Mental Health in the Working World
How do people cope with frequent changes of location? What consequences does mobility have for companies, families, health and well-being, bonds and attachment? How should mobile work be designed to protect those concerned from health impairments?
In principle, mobility is the movement of people and things in a geographical area. One differentiates various forms of occupational mobility, for example work-associated and work-related mobility. Commuting to work is an example of "work-associated" mobility. It is upstream and downstream from work and serves to coordinate occupational and external requirements. In contrast, a business trip is an example of "work-related" mobility. It results from the mobility requirements of the work itself.
Today, almost every other person in gainful employment reports about having experience with mobility. On average, every German spends 74 minutes of their day on the road and travels 44 kilometres, 60 per cent of which is by car (Häfner & Kächele, 2007). Mobility involves all social classes in society today and since the mid-1990s has been one of the central explanatory dimensions of western societies.
A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) summarises the state of scientific knowledge on mobility. It differentiates between various forms of mobility, goes into mobility intensity, time sovereignty as well as work intensity and analyses their interrelations with (mental) health and well-being. It also describes their relations to motivation, job satisfaction and performance. Furthermore, the review reveals research gaps and discusses options for actively influencing this factor.
The scoping review on mobility is part of the project "Mental Health in the Working World - determining the current state of scientific evidence". The project assesses mental load factors by means of the state of scientific knowledge.
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