Workdays are not created equal: Job satisfaction and job stressors across the workweek

Shani Pindek, Zhiqing E. Zhou, Stacey R. Kessler, Alexandra Krajcevska, Paul E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Are your workdays created equal? Common wisdom suggests that employees experience Mondays differently from Fridays. However, few studies distinguish among workdays, inherently assuming that the employee experience is uniform across the workweek. In the current study, we examined the trajectories of employees’ experiences of job satisfaction and job stressors across the workweek. We proposed two competing theoretical perspectives that result in opposite predictions as to whether job dissatisfaction and perceived job stressors will be higher (“Monday blues”) or lower (“rested and recharged”) at the beginning of the workweek rather than later in the week. Employing a daily diary design with 139 employees (681 matched daily observations) working the traditional workweek, we found that employees reported experiencing lower levels of job satisfaction and perceived more job stressors (i.e., incivility and organizational constraints) at the beginning of the workweek as opposed to later in the week. Additionally, the relationship between perceived incivility and job satisfaction was stronger at the beginning of the workweek. Our findings were consistent with the “Monday blues” perspective and suggest that workdays are not created equal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1447-1472
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Relations
Volume74
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [grant number T42-OH008438].

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • Diary study
  • incivility
  • job satisfaction
  • organizational constraints
  • stressors
  • workweek

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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