工根據自己的需要靈活安排工作的公司不得不迅速適應形勢,在很多情況下都獲得了積極的結果。
 
There are other ways that companies can increase workers’ autonomy too, especially for those for whom working from home isn’t an option. “Allowing people to choose what they want to do is kind of a higher order level of autonomy, whereas just allowing people to prioritize tasks and tackle things in the order they want is kind of on the low end,” says Gonzalez-Mulé. Some high-end tech companies might give employees the pick of teams or projects. Firms without so much wiggle room can still allow individuals to make their own day-to-day or hour-to-hour choices – and that can make a big difference to well-being.
 
還有其他能增加員工自主權的方式,尤其是對那些無法在家工作的員工而言。岡薩雷斯-穆勒說:“允許人們選擇自己想做的事情是一種更高級的自主權,而只是允許人們按照自己選擇的優先順序處理任務是一種低級的自主權。”一些高科技公司也許可以讓員工挑團隊或項目。無法提供這么大選擇空間的公司仍然可以允許員工選擇自己每天或每小時干什么——而這會讓幸福感發生很大變化。
 
“Something that we’ve known for a long time is that people, in general, like being given autonomy. Besides the impact to their health and the like, they just tend to be more satisfied, they’re more productive,” Gonzalez-Mulé says. “It’s just a human need, to be able to act in a way that you want to and not just be told by someone else.”
 
岡薩雷斯-穆勒說:“長久以來我們都知道,人們一般都喜歡有自主權。除了有益健康,有自主權的人通常更滿足,生產效率也更高。能夠按照自己的意愿行事,而不是被他人驅使,這是一種人性的需求。”
 
The researchers also discovered that having low cognitive ability, plus high stress, correlated with higher mortality.
 
研究人員還發現,認知能力較低而且壓力大的人死亡率更高。
 
Interestingly, the study also found that people in stressful jobs but who had high control over their work were actually more likely to survive than those in low-stress jobs. They appeared to thrive and stay healthier. One reason, the researchers speculated, was that having high autonomy allowed them to shape their lives in healthier, happier ways, like building in exercise, time outdoors, or relaxation, even alongside more stringent work demands.
 
有趣的是,該研究還發現,工作壓力大但有較高自主權的人實際上比工作壓力。ǖ灾鳈嗟停┑娜藟勖L。他們似乎過得很好,也更健康。研究人員推測,一個原因是較高的自主權允許他們以更健康、更快樂的方式來生活,比如鍛煉身體、戶外時間或放松,即使工作要求更嚴格。

 

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