What is it about?

Work interruptions, which are particularly common in digitalised environments, have become a major stress factor in the workplace. Understanding the mechanisms of work interruptions is therefore vital to reducing worker stress and maintaining performance. The article focuses on a better understanding of the characteristics and effects of work interruptions in office environments and emphasises the need for a differentiated approach to understanding and managing work interruptions in working life.

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Why is it important?

Based on data from a one-day field study, it is found that, the perception of work interruptions significantly mediates the relationship between the frequency of work interruptions and subjective workload. Furthermore, more complex primary work tasks appear to strengthen the positive correlation between the frequency of interruptions and perceived interruption overload.


I hope this article highlights the importance of exploring work interruptions as a crucial step in creating (mentally) healthy workplaces in the changing world of work. Understanding and managing interruptions is crucial to promoting safe and healthy workplaces in the long term in the sense of social sustainability.

Vera Barbara Rick
RWTH Aachen University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Work interruptions of office workers: The influence of the complexity of primary work tasks on the perception of interruptions, Work, January 2024, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/wor-220684.
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