“Some days won’t end ever”: Working faster and longer as a boundary condition for challenge versus hindrance effects of time pressure.

Within the workplace, time constraints that create deadline pressure may jeopardize employees’ goal attainment. In an attempt to overcome this stressful situation, employees may increase their efforts. We examine two strategies that are assumed to be stress reactions (coping) under conditions of high time pressure: working faster and working longer. We propose that these strategies moderate the relationship between time pressure and adverse health effects, as well as work engagement. In our daily diary study, 122 public service employees provided ratings over five consecutive working days. Multilevel analyses revealed that time pressure relates positively to irritation only in conditions of working faster and is unrelated to irritation in the absence of this strategy. It relates positively to engagement only when employees do not work longer, whereas it is unrelated to work engagement in conditions of working longer. We conclude that using the strategies of working faster or working longer is not recommended to overcome daily time pressure. This study contributes to the refinement of the challenge—hindrance framework by identifying boundary conditions of challenge and hindrance effects of time pressure. In addition, this study provides the first empirical evidence about the daily role of “working faster” and “working longer,” conceptualized as a maladaptive coping mechanism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)