Research on the influence of the COVID-19 epidemic on work stress of returning workers in China: A study based on empirical analyses of industrial enterprises
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 epidemic not only cast a shadow on China's economic development but also caused phased panic and anxiety among the Chinese population. At the stage when the spread of the epidemic is not completely controlled, the business activities will surely cause employees to worry and produce a work stress reaction. OBJECTIVE: This study explores the impact of psychosocial stress caused by the COVID-19 epidemic on the work stress of returned workers. Furthermore, we explore the boundary conditions for reducing work stress from the perspectives of perceived organizational support, perceived social support and epidemic awareness. METHODS: Data were collected within two weeks after the Chinese government announced the work resumption of industrial enterprises. During this period, 526 returned workers participated in the study. RESULTS: The results showed that the psychosocial stress caused by the epidemic had a positive impact on work stress. Both perceived organizational support and perceived that social support can alleviate the impact of psychosocial stress on work stress. The moderating effect of epidemic awareness was only established in non-severe epidemic areas. CONCLUSIONS: In the current period of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, the conclusions of this study have a certain theoretical significance and practical value.