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Cross-cultural comparison of mental health between Japanese and Dutch workers: Relationships with mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and motivationThe primary purpose of this descriptive study was to compare the levels of, and relationships among mental health problems, mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement, and work motivation between workers in Japan (collectivistic and success-driven culture) and the Netherlands (individualistic and quality-oriented culture). A cross-sectional design, where convenience samples of 165 Japanese and 160 Dutch workers completed self-report measures about mental health problems, shame, self-compassion, engagement and motivation, was used. Welch t-tests, correlation and regression analyses were conducted to compare i) the levels of these variables, ii) relationships among these variables, and iii) predictors of mental health problems, between the two groups. Dutch workers had higher levels of mental health problems, work engagement and intrinsic motivation, and lower levels of shame and amotivation than Japanese workers. Mental health problems were associated with shame in both samples. Mental health problems were negatively predicted by self-compassion in Japanese, and by work engagement in Dutch employees. The novelty of this study relates to exploring differences in work mental health between those two culturally contrasting countries. Our findings highlight potential cultural differences such as survey responding (Japanese acquiescent responding vs Dutch self-enhancement) and cultural emphases (Japanese shame vs Dutch quality of life). Job crafting, mindfulness and enhancing ikigai (meaningfulness in life) may be helpful to protect mental health in these workers, relating to self-compassion and work engagement. Findings from this study would be particularly useful to employers, managers, and staff in human resources who work with cross-cultural workforce.
Psychological Impacts of the New Ways of Working (NWW): A Systematic ReviewDigitalization of knowledge work is essential for today’s organizations, responding todiversified employee needs. Many organizations are already implementing some form of flexibility tohelp workers perform work and non-work duties, while maintaining high productivity. While thesechanges in workplaces, “New Ways of Working (NWW)”, have been discussed in the literature,a systematic appraisal of evidence of NWW has not been conducted. Relating to poor work-relatedmental health worldwide, this systematic review analyzed the psychological impacts of NWW, andthe quality and quantity of NWW research. Following the preferred reporting items for systematicreviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, NWW studies targeting psychological outcomeswere evaluated. Initial literature search on ProQuest, PsycINFO, Science Direct, and Google Scholarretrieved 308 titles, from which seven articles fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Our appraisal revealedthat NWW research evaluated diverse psychological outcomes. While NWW can help workers’engagement, work-related flow, and connectivity among staff, NWW can also increase blurredwork-home boundary, fatigue, and mental demands. The quality of NWW research was overallmedium, needing more rigorous studies. Our findings can inform decision-makers in the workplaceto effectively implement NWW, and researchers to improve the quality and the usefulness of futureNWW studies.