Job demands

25 February 2021

The Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model is based on the premise that stress arises from the imbalance between the requirements of the job and the resources the employee has available to meet those requirements.

We will take a look at the resources element in a separate factsheet found here. High strain jobs are often those which combine high demands with inadequate resources.

A demanding role just seems more “doable” when the resources to excel are available.

How can I improve job demands?

We assessed JD-R by looking at the demands of your work, which was coupled with the impact of your work on your life outside work. High demand jobs that have a disruptive impact on outside life tend to be more stressful due to the negative influence on family, relationships and both physical and psychological health.

Top tips for success

  1. Time demands have emerged as the villain of the 21st century worker, with obvious contributions from technology (laptops and phones can even accompany you to the toilet – there’s no respite!).
  2. Clarify the boundaries between work and non-work, and ensure your peers and supervisors understand these boundaries.
  3. Flexibility is important. Long working hours can seem manageable if you are a “time lord”. Having control helps you to manage high demands more effectively.


  • Try and limit long working hours when tasks are complex and/or emotionally demanding.
  • Take regular breaks and establish a healthy work-life balance.
  • Knowing when to switch off from work is important, especially if working from home.

External resources for more information

HeadsUp. Managing work demands - 

Health and Safety Executive. Management Standards – Demands -