但斯坦福大学(Stanford University)克莱曼性别研究所(Clayman Institute for Gender Research)的一组研究人员在对医学界工作与生活冲突现象进行研究时发现，除了要兼顾工作和家庭，面对工作中需要完成的多项任务——做研究、照料患者、授课、在委员会任职、担任导师，更不用说还要花许多时间将这一切记录在案——医生们总有分身乏术的感觉。
布里吉德•舒尔特是《不堪重负》(Overwhelmed)一书的作者，也是智库“新美国”(New America)美好生活实验室(Better Life Lab)主任
以下为此文英文原文：Work-work conflict needs addressing for companies to thrive
When I started a new job as the director of a non-profit programme, one of the first orders of business was to read over a memo I’d been handed describing my new duties and responsibilities: it ran to three pages. Single-spaced.
In addition to my work as a journalist and author, I now had a host of other tasks to juggle — managing budgets, supervising staff, fundraising, developing and executing research projects, outreach and more. On most days, no matter how productive I had been, it felt like something always fell through the cracks. I didn’t sleep much.
It turns out that what I was experiencing is a phenomenon that researchers are only beginning to study: work-work conflict.
Most people are familiar with the concept of work-life conflict, and how the competing demands of work and home responsibilities can lead to burnout, increased stress, health problems and low satisfaction. Researchers who study these tensions call both work and home “greedy institutions” because each could consume all your time, energy and attention, making “balance” or “fit” between the two an enormous challenge.
But a group of researchers at Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, who were studying work-life conflict in academic medicine, found that, in addition to being pulled between work and home, the physicians they studied felt torn between all the different kinds of tasks they were expected to do on the job — research, tend to patients, teach, serve on committees and mentor others, not to mention spend hours on paperwork recording it all.
“This combination of different work roles is what drove a lot of tension. For some people, it was even more stressful than work-life conflict,” says Alison Wynn, study author and postdoctoral fellow. “In order to be a really good physician, that takes all of you. To be a really good researcher, or to be a really good teacher and mentor, that takes all of you. And it’s really difficult to divide yourself between all those different roles.”
The cost of work-work conflict is high, with similar increases in burnout, stress, health problems and low satisfaction, she says. A recent report called physician burnout a public health crisis, revealed nearly half of doctors it surveyed in the US showing at least one burnout symptom such as emotional exhaustion, cynicism, or feeling ineffective.
A majority of the physicians Ms Wynn and her colleagues studied said that what they spent the most time on at work were not the things that mattered most to their career goals or that they were uniquely qualified to do. Women were less likely than men to have control over their time, or have the resources needed to meet the demands of their various tasks. One doctor confessed being spread so thin, “I feel like I’m always disappointing someone.”
Researchers identified four key drivers of work-work conflict that managers in any organisation should be paying attention to: competing institutional priorities; ambiguity and the lack of transparency around work expectations; a lack of recognition for certain work activities; and compensation structures that do not align with job responsibilities.
Doctors’ work lives provide a good insight into the challenges. They are paid by the clinical loads they take on at the hospital, but they’re promoted on the basis of the research they do at the medical school. Equally, those working in academic medicine are often paid far less than doctors in private practice, yet they’re expected to do more.
In other organisations, how to get ahead is hard to establish if you don’t have ties to those in power or are not in the “old boys” network. This is compounded by the tendency for organisations to expect women, often women of colour, to plan activities and do the “office housework” that builds team cohesiveness but isn’t recognised or rewarded.
To tackle work-work conflict, a good place for managers to start, Wynn says, is to decide which activities are essential to the organisation, reward those activities, and clarify expectations around what good work means and how people get paid and promoted. “We really need to think more creatively about how we can get better products and better services by treating people better,” she says.
I still experience work-work conflict, but it’s better. I sleep more now that I have a clear mission and a great team with defined roles and responsibilities and transparent expectations.
Flexible work or paid leave, which we offered, eases work-life conflict but doesn’t improve work-work conflict. To do that we needed to restructure the way we worked. It’s time for other managers, leaders and organisations to begin to do the same.
The writer is author of ‘Overwhelmed’ and director of the Better Life Lab at New America