The modern world is work focused and employment based. We spend the majority of our waking hours at the workplace and this has its own benefits and problems. One of the most common of these problems is workplace stress. This is a chronic ailment caused by conditions that negatively affect your performance and overall well-being. It can also affect an individuals’ psychological and physical health, as well as organization’s effectiveness. Workplace stress is affecting a whole spectrum of the population ranging from doctors to plumbers.
Workplace stress is now recognized globally as a condition that can affect all categories of workers, in all types of jobs. Stress is a source of tension and frustration that may arise through a number of interrelated influences on behavior, including the individual, group, organizational and environmental factors. This usually leads to loss of concentration, sleeplessness, and it can also increase the risk for illness, back problems, accidents, and lost time. Workplace stress is now one of the most prevalent reasons for lost working days, which hinders the progress of the organization as well as the individual.
There are various reasons for workplace stress and one of them is management. This usually happens when managers behave in an authoritarian way, offer no constructive support or advice to the work force or deny promotional opportunities to the deserving members of the company. This is when employees become frustrated or cynical towards the organization. Another reason for workplace stress is overbearing or jealous work colleagues. Office gossip can be harmless fun if kept within reason but if it is constantly directed towards one particular person then it can be quite damaging and lead to a lot of workplace stress for the person concerned.
The next category of factors that causes job stress is too much pressure at work. Too often, employers give too much responsibility to their workers and give them unrealistic time frames. In an effort to appease their employers, workers try their hardest to accomplish their boss’s demands. The need to impress or to accomplish these demands puts tremendous pressure on them
There are steps that organizations can take to prevent or minimize the effects of workplace stress, so that they have more contented and happier employees. Some of the ways to achieve this is to make sure that your workforce have a voice and are heard, they are aware of their importance to the organization and are seen as unique and exceptional. Some of the policies that can help towards this are to include flexi-time, working from home, stress coaching, on the job support, keeping jobs open during sick leave, provision of quiet rooms, exercise provision, training initiatives and social activities.
Workplace stress can also be caused because of the work place atmosphere, for instance noisy, dirty, messy areas can all contribute towards job stress. It is therefore a good idea to keep the work areas clean and tidy to have a healthy, relaxed and stress free working environment.
Employees can also contribute towards minimizing and preventing workplace stress. Worker s should refrain from harassment or bullying. They should not tease, insult or even threaten others due to their sex, religion or race. Under no circumstances should they spread malicious gossip in order to destroy another’s good name.
By working together, employees and management can minimize and prevent a lot of workplace stress. Organizations should always be looking for ways that lead to a workforce that is happy, healthy and therefore more productive.