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New Solut. 2008;18(2):245-55. doi: 10.2190/NS.18.2.m.

Hooked on a feeling: emotional labor as an occupational hazard of the post-industrial age.

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Emotional labor is a subtle but serious occupational hazard that is likely to spread rapidly as the global service economy continues to grow. Emotional labor requires more than just acting friendly and being helpful to customers; the worker must manage his or her emotions to create a company-dictated experience for customers. The practice of emotional labor in an unsupportive work environment produces work-related stress, which has a wide range of potentially serious health effects. Though many employers do not acknowledge the existence of emotional labor, it is a real occupational hazard that may generate life-altering effects on physical and emotional health. While no official regulations or identification standards specify emotional labor as an occupational hazard, some guidelines exist regarding its outcome: occupational stress. Emotional labor should be recognized as an occupational hazard by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but this hazard does not lend itself to regulation through standards. The business culture that demands its performance is questioned.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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