Emotional labor is a form of emotional regulation in which laborers or workers attempt to display the emotions that they are expected to display as part of their job but not as a part of their soul happiness. It is usually done in two significant ways. One way is when the workers by an ideal acting performance try to enact the happy emotions. The second way is by simply faking smiles and happy emotions on the surface. There are differences between various types of emotion labor, and how gender, status and the search for authenticity are affected by the feeling mechanism in each individual.
As discussed in the book the Managed Heart, Arlie Hochschild analyzes the performance of emotion work in both private and public settings. She has magnificently expressed how emotion work might differ from public to private spheres – whether, for example, the emotional labor we perform at the behest of an employer is different in form, effects, or degree of difficulty from the emotion work we perform for ourselves, in our daily lives. On the contrary, the affects of turning human emotion into commodities as workers has brought about a deep concern.
Arlie Hochschild has defined emotional labor as “the management of feeling to create a publicly observable facial and bodily display which is sold for a wage and therefore has an exchange value. ” The expression ‘emotional labor’ up until now was frequently used in discussions among women at the time of childbirth. It was never a part of the official language of work, but is now. Emotional labor could be an aspect of stressful job. Another important and common meaning of the term emotional labor is “work that implies suffering”, which makes one feel painful, distressing emotions.
Involvement and distress are often felt together as a composite feeling of emotional setback. But women workers even feel the need to put themselves at stake emotionally. Nursery school teachers, for example, manage with each other to secure jobs involving more contact with the children and complain of being taken away by excessive tidying up and cleaning duties. Emotion work is defined as emotional regulation which is more likely required to display organizationally desired emotions by the employees.
It has received increased attention because it is relevant in the service industry where social interactions with customers, clients, or patients are a significant part of the job. Contemporary studies have found drastic effects on psychological well-being which indicates that emotion work is a multidimensional construct with dimensions having positive and negative health effects. The best support that supervisors can give beleaguered clerks, secretaries and other service employees understanding. This means assuring them that they are not at the mercy of the abusive or manipulative customer, and that they have rights as well.
It also means helping them redirect their emotional response, instead of simply requiring a made-up smile. Aspects of emotional suffering are not restricted to the service industry but are also present in the intellectual jobs. The more general definitions of labor are “intellectual work” and “manual work”. The jobs we have termed emotional jobs fall officially within such labels. In fact, today the poet, teacher, analyst are classified as intellectuals, while the nurse or policeman tend to be classed as manual workers.
There are two categorical differences between the intellectual and manual types, originating from the fact where one profile requires physical labor and the other brain work. One aspect of the “comparable worth” policy has consisted in re-evaluating the intellectual and manual characteristics of these jobs. For example, Andrea Dworkin, after writing a book on pornography said that the material visual and non-visual which she had had to put up with for three years had ruined her life (I981:302-304).
Therefore emotional labor can be applied to all kinds of jobs because they all have this effect, to a greater or lesser degree at some or most of the times. Female laborers who are sometimes forced to give an output of work more than forty hours a week, face stress and emotional depression. In intellectual jobs in order to meet project deadlines, staff members sacrifice their family time and extend their working hours. It’s a fifty-fifty situation where some enjoy the extra billable hours while some find it hard to co-op with stretched working hours.
This is perhaps another very evident phase of emotional labor, where the resultant laborers are forced to gracefully suffice to long working hours. Traditionally which was presented as distinct are now two broad researched areas -emotional intelligence and emotion work. An employee’s emotional intelligence or cognitive abilities cannot be assessed or developed without an understanding of the context or emotion work rules. Now it is noted that basis on employee’s emotional intelligence the rules within a given job profile or situation constructs the foundational ability.
It is believed that emotion based work cannot be performed articulately without possessing a foundation of emotional intelligence. Those responsible for employee development must help the employee develop abilities and knowledge about contextual emotional expression rules. Implications for human resource development address ways which professionals can utilize this interdisciplinary perspective in research and practice and the importance of developing both cognitive abilities and contextual knowledge about emotions to help employees develop emotional intelligence and perform emotion work.
Flight attendants and other service workers cope with a sometimes difficult public. There certainly are jobs such as nursing and customer service work that involves frequent interactions with others, which itself may engender emotional labor. These are jobs that drain one’s emotions even in a short time, for example nursing terminal patients or children with life threatening ailments, who die slowly and gradually in front of your eyes. However, here if the workers enact the act of deep acting it reduces stresses and also brings an increased sense of personal accomplishment.
It has been observed that patients are usually brought in groaning in apparent pain seemed to feel better for at least thirty minutes after they foresee the nurse’s smiles and friendly touch. A professional nurse must be able to perform numerous different technical activities. For example, a there will be chances when the nurse will perform low grade activity, such as moving a bedridden patient without causing pain, cleaning the bed-sores, and literally servicing like a mother.
