Investigating the impact of relocation and homesickness on attention and safety outcomes of high-risk workers.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Relocating for work is becoming increasingly common, and homesickness often arises as a consequence of relocation. When those relocating are working in high-risk environments, it becomes especially important to investigate the effects that relocation may have on attention and safety because of the risk of injury present in such working environments. The current study examines whether homesickness is associated with attentional lapses and safety outcomes (workplace incidents/accidents), in addition to exploring whether relocated and non-relocated workers differ in these outcomes. 162 high-risk workers employed in New Zealand participated in an online survey. Findings showed that homesickness was significantly associated with a greater number of attentional lapses, but not with safety outcomes. Non-relocated participants experienced significantly fewer attentional lapses compared to the relocated from within New Zealand participants and the relocated from overseas participants, but these two relocated groups did not significantly differ on attentional lapses. In addition, non-relocated participants reported significantly fewer negative safety outcomes than relocated within New Zealand participants, but not than relocated from overseas participants. These findings indicate that homesickness and relocation are associated with increased attentional lapses and negative safety outcomes. Organisations should endeavour to support relocated employees to mitigate these outcomes. Future research is needed to further explore the relationships examined in this study, and address the limitations discussed.