Higher workloads can make freelance workers happier

Article title: Challenge and hindrance stressors and wellbeing-based work–nonwork interference: A diary study of portfolio workers

From Human Relations

As the hours of freelance or portfolio workers fluctuate, so does their well-being, finds this study. The study surveyed 45 freelance workers over a period of 6 months. With each participant completing an identical survey each week for 6 months, the researchers found that freelance workers are calmer and more enthusiastic when their hours are higher than their normal pattern of working. However, when the demands they face become increasingly difficult, their anxiety levels increase and they may even become depressed.


Stress-based work–nonwork interference, or negative spillover, is associated with transference of negative emotions from the work to the nonwork domain. It is argued that work–nonwork interference resulting from high work demands does not necessarily entail the reproduction of any affective states. First, calmness can result in lower work–nonwork interference and enthusiasm in higher levels. Second, hindrance stressors can be negatively related to enthusiasm and calmness, while challenge stressors are positively associated with them. Hypotheses about the relationship between stressors and interference that reflect this rationality are developed and tested using longitudinal data from a six-month diary study of portfolio workers. The results offer some support for them and indicate that both challenge and hindrance stressors are positively related to interference. However, for hindrance stressors the indirect effect is positive when mediated by calmness and negative for enthusiasm. In contrast, for challenge stressors the indirect effect is negative when mediated by calmness and positive when mediated by enthusiasm. The mediation paths are significant only for transient effects. Thus, there are indications that well-being can both increase or decrease interference depending on the nature of the stressor and whether it is mediated by calmness or enthusiasm.


Read this article for free

Article details
Stephen J Wood and George Michaelides
Challenge and hindrance stressors and wellbeing-based work–nonwork interference: A diary study of portfolio workers Human Relations 0018726715580866, first published on October 15, 2015 doi:10.1177/0018726715580866




This entry was posted in Business & Management, SAGE Insight and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply