Healthy Work Podcast

Most Recent Episodes

The Science of Modern Healthy Work

About us

 

We are two Industrial-Organizational psychologists who care about how to make work a healthier experience for everyone. We run a bi-weekly podcast to bring the science directly to your ears. Please tune in and learn how you can make your work life a healthier experience. 

 

Email us at HealthyWorkPodcast@gmail.com

 

-Written & Produced by Keaton Fletcher, Ph.D. and Maryana Arvan, Ph.D.

-Mixed and Edited by Keaton Fletcher, Ph.D.

-Artwork by Keaton Fletcher, Ph.D.

-Music is Zero (MicroSong) by Steve Combs

Maryana Arvan

 

Maryana Arvan, Ph.D., is an Assistant Profesor of Psychological Science in the Department of Organizational Science at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. She examines how stressful experiences at work affect employee attitudes, health and well-being, and performance, with an emphasis on methodological concerns. She received her B.A. in English from The University of Arizona, and her Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida.

About

 

 

Keaton A. Fletcher

 

Keaton Fletcher, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He studies leadership within organizational networks, and the effects of work on employee health. Keaton is an alumnus of Washington and Lee University where he recieved a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Psychology, and of the University of South Florida, where he received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

Contacts

 

If you have a paper or topic you think we should cover, or if you have a workplace experience that's influencing your health, or if you have feedback for us, we want to hear from you!

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Ep. 2 Sit-Stand Desks

In Episode 2 of Healthy Work, we discuss a paper by Konradt, Heblich, Krys, Garbers, & Otte (2020) that tests the efficacy of sit-stand desks on employee health outcomes across 6 months. Sit-stand desks minimized aches and pains and feelings of fatigue.

Episode List

Ep. 1 Microbreaks 

In Episode 1 of Healthy Work, we discuss a paper published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology by Bennett, Gabriel, and Calderwood (2019) about the benefits of taking microbreaks (brief pauses to rest, relax, and recover) during work.

Ep. 3 Coworker Support & Physiological Stress

In Episode 3 of Healthy Work, we discuss a recent paper by Baethge, Vahle-Hinz, & Rigotti that tests the effects of support from coworkers on a physiological indicator of stress (heart rate variability) throughout the day. People with more coworker support showed less physiologically stress throughout the day.

Ep. 4 Don't Skip Lunch

In Episode 4 of Healthy Work, we discuss a recent paper by Sianoja, Syrek, de Bloom, Korpela, & Kinnunen (2018) that tested how walking in a park or doing relaxation techniques during lunch breaks boost experiences in the afternoon. Taking a walk or relaxing can increase concentration, decrease detachment, strain, and fatigue in the afternoon.

Ep. 5 Your Supervisor Can Help You Sleep

In Episode 5 of Healthy Work, we discuss a recent paper by Crain and colleauges (2019) that experimentally tested an intervention in the workplaced designed to improve employee sleep. Employees with supportive supervisors and schedule control/flexibility got more sleep on average each night even up to a year later, and felt like they had more sufficient sleep. If you want resources from this intervention you can go here.

Ep. 6 Vacation Perfection

In Episode 6 of Healthy Work, we discuss a recent paper by Horan, Flaxman, & Stride (in press) that examined the effects of vacation on exhaustion and negative mood. Unless employees were high in perfectionism and worked during their vacation, employees vacation boosted their mood and made them less exhausted.

Ep. 7 I Need a Drink

In Episode 7 of Healthy Work, we discuss a recent paper by Sayre, Grandey, & Chi (2020) that tested how experiences at work lead to after-work drinking. Employees who tried to actually experience the emotions they have to display at work actually drank less after work. Those who only faked the emotions drank more, but only if they have an emotionally demanding job. 

Ep. 8 Look Who's Talking (About Their Kids)

In Episode 8 of Healthy Work, we discuss a recent paper by Du, Bakker, & Derks (2020) that found that having positive experiences with children, AND talking about them helped people perform better the next day at work and handle work demands better. This phenomenon of positive experiences at home helping you be better at work is called work-to-family enrichment.

Ep. 9 Anything Good for Lunch?

In Episode 9 of Healthy Work, we discuss a recent paper by Smith, Martinez, & Gettle (2020) that explores how the perceived and actual healthiness of the food offered in workplace cafeterias affects employee's satisfaction, intention to quit, and perceived organizational support. Workplaces with healthier offerings have employees who feel more supported, and therefore, more satisfied and less likely to quit.

Ep. 10 Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

In episode 10, we discuss a paper by Yu and Duffy (2020) about the effects of abusive supervision and how sometimes supervisors can make it seem like they're abusive to help you. Don't be an abusive supervisor, and don't be tricked into thinking it's good for you.