Turning a patient over delicately to wash those bed sores, not only require mental courage but physical strength as well. At various instances the nurses have to tactfully handle situations with attentiveness to the needs of patients which may demand little more than medical help but a whole lot of sympathy and emotional support. The considerable psycho-physical tolerance a nurse must have has also being rightly pointed out in order to be instantly awake at a call, on her feet and functioning for as long as she is on the working shift.
It has never kept nurses, or women of any kind, from listening respectfully to the many ailments and woes of moaning patients and at odd hours. Emotional language cannot help but break out because care work which is primarily dominated by emotional component becomes essential for achieving desired results as a caring nurse. Nursing is more than any other similar job. It is a non-stop momentous of re-establishing patient’s and their kin’s faith and courage. Nurse with their emotional labor completes that bond required between the hands, the heart and the mind.
So, it’s less stressful for workers to attempt to bring the required emotional displays and their inner feelings into alignment. Ideally, employees would be given reasonable amount of latitude regarding the expression of emotions. Evaluating an emotional capacity means evaluating a laborer’s work possibilities in a more articulate and at the same time comprehensive manner. To recognize the various emotional aspects of work, would bring into play not only the hierarchical order between women and men, but among men as well.
It is said that women eventually either subside from their emotional stress or more likely grow stronger from it. However, it is noted in several cases that men do sustain their emotional stress to a large extent. When in high school it is more likely for youngsters to indulge in quick catering service industry or join the fast food centers for fast cash. It was one of my lifetime’s first experiences to dress up in white shirt and black pants and polished shoes. Hair tied up tightly I had stepped out of my home in the town of Rochester.
At that age as I was at that time, I was little versed with feelings of getting embarrassed in waiting on the tables, but much to my surprise I did feel reluctant to the whole situation. I was told exactly what the airhostesses are told, to smile. I was to smile and wait on tables. I was to carry large round shaped deep trays filled with snacks and drinks over my right shoulder with grace had to make sure that I do not frown but smile at all times and be extra sweet. So, this was my first experience and exposure as my work became emotional labor.
At the end of that night I was not happy with myself. The made-up smile did not make my heart smile even for a minute whether at the back of the kitchen doors with other waitresses or at the forefront of guests. Many clerical and service jobs are already stressful, because they are low wage and low status, with employees having little or no control over their workplace conditions. Maintaining professionally positive expressions for the customer requires a kind of work termed `emotional labor’ by some psychologists.
Emotional labor may create significant stress, which has mental and physical costs. In recent times one of the most booming businesses has been that of Call Centers. As a known matter of fact the main job profiles of call center operators is that of constant interaction with customers by telephone, with the support of desktop computer systems. Now, some may debate that here workers are largely saved from the day-to-day stress on the job, since they are behind the curtains. In other words, being on the telephone is to an extent not the same as interacting with customers face-to-face.
Since, facial exasperations for anguishes from both customers end and call center operators end is not evident. However, studies show that call center operators are more likely to suffer emotional labor. The results also support the view that the majority of call centers have been established to organize mass service for customers, that the work in the call centers is characterized by routine work and low task control, and that call centre employees are required to suggest a “friendly smile” when they are on the phone.
Again like the airhostesses first lesson of keeping a smile on the face, call center operators are supposed to be extra polite and smiling at all times. Many operators have experienced voices of screaming customers, of angry and to some extent abusing customers, but, the call center operators at no point of time are allowed to higher their pitch or change their polite tone to any other. The constant pleasing act is primarily enacted by all call center operators, resulting in emotional labor.
However, call center operators can reframe their emotional response by reminding themselves of a positive emotion event, or can reappraise the situation by telling themselves, “That customer that just got off the telephone must have been having a bad day. ” The operators should be granted liberal leniency where they can perhaps consider that sometimes the customer is not always right. All this allows and helps call center operators to actually process and regulate the emotions rather than just hiding them and surrendering to emotional labor.
The flip side of this dilemma is that employees are told to suppress or ignore their emotions in order to provide good customer service. The display of positive emotions and sensitivity requirements also had positive effects on personal accomplishment. The requirement to express negative emotions had little effect on burnout. Organizations have now started creating recreational centers within their premises for workers to relax their minds and de-stress themselves.
It is noted that some organizations help by encouraging employees to take a brief walk or do deep breathing exercises or try internal self-talk that allows employees to reappraise a bad experience with an impolite customer. As a matter of fact it is quite surprisingly noted that the negative emotional fallout from one customer outburst becomes contagious and affects the employee’s interaction with other customers as well. It is important to bear this capacity in mind when establishing a more accurate standard of equivalents for different jobs.
