Using playful work design to deal with hindrance job demands: A quantitative diary study.

Yuri S. Scharp, Kimberley Breevaart, Arnold B. Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

All job demands are exhausting, but hindrance job demands are particularly stressful since they also impede personal growth and goal attainment. In the present study, we use the dual perspective model to distinguish between agency hindrance job demands (i.e., task-related stressors that cost energy and offer few opportunities for mastery and competence) and communion hindrance job demands (i.e., social stressors that cost energy and limit the probability of experiencing close relationships). We hypothesize that daily agency hindrance job demands and daily communion hindrance job demands have unique indirect and negative associations with daily job performance (i.e., in-role and extra-role performance behaviors) through daily work engagement. In addition, we used theories about proactivity and play to hypothesize that the association of both types of hindrance job demands with work engagement will be moderated by playful work design—the process of proactively creating conditions during work activities that foster competition or fun. Employees from various occupational backgrounds filled out an online questionnaire at the end of each workday (N = 202 × 5.61 days = 1,133 observations). The results of structural equation modeling analyses supported our mediation hypotheses. In addition, as predicted, the negative association between agency hindrance job demands and work engagement was buffered on days when employees designed competition, whereas the negative relation between communion hindrance job demands and work engagement was buffered on days when employees designed fun. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-188
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • agency
  • communion
  • hindrance job demands
  • playful work design
  • work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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