Journal of Organizational Behavior

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Volume 8 Issue 2 (April 1987), Pages fmi-fmi, 95-186

Work environment and the well‐being of clerical and VDT workers (pages 95-114)


This paper explores the relationships between extent of video display terminal usage, perceptions of the physical work environment, task characteristics, and workers' health and well‐being among a group of 1032 female office clerical workers. Data are drawn from responses to a 30‐minute questionnaire administered at four employment sites during 1981 and 1982. All‐day terminal users reported significantly higher levels of job and physical environment stressors than part‐day VDT users, typists and non machine‐interactive clerical workers. Reports of musculo‐skeletal strain and dissatisfaction were also highest among all day terminal users. Part‐day VDT users, typists and clerks all reported relatively similar levels of job and physical working conditions, health symptoms and job satisfaction. No significant differences between any of the groups were observed for gastrointestinal, respiratory, psychological and other non‐specific health complaints. Typists and clerical workers who also held supervisory positions reported fewer stressors and greater job satisfaction than workers with no supervisory tasks; however there were no such differences between supervisors and non‐supervisors engaged in all‐day VDT work.

Implications of these findings for further research and for job redesign strategies to alleviate the potentially stressful aspects of office automation are discussed.

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