Participant Information Sheet: Task Variety at Work

The purpose of the study

Are you a multi-tasker? Do you like to juggle lots of tasks at work, or prefer less variety? We are interested in your experiences! The purpose of this study is to examine how task variety affects employees on daily basis. Our research project will take a closer look at the benefits and consequences of task variety and at the inconsistencies found in previous research.

Participation and withdrawal

Please read this information carefully and consider your participation before agreeing to participate in the study. Your participation is voluntary and you are able to discontinue your involvement in this study at any time without explanation or penalty. You may skip any questions in this study that you do not wish to answer. At the completion of the research, you will be given more information on the purpose of the study. If you have any more questions about the research please contact the researcher using the contact details provided.

Who can participate?

- Adults (i.e., over 18 years of age);

- Full-time workers (i.e., 9am-5pm type work hours across 5 consecutive work days - it is ok if your work hours are slightly earlier or later, as long as they are regular);

- Those who have internet access at work (i.e., on a computer or mobile device).

What is involved?

Participants will fill out an initial baseline survey (taking about 15 minutes), which asks basic demographic information and other general information about your work and life. Participants will nominate a work week for the experience sampling, during which they will fill out 2 daily surveys about the daily variety in their work tasks at 2 different time points (i.e., before lunch and before leaving the office) each workday for one work week. Each experience sampling survey will take 5 minutes. As an incentive to participate, you will go into the draw to win one of three, $100 gift cards, and also receive a stress-busting tipsheet developed by the research team. In addition, if you are interested you can request a summary of the study findings.

Risks

Participation in this study should involve no physical or mental discomfort, and no risks beyond those of everyday living. If, however, you should find any question or procedure to be invasive or offensive, you are free to omit answering or participating in that aspect of the study.

Confidentiality and security of data

Your data will be kept completely confidential. All survey responses you provide will be identified by a unique code that you create, which is designed to help protect the confidentiality of your data. During the study, only members of the research team will know who you are. After your data has been collected, merged, then your data will be de-identified (i.e., we will remove your unique code and any other identifying information). All data will be safely secured using an encrypted password. De-identified data may be used in additional research and made available to other researchers through collaboration and dissemination of the research findings. Confidentially will be provided to the fullest extent possible by law.

Ethics clearance and contacts

This study has been cleared in accordance with the ethical review processes of the University of Queensland and within the guidelines of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (#2017002026). You are, of course, free to discuss your participation with project staff (email: s.parker@psy.uq.edu.au, or phone: +61 7 3365 6423). If you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, you may contact the UQ Human Research office on +61 7 3365 3924 or e-mail: humanethics@research.uq.edu.au.

Dr Stacey Parker

Centre for Organisational Psychology

The University of Queensland

s.parker@psy.uq.edu.au

Contact the research group at uqvarietyresearch@gmail.com