Working in academia holds many opportunities to thrive in terms of autonomy and learning. Indeed, many academics report to be engaged or ‘called’ to their profession. However, work pressure is a growing concern amongst academic staff. Job demands include the teaching-research combination, isolation, and high levels of competition. As of yet, there are few studies that focus on context-specific demands and resources or how academics may deal with high work pressure, for example using proactive bottom-up strategies such as job crafting. The aim of this presentation is to reflect on the academic working environment and job crafting strategies that may help academics to thrive.
A review of existing studies on academics’ demands, resources and crafting strategies will be conducted. Initial quantitative and qualitative data on academics from different fields will be presented, testing relationships between work pressures in academia and well-being outcomes (work engagement and distress). Based on job demands-resources and job crafting theory, quantitative findings and observations in practice, a research model will be proposed that will guide future studies on work pressure and proactive self-management for academics.
This study addresses the understudied theme of effective strategies for academics to maintain and enhance health, well-being and meaningful work.