The unequal distribution of control over ones work

Control and autonomy at work is something that I’ve touched on a few times in the past.  For instance, a few years ago I wrote about a study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania that touched on this issue in the workplace.  The study found that when highly educated people are given autonomy over how and when and where they work, they produce much more than when they are micro-managed.

The research found that when people had control over their own schedule they were empowered enough to accept whatever work pattern they themselves adopted.  This often meant working longer and harder than before.

These findings have been reflected in a second study, this time by researchers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  The research found that when you give employees the opportunity to customize their own jobs, known as idiosyncratic deals, a number of positive outcomes emerged, including being less stressed, more motivated, and more engaged in their work.

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