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Table 3 Themes and categories resulting from qualitative content analysis of the verbatim transcripts, in order to reveal factors that were perceived as leading to an excessive mental workload (research aim 2)

From: Perceptions of mental workload in Dutch university employees of different ages: a focus group study

Theme Category Codes
Organisation Organisational aspects as obstacles for ‘getting the best out of people’ Coaching and supervision
Challenges in the work
Faculty communication
Embedding of feedback
Pressure linked to publications and grant applications
Strict rules
Autonomy*
Greediness of the organisation Department atmosphere
A feeling that the organisation does not care about its staff
Work-family/ life balance
Work and life experience
Promotion prospects
Aspects of work Overtime seems unavoidable Organisation of education
Student interaction
Organisation of the work
Inadequate resources
Faculty policy
Unique knowledge
Administrative/ organisational tasks
Too much work to do
Frequent interruptions at work
Working at an university*
Barriers to built a career Working in separate projects
Finding time for research*
Working relationships*
Personal approach Personality Work engagement
Overcommitment
Personal adaptation Long working hours
Personal organisation of the work
Personal needs
  1. * These codes were not further elaborated because neither age differences nor unique results were present.