University of Twente Student Theses


How German hardware store employees experienced and coped with stress during the Covid-19 pandemic : A qualitative interview study

Schymanietz, Vivian (2022) How German hardware store employees experienced and coped with stress during the Covid-19 pandemic : A qualitative interview study.

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Abstract:Introduction: Retail workers faced new challenges and increased stress due to working during the Covid-19 pandemic. Literature has been focusing on all kinds of different branches of retail employees, particularly in food retail, but there is a literature gap regarding the hardware store industry employees as important part of global supply chains and retail. Therefore, the first aim of this study was to identify stressors German hardware store workers face during the Covid- 19 pandemic and the second aim of the study was to identify coping mechanisms retail workers use to deal with increased stress due to the pandemic. Methods: To give the employees a platform to share their personal experiences, a qualitative approach was chosen, and interviews were conducted with fourteen employees from the hardware store Toom in Lübbecke, Germany. Eight male participants, and six female participants with ages ranged from 22-60 years, and different job roles from cashier to store manager were purposively recruited for the interviews. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed with a codebook. Results: Twelve stressors and eight coping mechanisms were identitified. The main stressor identified was click and collect which refers to the adjustment from traditional to online business the store had to make, and corresponding new tasks employees faced. The most frequently mentioned healthy coping mechanism was exercise and the most frequently mentioned unhealthy coping mechanism was distraction from stress. Discussion: The Covid-19 pandemic had direct and indirect negative consequences for the working lives of hardware store employees. Stress from working during the pandemic increased unhealthy coping mechanisms and behaviours, which warrants further investigation. As this study only focused on one location, future research might investigate and compare crossregional stores, compare international differences or differences in perceived stressors in different job roles. Further, in the future follow up studies might investigate long-term individual consequences of working in a pandemic, in post-pandemic times.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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