Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

High Skills and High Anxiety: Skills, Hard Work and Mental Well-being

Jobs in Britain are becoming more demanding in two senses: since 1986 they have been requiring increasing levels of skill, and up to 1997 they were also requiring higher levels of work intensity. Job satisfaction fell during the 1990s. This paper examines the implications of increased skill requirements in jobs for workers’ well-being and job satisfaction. Understanding this association is important because if there are disadvantageous effects on individuals’ welfare these need to be balanced against the better known wage effects of increased skills needs. It would also have implications for the wider economy if lower levels of well-being impair workers’ performance.

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