Experiences of Cultural Activities provided by the Employer in Finland
AbstractThe increasing mental demands of healthcare work call for developing complementary health promotion strategies. Cultural leisure activities have long been recognized as a source of wellbeing and coping for employees. Yet, little is known about implementation of employer-provided cultural activities—how they are encountered and experienced. In this study, a public sector hospital department offered monthly cultural events for personnel: Theater, concerts, musicals, dance-performances, museum visits and sight-seeing. A digital questionnaire was sent to hospital staff (N = 769) to ask about their participation in employer-provided cultural activities during the past 6 months. The motives and obstacles for participation, and the quality of experience of the cultural events, were explored quantitatively and qualitatively. The main motives for participation were related to well-being, content of cultural events and invitations from employer or colleagues. For some, the participation was hampered by work-shifts and missing information. The participants experienced recreation, relaxation and psychological detachment from strain, which is essential for recovery. Community participation was more common than individual participation. Shared cultural experiences among employees may increase the social capital at workplace, but equal access for all employees should be guaranteed.
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