This is a preliminary act of operation for making jobs comparable and setting out their reciprocal values in terms of emotional labor. The organizations have carried out regulations to prevent these burn-outs, emotional exhaustions as an utmost primary act. It is remarkable to notify that emotional work and emotional labor is not only restricted to the public sector or the professional world but also inside our closed doors of homes. There is a regular need to acquire a greater capacity for work on oneself is essential to all kinds of jobs whether at home or work. Women are great examples of constant emotional labor.
It has been noted that they work from their heart and have experience emotional exasperations long before it was noted by the world. Also, not to forget that in private lives they say women inhale and exhale more emotional labor on daily basis than in the public professional world. It is now appropriate to remember the process of transformation that the family has undergone in recent centuries, at the core of which has been placed the mother, first accepting to breastfeed her babies, then being tender and involved in her children’s education and finally giving unconditional emotional support to her partner.
Society today explicitly recognizes female superiority when, on the basis of the superior interest of the children, gives them in almost all cases the custody to the mother after a separation or a divorce. It also recognizes her superiority in so far as many jobs are given to women on the sole assumption of maternal qualities and quality of patience levels in the female worker. The work done by women with care has not yet given rise to a job description, let alone adequate payment.
There exist infinite levels of empathy and infinite forms of application in relation to job requirements. Quite often the differences between jobs both in public and private are not closely noted in the perspectives of where there is observation, perception and intuitions involved. In profiles like that of nurse, hospital ward boys, analyst or doctor, the trader, call center operators, flight attendants, teachers, the fearful father, the emotional mother; extensive emotions are evoked at numerous times.
In most profiles there comes a point of time when employees perform and express feelings that may be contrary to the functioning of their own ego. There should be awareness for recognition of the psychological maturity of the abilities. The variations of evaluating job profiles should also be in accordance to not only the individual differences, but also different sectors, social classes, societies and for entire cultures, presumably being greater in the west because of the haphazard and mechanical way in which emotions are forced upon.
It has been noted that in countries like India and Japan, nurses are concerned with the patient’s well-being, but are more “detached” than in England. It is perhaps the result of lack of social skill in training the emotions that defines the high value of the job. The worker is thrown in at the deep end with respect to manual or intellectual work, where job processes are more consolidated and definite. There has been an attempt undertaken to re-evaluate professional duties so as to understand the broader criteria and aspects that lead to emotional labor.
The art of portraying essential transformations of facial expressions and politeness is also a form of emotional labor. Emotional labor by and large is defined as the involvement of dealing with other peoples’ feelings. An average individual capacity helps to establish the level of development of productive forces in these jobs. It takes effort and courage to establish oneself in accordance to the ever-demanding situations at work front. In fact, each facet of the capacity of tolerance may combine with other emotional capacities and, in return interact with physical capabilities of one.
It is notified that the greater the challenge to one’s emotions the greater and significant achievement it is in such jobs which test our emotions. This kind of attitude surely enhances and respects all the conditions that define useful labor and energy indulged in the form of emotional work. In public sector whether the job profiles is that of flight attendants, waiters, nurses, teachers, analysts or many more profiles, emotional stress exists at some point of time in all. Job stress does more than causing irregular attendance of employees, decreased productivity, fatigue and burnout.
The physiological collection of emotions takes the body over time by overworking the cardiovascular and nervous systems and weakening the immune system. Research has linked the inhibition of emotions to a variety of physical illnesses, including high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. In fact, inability to express negative emotion is one of the strongest predictors of cancer. The American Heart Association had estimated that cardiovascular diseases cost the U. S. economy more than $130 billion in 1995.
This dollar figure includes health care, lost productivity and employee replacement costs. With the rapid increase in emotional exasperation as the key factor which is contributing to this outcome of stress, it has been decided that more attention needs to be paid to emotional labor requirements. It has become vital that there is a constant monitoring carried out to see how employees regulate their emotions at work. I have come to believe that majority of times, working environments have generally become unhappy places at the end of the long stretched days.
How many of us have experienced shouting seniors? How many of us have not returned to our cabins thinking of quitting jobs on a count of five out of ten due to the stressful events that repeat during working hours. It has become a widely known and accepted fact that more or less all of us face some sort of, some extent of emotional labor. It is widely accepted that to service with a smile, which is mandatory for the service industry, may be pleasing to the customer, but at the same time emotionally and physically stressful for the employee, especially if forced.
The display of friendliness and good cheer are expected in an array of service occupations including flight attendants, servants, and sales clerks. In contrast, bill collectors and bouncers are paid to convey hostility. Amazing matter of fact is that funeral directors are bound to express sadness. Many job roles call for variation in expressed emotions. So does this mean that any job profile of any industry is all based upon emotions of human beings? Even though it is quite debatable factual statement, however more or less, our emotions are constantly monitored by our brains at work.