PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the gaps between experienced working conditions (WCs) and the perceived importance of these conditions in relation to subjective health in Swedish public sector workplaces.Design/methodology/approachIn total, 379 employees answered questions concerning WCs and health. Nine WC areas were created to measure the gap between the experienced WCs and the perceived importance of each condition. These WC areas were: physical work environment, social relationships, communication, leadership, job control, recognition, self-development, workplace culture and work/life satisfaction. Subjective health was measured using mental ill health, well-being and general health.FindingsThe results indicated relatively large gaps in all nine WC areas. Leadership, physical work environment and work/life satisfaction in particular seemed to be problematic areas with relatively large gaps, meaning that employees have negative experiences of these areas while perceiving these areas as very important. Additionally, all WC areas were significantly related to subjective health, especially regarding mental ill health and well-being; the larger the gaps, the worse the subjective health. The WC areas of work/life satisfaction, self-development, social relationships, communication and recognition had the highest relationships and model fits. This indicates that it is most problematic from an employee’s point of view if there are large gaps within these WC areas.Originality/valueThis study improves the understanding of workplace health by exploring the gap between experienced WCs and the perceived importance of these conditions.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 5, 2018