Seniorer & psykisk arbejdsmiljø
seniorer | COWI | krav/kontrol model | fastholdelse | coping | psykisk arbejdsmiljø
This thesis aims to examine how senior employees experience that their psychological work environment affects their decision to stay on the labour market despite their possibility to retire. I have conducted interviews with 6 senior employees and 2 supervisors in the consulting group COWI. I have analysed the interviews by using a well-known work environment model, the Job-Demand-Control model presented by Karasek and the cognitive coping theory presented by Lazarus. The assumption in the Job-Demand-Control model is that control and social support are moderating the negative effects of job strain caused by high demands. The coping theory investigates how the workers comprehend their possibilities of action and how they act when strains and demands are overwhelming. The factors in the psychological work environment I analyse here are primarily demands, control and support. The analysis shows that the senior employees do not always experience that there is a balance between demands and control in their work life so they have developed coping strategies. I conclude that in order to stay at the labour market crucial promoting factors in the psychological work environment are continued challenging and developing work life. A continued challenging and developing work life provides the senior employees with an experience that they continue to make a positive contribution and make a change. Another promoting factor is their self-awareness of being highly valued employees with skills, experience and knowledge in demand. The thesis shows that support from co-workers and supervisors is more important for the employees than their experience of control in order to manage the demands and strain at work. However the picture of the psychological work environment is complex and due to the applied qualitative method the results are not necessarily representative but do contribute to knowledge about the significance of the psychological environment when retaining seniors at the labour market.