The double presence: How to harmonize family and work life?


Dr. Rosio Del Pilar Rymer, Family Physician / Occupational Risk Prevention, Quality Management. Responsible for the Occupational Health, Safety and Health Unit of the General Hospital of the Plaza de la Salud.

If you currently feel that you are working under a rhythm and environment in which your physical, mental or social well-being is being harmed; if you think you do not have free time to take care of your personal activities; if you see your rest and leisure spaces reduced; If you feel overwhelmed or oppressed, you may be in the presence of so-called psychosocial risks.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), these risks are "those characteristics of working conditions whose demands affect the health of people through a mechanism of psychological and physiological response, called stress."

This type of demand, being directly related to the work, and being determined by how the environment is structured, organized or designed, as well as labor relations, is presented when the work requirements do not meet the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker - or exceed them; or when the knowledge and skills of a worker or group of collaborators does not live up to the expectations of the organizational culture of a company.

The harmful exposure to these risks under certain circumstances, and according to their intensity, frequency and duration, can affect the health of the worker both in the organic and emotional and social part, being precursors of diseases that can seriously harm the affected, independently of the personality of the workers or their personal or family circumstances.

This health consequence has been identified as one of the most important causes of absenteeism at work and of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, dermatological, immune, musculoskeletal and mood disorders, among many others. (Technical Note Prevention 443 of INSTH, 1997).

Psychosocial risks can be identified through five dimensions, according to the harmful characteristics of the work organization:

1. Excess of psychological demands: Work under a fast, irregular work rhythm; improvised or monotonous, which requires that feelings be hidden and difficult decisions made, among others.

2. Lack of influence and development: Work without defined autonomy margins to perform tasks, without possibilities to apply skills and knowledge, with difficulty adapting working hours to personal and family needs, without defined times to pause and rest , among other.

3. Lack of support and leadership quality: Perform the work in isolation, without the support of superiors or colleagues, with undefined roles and tasks that are not well defined without adequate information or on time, among others.

4. Low compensation: Impose changes in positions or services against the will of the employee, lack of respect and lack of work recognition, unfair treatment, contractual insecurity, low salary compensation, among others.

5. Double presence: Confront domestic and family work with their daily demands simultaneously with those of paid work, in the presence of a work organization that prevents or hinders the compatibility of both activities making it impossible to harmonize work and family life, among others.

Posted in: Hoy Digital newspaper. 

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