如何解决工作和工作之间的冲突?

“新美国”智库美好生活实验室主任 布里吉德•舒尔特 为英国《金融时报》撰稿
2019.05.15 12:00

我刚开始担任一个非盈利项目的主任时,首先做的事情之一就是阅读一份别人交给我的备忘录,以了解我的新职务和责任:这份备忘录有3页,且是单倍行距打印。

除了做着记者和作家的工作之外,我现在还有很多其他的任务要处理——管预算、管员工、筹款、研究项目的开发和实施、业务拓展等等。在大多数日子里,不管我的工作效率有多高,我总感觉有什么事情没有顾及到。我睡觉都睡不踏实。

事实证明,我现在面对的是研究人员刚刚开始研究的一个现象:工作与工作之间的冲突。

大多数人都知道工作与生活之间的冲突,以及工作责任和家庭责任之间相互矛盾的要求是如何导致人筋疲力尽、压力增加、健康出问题和满意度下降的。研究这种紧张关系的人员将工作场所和家庭都称为“贪婪的机构”,因为每一个都可能消耗你所有的时间、精力和注意力,两者之间要达到“平衡”或“契合”是一项巨大挑战。

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。

“不同工作职责相叠加会给人带来紧张感,对一些人来说,这甚至比工作和生活之间的冲突更让人压力山大,”研究报告撰稿人、博士后研究员艾莉森•韦恩(Alison Wynn)说。“为了成为一名真正的好医生,你需要全身心投入。要想成为一名真正优秀的研究人员,或成为一名真正优秀的老师和导师,你需要全身心投入。一个人要分头做好所有这些不同的职责真的很困难。”

她说,工作与工作之间的冲突可能带来很高的代价,一样会导致人筋疲力尽、压力增加、身体健康出问题和满意度下降。最近有一份报告将医生过度劳累称为公共健康危机。该报告显示,在接受调查的美国医生中,近一半至少表现出一种过度劳累症状,如精神疲惫、愤世嫉俗、或感觉效率低下。

韦恩和她的同事们调查的大多数医生表示,他们在工作中花费时间最多的事情并不是对他们实现职业目标最重要的事情,也不是他们特别擅长的事情。与男性相比,女性控制自己时间的可能性更低,要满足自己担负的各项不同任务的要求,她们拥有所需资源的可能性也更低。一位医生坦承分身乏术,“我觉得自己现在总让别人失望。”

研究人员发现了导致工作与工作之间产生冲突的四个关键因素:机构内相互竞争的优先任务;在工作期望方面模糊不清和缺乏透明度;对某些工作没有给予充分认可;以及薪酬结构与工作职责不匹配。任何机构的管理人员都应该关注这些因素。

医生的职场生活有助于我们很好地洞察这些挑战。他们凭借在医院承担临床工作任务获得报酬,但他们的晋升依据的是在医学院进行的研究。同样,从事医学研究的薪酬往往比私人诊所医生低得多,却要做更多的事情。

在其他机构中,如果你与掌权的人没有关系,或没有进入“老男人俱乐部”的圈子,要想出人头地就很渺茫。此外,机构往往希望女性(通常是有色人种女性)从事活动策划工作,以及做“办公室家务”,这些工作有助增强团队凝聚力,但却得不到认可或奖励。

韦恩表示,要解决工作与工作之间的冲突,管理人员可以从以下几个方面着手:确定哪些活动对机构至关重要,对完成这些活动给予奖励,明确对工作岗位的期望,说明怎样算工作出色,以及员工如何获得报酬和晋升。“对于如何通过更好地对待员工来做出更好的产品和服务,我们真的需要具备更有创造性的思维,”她说。

我仍然有工作和工作之间的冲突,但情况有所好转。现在我有了明确的使命和一个强大的团队,大家职责明确,工作岗位期望是透明的,所以我现在睡得更踏实了。

弹性工作制或带薪休假(这二者我们都提供)会缓解工作与生活的冲突,但无法缓解工作与工作之间的冲突。要做到这一点,我们需要调整工作方式。其他管理人员、领导和机构也应该开始这么做。

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

译者/何黎

以下为此文英文原文:Work-work conflict needs addressing for companies to thrive

By Brigid Schulte

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

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