Stress at Workplace
The Changing nature of work, job roles and occupations has resulted in increased level of work stress. Work stress is a negative quality that results in negative mental and physical health with increased pessimistic behaviors both at workplace and home. Work and personal Factors that are pushed beyond the range of stability result in stress factors. For instance Work Overload, Low Income, Lack of Respect at Workplace all make significant contribution to stress level. Stress is a subjective phenomenon, as the factors considered stressful by one person may not be similarly stressful for the other person. The level of stress changes from person to person and, the reason could be attributed to the home and work environment, financial position or job role. This clarifies the reason why people coming from the same worksite and sharing same objective stressor experience different levels of stress.
Origin of Stress
Origin of stress is not an exclusive phenomenon but is derived from combination of factors such as level of control over the job and its decisions and the requirements of the job. Higher job authority to make decisions could result in lower level of stress as the employee will have control over the decision making process. Another proposed work stressor may arise from the mismatch between individuals and their environment, referred to as Personal-Environmental fit model (French, Caplan and Harrison, 1992).
Different Business/Organizations have different work stressors, for instance for nursing staff, emphasized duty overload and long working hours are typical work stressors, whereas for computer professionals these would not be that stressful, on the other hand stress in retail managers is caused by staff shortage, fractious customers (Making unreasonable demands and bad attitude) and threats of violence. In conclusion differences exist in the prevalence of the work stress across occupations.
Effects of Stress and its Reduction
Negative effect of stress on work behaviors and employee and business performance are already very well researched and documented, resulting in reduced productivity, frequent tardiness, and absenteeism and high turnover rates. Along with the mentioned consequences work stress also affects work morale, better work morale is a catalyst to business survival and success whereas low morale endangers the progress of both individuals and business. Stress in the business could be reduced if the management help create an environment that satisfies employees demands of the environment and creates a match between the employee capability, job role and the workplace environment. Thus Work Stress could be inversely related to the work demand and workplace environment.
Individuals could reduce level of work stress faced by competing, working on professional progress and by trying to move up the ranks of the organization as it could significantly reduce work stress and improve employee morale.
French, J., Caplan, R., and Harrison, V. (1982), The Mechanisms of Job Stress and Strain, Chichester: Wiley.
Sutherland, V., and Cooper, C.L. (1992), Job Stress, Satisfaction and Mental Health among General
Practitioners before and after Introduction of a New Contract,’ British Medical Journal, 304, 1545-1548.