Bonus: Mind the Science-Practice Gap?

In this bonus episode, we are joined by one of our favorite podcasts Workr Beeing. If you like what we do, you'll love them! Together we talk about why it's hard for the science of healthy work to make it into practice. We briefly discuss a relevant paper by Aguinis & Cascio.

We definitely recommend you check out Workr Beeing on their websiteLinkedInTwitterInstagram (@WorkrBeeing), or email (contact@workrbeeing.com). You can also listen (and subscribe) to their podcast!

Ep. 11 Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

In episode 11, we discuss a paper by Kuykendall, Craig, Stiksma, & Guarino (Online First) about the reasons people don't use all of their vacation days. People who feel they are generally able to disconnect from work on vacation and those who expect to be relaxed on vacation are more likely to use all of their vacation days, but people who feel that vacation might result in a financial burden are less likely to use all of their days.

Ep. 12 COVID-12, Work, & Family

In episode 12, we discuss a paper by Vaziri, Casper, Wayne, & Matthews (2020) about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on how people navigate the balance between work and family. Although most people's patterns of work-family balance were unaffected by the pandemic (during the first month of U.S. quarantines) individual differences in preference and behaviors affected how people's patterns did change.

Ep. 13 It's Just a Phase

In Episode 13, we discuss a paper by DiStaso and Shoss (2020) that examines how anticipated workload changes the relationship between current workload and emotional strain. Essentially, if you expect your workload to stay the same or go up, your current workload impacts your emotional strain, but if you expect it to go down, there is no relationship between current workload and emotional strain. Shoutout to our new favorite listener who suggested this paper. Send us your thoughts, comments, feedback, and suggestions.

Ep.14 COVID19 Work Setbacks

In Episode 14, we discuss a paper by Chong, Huang, and Chang (2020) that explores the impact of COVID-19 induced setbacks on work tasks on employees' withdrawal and emotional exhaustion. Effects were particularly harmful for employees whose tasks relied heavily on others and these effects were exacerbated if organizations didn't provide necessary task-related support.

Ep.15 Balancing Work at Home

In Episode 15, we discuss a paper by Allen, Merlo, Lawrence, Slutsky, & Gray (2021) that explores how people balance work and non-work lives when working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. People who had a home office, and prefer work and non-work to stay separate found better balance. We discuss strategies people shared about creating boundaries and finding balance.

Ep.16 Dividing Work at Home

In Episode 16, we discuss a paper by Shockley, Clark, Dodd, & King (2021) that explores how couples handled their work and family demands while navigating working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Couples who were able to alternate days of going into work while the other partner stayed home with the child(ren) fared best.

Ep.17 Can Job Insecurity Change Your Personality?

In Episode 17, we discuss a paper by Wu, Wang, Parker, & Griffin (2020) that explores how prolonged job insecurity can change your personality. Over 9 years, people who had extended periods of job insecurity were more neurotic, less conscientious, and less agreeable.

Ep.18 Self-Compassion During COVID

In Episode 18, we discuss a paper by Andel, Shen, and our VERY OWN Arvan (2021) that explores how different types of job stress during the COVID-19 pandemic were linked to employee loneliness, which in turn predicted higher levels of depression and fewer helping behaviors on the job. Good news is that people higher in self-compassion were less likely to report being depressed even if they were lonely, but they were also less likely to engage in helping behaviors on the job.

Ep. 19 Get Some Sleep!

In Episode 19, we discuss a paper by Henderson & Horan (2021) that explores how sleep impacts our performance on the job as well as our attitudes about our job. Sleep, both quality and quantity, is important for job performance, sleep quality more so. Sleep is particularly important for attendance at work and general task performance. So dear listener, get some sleep!

Ep.20 Empathetic Leaders and Negative Feedback

In Episode 20, we discuss a paper by Simon and colleagues (2021) that explores how empathetic leaders suffer from giving negative feedback. Over the course of three studies, the authors show that leaders who are more empathetic perform worse and feel more distressed when they give negative feedback, compared to their less empathetic peers.

Ep. 21 Reacting to Work-Family Conflict

In Episode 21, we are joined by Dr. Kimberly French, and expert in work-family conflict (and Keaton's spouse). Keaton and Kim discuss a paper by Lawson, Lee, and Maric (2021) that explores the effects of reacting negatively to work-to-family conflict on sleep, distress, and health behaviors. People who tend to be more negatively reactive experience worse subjective sleep quality and more psychological distress.

Ep. 22 Proactivity at Work Can Be Draining

In Episode 22, we discuss a paper by Cangiano, Parker, and Ouyang (2021) that explores how proactivity and taking charge at work can make it hard to detach and recover at home. They found people who did take charge found it harder to detach and recover at night unless they were people who were motivated to be autonomous.

