Stress is a regular part of life and any job. Without a certain level of stress, workers cannot meet deadlines, strive to achieve required sells required for the job, or meet satisfaction of the clients. Meeting the demands of a job makes work interesting and satisfying and often allows people to develop their skills and achieve promotion. People regularly experience stress-causing situations in the workplace. They react to these events with tension and then come back to a more relaxed condition when it is over.
Stressors In The Workplace
Stress at work can quickly turn from manageable to excessive. Excessive stress can activate physical and emotional reactions that can be detrimental to employees and business alike.
Some jobs are inherently stressful, like firefighting, the legal and medical professions. Other jobs like teaching and social work can also be demanding and therefore stressful. The truth is even the most menial jobs can be stressful.
Workplace stress can be caused by several factors, some of which may include: unsupportive working environment, high demands of the job, or poor organizational communication.
Changes in the workplace can cause employees develop a fear of being fired. Frequent personnel turnover, poor chances of promotion, lack of preparation for technological changes can also become the stress factor for the employees.
Some work stress factors include: excessive workload, dull or uninteresting tasks, lengthy hours of work and low pay, unreasonable performance demands, and infrequent breaks. The physical environment of the workplace can also impact stress levels. Noise, poor air quality, health and safety risks can also cause stress to the workers.
Supervisors that are distant and uncommunicative are walking stressors. Meager performance from subordinates can also cause stress to supervisors. Staff members also create their own stress by developing office politics, competition, bullying or harassment.
Health Risks Of Stress In The Workplace
There is a strong link between workplace stress and physical or emotional problems. Early signs of job stress include: sleep disturbances, stomach problems, lack of concentration, irritability, headache, low morale, and poor relationships. These signs are simple to distinguish, but without proper management, they can develop into severe health risks like cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal conditions and psychological disorders.
Work Stress Reduction
Managers and employers can reduce stress at work by providing stress management programs and training for workers and improvement in the working conditions.
There are programs that are intended to aid employees with personal problems that may be negatively impacting their job performance. Some may include Employee Assistance Programs such as counseling, mental health assessments, coaching, and workshops. The relief provided by these programs may be shallow and brief, especially if the roots of stress in the work setting are not tackled.
Creating a healthy work environment can create a lasting stress relief for workers. Encouraging employee participation, implementing policies that focus on the needs of the workers are some of the ways to provide a healthier workplace.
Employees can also reduce their job stress by getting a job description. A specific job description provided by the employer provides the basic guidelines and expectations for the performance of the employee. If work is becoming too stressful, maybe it is time for the employee to look for a more suitable job or ask if the company to modify the job to better fit the employee’s abilities.
Getting support from the local, state or federal agencies can lessen work stress by providing the employees the backing they need to keep them from hazardous situations in the workplace.