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PSYCH304: Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Unit 8: Work-Family Balance   The final unit on the course will examine how workers and employers are both managing work-family balance in an effort to keep health costs down and productivity up. The current statistics show that there is more of a focus on work-family balance than there ever has been in the workplace. Work schedules are changing and becoming more and more flexible. Part of finding the balance for employees is taking a look at human factors and ergonomics and how these affect satisfaction, commitment, and the bottom line.

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 7 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 2.5 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • compare and contrast how work-life balance has changed from the past;
  • explain work schedules, flexible hours, and the impact on workers and productivity;
  • define environmental psychology; and
  • explain ergonomics and the impact on human factors.

8.1 Work-Life Balance in USA   8.1.1 Current Statistics   - Reading: Society for Human Resource Management: Kathy Gurchiek’s “Survey: Work/Life Balance Off-Kilter in US” Link: Society for Human Resource Management: Kathy Gurchiek’s “Survey: Work/Life Balance Off-Kilter in US” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this entire article, which provides the current research and statistics on how the average American is performing in the work life balance area.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.1.2 Weeks per Year Working in US vs. Other Countries   - Reading: EzineArticles: Roger Chestnut’s “Typical Work Weeks around the World” Link: EzineArticles: Roger Chestnut’s “Typical Work Weeks around the World” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the article in its entirety for a discussion of typical work weeks around the world. This material covers topics in subunits 8.1.2 and 8.1.3.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.1.3 Nominal Hours   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.1.2.

8.1.4 Rest Breaks and Manual Labor   - Reading: Employee Issues: “Work Breaks and Meals” Link: Employee Issues: “Work Breaks and Meals” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire webpage for a discussion of Federal and State Laws on the topic of Breaks and Meals.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.1.5 Compressed Work Weeks: Common Schedules   - Reading: The Society for Human Resource Management’s “Work-life Interference: Expanding our Measurement Conceptualization and Improving our Measurement” Link: The Society for Human Resource Management’s “Work-life Interference: Expanding our Measurement Conceptualization and Improving our Measurement” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Review the executive summary and key finding, then click the "read the full report" link at the bottom of the page; read the entire PDF document.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.1.6 The Effect of Compressed Weeks on Workers vs. The Effect of Compressed Weeks on Employers   Note: This topic is also covered in the reading for subunit 8.1.5.

  • Reading: Business Management Suite 101: Deborah Hildebrand’s “Flexible Work Schedules” Link: Business Management Suite 101: Deborah Hildebrand’s “Flexible Work Schedules (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the entire article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.1.7 Flexible Work Hours and Shift Work   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunits 8.1.5 and 8.1.6. 

8.1.8 Job Sharing and Work at Home   - Reading: Mission Job Share: Laurie Cremona and Elaine Miller’s “Job Share Resource Guide” Link: Mission Job Share: Laurie Cremona and Elaine Miller’s “Job Share Resource Guide” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire article, which provides both employee and employer with guidelines for using job sharing in the workplace.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.2 Work Environment   8.2.1 Environmental Psychology   - Reading: University of Canberra: James Neil’s “Environmental Psychology” Link: University of Canberra: James Neil’s “Environmental Psychology” (Adobe Flash)
 
Also available in:
PDF (Slides Handout)
 
Instructions: Review slides 1-22 only of this PowerPoint presentation. This presentation provides a definition of Environmental Psychology, as well as environmental stressors, risks, and designs within a company. This media covers the material in subunits 8.2.1-8.2.5
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.2.2 Environmental Stressors   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.2.1.

8.2.3 Environmental Risks   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.2.1.

8.2.4 Environmental Design   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.2.1.

8.2.5 Herzberg’s Hygienic Factors   - Reading: NETMBA: “Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory)” Link: NETMBA: “Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Two Factor Theory)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire webpage, which addresses factors affecting job attitude and the implications this has on management.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.3 Human Factors   8.3.1 Cognitive Design Engineering   - Web Media: George Mason University: Raja Parasurman’s “Introduction to Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering” Link: George Mason University: Raja Parasurman’s “Introduction to Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering (PowerPoint)

 Instructions: Scroll down the webpage until you reach the hyperlink
titled “CogEngIntro.ppt” to download the PowerPoint presentation.
Note that the files are listed alphabetically. Read all 38 slides of
this PowerPoint presentation, which will define cognitive
engineering, product design, and human factors. This media
presentation covers topics in subunits 8.3.1-8.3.4.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above. 

8.3.2 The Effect of Computer Use on Workers   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.3.1.  

8.3.3 Product Design   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.3.1.  

8.3.4 Role of People vs. Role of Machines   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.3.1.  

8.3.5 Goals of Ergonomics   - Reading: Absolute Astronomy: “Ergonomics” Link: Absolute Astronomy: “Ergonomics (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this entire article on the history and etymology
of ergonomics, as well as its applications. This reading covers the
topics in subunits 8.3.5-8.3.7.  
    
 <span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span
style="font-size: 12px;"><span class="Apple-style-span"
style="border-collapse: collapse;"><span class="Apple-style-span"
style="">Terms of Use: The material linked above is licensed under
the </span><span class="Apple-style-span" style="">[GNU Free
Documentation
License](http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html)</span><span
class="Apple-style-span" style="">. The original version can be
found
[here](http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Ergonomics).</span></span></span></span>
  • Assessment: ErgoWorks Consulting: “Office Ergonomic Quiz” Link: ErgoWorks Consulting: “Office Ergonomic Quiz (HTML)

    Instructions: Take this quiz. You may also fill out the information and click on the submit quiz button at bottom left of page to get your results.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

8.3.6 History and Etymology   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.3.5.  

8.3.7 Applications of Ergonomics in the Workplace   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 8.3.5.

  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Practice Problem” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Practice Problem (PDF)

    Instructions: Click on the link above to download the practice problem sets for the course. Complete the problem for Unit 8.