Ep. 23 The Ideal Stress

In Episode 23, we discuss a paper by Schilbach, Baethge, & Rigotti (2021) that explores the effects of challenge-type stressors versus hindrance-type stressors on novel stress reactivity. They found that being exposed to a moderate amount of challenges at work helped people react best to new stressors, compared to too few or too many challenges. There was no effect of hindrances.

Ep. 24 COVID Doom Scrolling

In Episode 24, we discuss a paper by Andel, Arvan, & Shen (2021) that explores how consuming news about COVID-19 can make you more anxious and less engaged at work, but that work may serve as a reprieve from this anxiety if you are called to it because it gives you a sense of purpose. On the other hand, if you're called to work because you want to help people, you may be worse off when consuming COVID-19 news. Regardless, stop doom scrolling.

Ep. 25 Astronaut Conflict Cycles

In Episode 25, we discuss a paper by Somaraju, Griffin, Olenick, Chang, & Kozlowski (2021) that explores really interesting feedback loops between types of conflict and psychological distress, particularly in a sample of people in a habitat meant to resemble a mission on Mars. Ultimately, conflict can breed more conflict, and relationship conflict and stress can feedback into one another, and all of this is more likely if you have a high workload.

Ep. 26 Sexual Harassment from Customers

In Episode 26, we discuss a paper by Kundro, Burke, Grandey & Sayre (2021) that examines what leads to customers sexually harassing workers. The study finds that needing to provide service with a smile and dependence on tips increase the customer's power, which predicts sexual harassment.

Ep. 27 Political Isolation at Work

In Episode 27, we discuss a paper by Miner, Costa, He, & Wooderson (2021) that discusses the impact of incivility from coworkers of the same or different political group on your physical symptoms. There are A LOT of findings in this paper, but we mostly focus on the takeaway that being in the political minority at work makes you more susceptible to incivility from others.

Ep. 28 Sleep and Rude Emails

In Episode 28, we discuss a paper by Watkins, Krishnan, & Barnes (2021) that discusses the impact of lack of sleep on cyber incivility (things like sending rude emails). People who get less sleep are more likely to engage in incivility, especially if they're already low in agreeableness. This is likely because they were less able to regulate themselves, and ended up engaging in cyber incivility.

Ep. 29 Supporting Worker Flexibility

In Episode 29, we discuss a paper by Leger, Lee, Chandler, & Almeida (2021) that discusses the impact of an organizational intervention designed to increase and support worker flexibility on how employees react to stressors. Employees whose organizations went through the intervention had more flexibility, and were less reactive to workplace stressors, particularly when in comes to stressors that are less interpersonal.

Ep. 30 Stick to the Script...Or Don't

In Episode 30, we discuss a paper by Shin & Hur (2021) on the impact of being forced to stick to a script when dealing with customers, and how job crafting can help offset these negative outcomes. If you can't give workers flexibility in how they respond to customers, give them flexibility in other areas of their jobs.

Ep. 31 Should You Exercise Before Work?

In Episode 31, we discuss a paper by ten Brummelhuis, Calderwood, Rosen, & Gabriel (2021) on the impact of physical activity during the day on self-efficacy, ego depletion and job performance. People who are intrinsically motivated to work out experienced a self-efficacy boost on days they did vigorous or light workouts, but a self-efficacy drop if they only had moderate workouts. People who were intrinsically motivated to workout experienced a self-efficacy boost only if they had a moderate workout. Those self-efficacy boosts translated into performance improvements as rated by a coworker. So, go forth and exercise.

Ep. 32 Getting Back Into Work

In Episode 32, we discuss a paper by Yuan, Ye, & Zhong (2021) on how people reengage with work after a long break (like the one from COVID-19 lockdowns). In this sample, having leaders who were safety-oriented made reattachment efforts more effective at increasing work engagement, safety behavior, performance, and withdrawal at work.

Ep. 33 How Does Company Cost Cutting Affect Employees?

In Episode 33, we discuss a paper by Van Egdom et al. (2022) on how companies' announcements about upcoming cost-cutting measures during COVID impacted employees' feelings of job insecurity and their ability to focus their attention. Take away: these announcements made employees feel less secure which makes it harder to focus, unless they have a supportive supervisor.

Ep. 34 Abusive Supervision Harms Supervisors

In Episode 34, we discuss a paper by Shen, Liang, Brown, Ni, & Zheng (2022) on how supervisors abuse poorly performing subordinates, but that this causes emotional exhaustion for the supervisors. Having a chronically poorly performing subordinate increases supervisors’ emotional exhaustion, due in part, to supervisors’ higher levels of abusive supervision. This further challenges the usefulness of the “tough love” approach to poor performance.