Objective: The World Health Organization states that by 2030, mental illness will become the leading global disease burden. Thus, investigations of job stress might require more heterogeneous and innovative solutions. Existing literature demonstrates that good workplace environments have favorable effects on employees’ psychological well-being. However, studies on long-term effects are scarce. This study examined the long-term impact of comprehensive workplace characteristics and employee responses to stress (coping strategies) on job stress in Japan. Methods: Under a large-scale 3-year longitudinal study, 1,021,178 observations collected from employees in 390 companies from 2017 to 2019 were used. Employee job stress trends were confirmed based on company-fixed-effects linear regression. The relationship between one-year or two-year lagged comprehensive workplace characteristics or coping strategies, and employee job stress was estimated using linear regression. Favorable effects of the work environment and coping strategy improvement were illustrated based on the regression results simulation. Results: First, job stress appeared to be steadily worsening among the employees of Japanese companies from 2017 to 2019. Second, low job and psychological demand, high job control, a high level of support from the people around, balanced effort–reward, strong job security, and strong interpersonal relationship have favorable long-term effects on employee job stress. Third, employees’ coping strategies, such as positive thinking, changing mood, requiring help from other people, reduced negative thinking, and avoiding inappropriate emotional divergence have long-term effects on mitigating job stress. Particularly, thinking positively, changing mood, and avoiding directing feelings of anger and frustration toward others reduce high stress in 46% of respondent employees. Conclusions: A comprehensive well-organized workplace environment and appropriate responses to stress have a long-term favorable effect on employee job stress. These results provide policy measures for improving the workplace environment and for employees to adopt coping strategies to enhance their psychological well-being in the long term.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- History and Philosophy of Science