This paper analyzes the relationship between work-related mental health problems and multitasking (the number of different tasks at work) in two cross sections from the German working population in 2006 and 2012. The analysis is exploratory and hence, descriptive. For an additional task, medium severe and severe work-related mental health problems increase by 0.02 standard deviations. Absenteeism and presenteeism due to work-related mental health problems rise by one percentage point. This is driven by tasks that require interaction with other human beings but not by the simultaneity of tasks. The estimates appear small at first sight but multitasking increased by nearly one task from 2006 to 2012. The loss in gross value added due to the rise in absenteeism and presenteeism amounts to roughly 1 billion euro.
work-related mental health multitasking job satisfaction