Stress in the Workplace Essay
Stress is an issue that has been discussed by analyst all over the world all accosting many definition of the term, the universal one is that it is the mental hardship of coping with some thing. Stress is rampant and is associated with our daily lives that even some research proclaims that it is good if well managed, no matter how confusing this may be, stress in the workplace is the most primary source as the amount accumulated from the challenges on the job (Cooper, 1995). The stress is then transferred to all our other daily happenings, the injection of the job related stress even at home is logical as the fatigue makes the person under pressure snappy and emotional on small matters. However, because stress cannot be just tucked away, when one wakes up in the morning the same routine starts as the same work load awaits them.
However, some of the stress that is also takes to work is mostly domestic and life related anomalies, they are mainly felt also by the managers, team workers and employers. This usually occurs as a result of low production, and they assess that the person under stress is lower on the physical and emotional health and it is articulated that they are more prone to getting diseases than a normal stress free person. Though because of the hardship that life is associated with nowadays, there is probably no person going through some radical transition in their live and they are uncomfortable with the happening (Lazarus & Folkman, 1994).
Tyler (1999) argues that most of the workers with high demanding jobs are the ones prone to this and they stand to get cardiac vascular diseases in their mid adult life. Anxiety, depression and powerlessness are just a few of the basis syndrome that are associated with workplace stresses this usually occurs in the times of economic crisis. Therefore it is important that the individual and the organization collaborate in combating workplace stress, this is because it reduces the productivity of the organization, and it is very contagious as the stress of one person is easily transferred to the whole institution within a period of very short time. The more stress management techniques are injected into the organization then the more efficient is the organization and the product is very high.
Causes of Stress
There are million of stress causing aspects in a working sphere, though this assignment is going to centralize on the most fundamental and those that are universal. The most fundamental aspects that usually causes stress within the vicinity of the work place is mostly emotional negativity that result to felling of powerlessness, hopelessness, traumatic atmosphere and surroundings. The physical state that also adds stress in this segment is the description of the job, the economic crisis and the settings of the workplace (American Psychological Association, 2004).
In the inspiring article Spiers (2003) argued that job stress is the main cause of the feeling of powerlessness, this is because that while in the state one becomes prey to very many negative aspects that bring down motivation, and these factors include helplessness, depression and hopelessness. The person who has these attitudes will only conform if they acknowledge that there is a problem some where and will not waiver the situation as if it does not exist but act upon it.
In every occupation has it own demands that makes the person performing the duties feel powerless due to pressure from the work or the physical location, this includes collogues or employers. The need to responds to the schedules and the demand of the requirements and targets are just a few of the depressants that drive workers to the edge. These events usually leave the participant having little control over the turn of events, these are basically followed by bashing from the employers or shunning from the fellow collogues for not meeting the target. When the complains comes most the person who is in the spotlight adapt a habit of feeling inferior and hopeless, the facts that underlies with this are unfair labor timetables, less authority and too much duties (Muttaba & McCartnery, 2007).
Stress is mostly generated to the task force whose the description of the task are not emplaced, this usually occurs in the menial labor section where any person can perform any task. However, this attributes are associated with lot of stress, and this usually occurs when one is assigned in a department they have little knowledge, if the area is demanding this aspects will stress the person trying to work out the duty due to lack of knowledge.
Usually it is advised that when applying for a vacancy one should state their areas of expertise. This usually enhances good performance as the task force is well acquainted with the duties they are supposed to be performing (Patel, 1999). With a clear job description there are less stress, however, with no job description stress will arise as the employer would overwork and give demands on the areas that one has no idea about.
Square Peg in a Round Hole
According to Brewer (1997) articulates that the right kind of job that suits one lifestyle is the best long term career that most of us should be looking for, however, most of the majority of the adult life we spend working in conditions that are demanding and stressful making us a proverbial square peg. The effect that results from this aspect is that the productivity is hurt; there is also a great impact from the stress that arises here to the mind and body. This usually results to depression and anxiety that deteriorate the health.
Long hours in the job makes the person doing the chore less productive, the least productive the person becomes due to the long hours in the job will eventually result to conflict with the employers leading to more stress (Lehrer & Woolfolk, 1993). This strain relationship if not trended by the employers carefully they assist in adding more stress and reduce the productivity of that particular individual, as emotions are contagious soon the whole task force will actually follow suit.
Workplace Traumatic Events
Some of the occupational sphere is usually very hostile and the amount of work related stress garnered from the location is enormous. The work sphere subjected includes those of policemen, fire fighters, and military personnel and disasters recovery teams. These occupation harbors the most dangerous job related stress that usually even lead to insanity at later years or while in the line of duty, these is because these people are exposed to the gravest danger while executing their job. Also the after the job have been performed most like the military after been exposed to very terrible scenes that leaves them haunted by grim and frightening nightmares and flashbacks (Cooper, 1995).
The strain from this factors are very traumatic to the personnel’s who are in the line of outmost danger. The implication here are very delicate as the psychological event demand that the victim be given special attention such as therapy to help cope with the traumas attached to the line of work (Hubbard & Workman, 1998). However, even normal work harbor the same anomalies, this usually happens in the cases of a new job and the task force is resisting the transition, or they expect more than one can deliver.
These bring about sleep disturbances, fearfulness, guilt and mental delusions these is because the bad episodes that were experienced in the line of duty will haunt them for a long time. The result is mostly post traumatic disorder and depression if not treated through therapy most of the majority of the cases when not addressed result to insanity or paranoia syndromes. In the ordinary set up when the boss or coworker are into the habit of physically threatening one of the employee, or continually assault the employee then post traumatic paranoia arises and the stress from these facts actually develops into serious mental problems. Statistically about 76% of these cases are not reported as the victim is made to feel inferior maybe due to his/her religious or sexual (gay/lesbian) stand (American Psychological Association, 2004).
The physical aspect of the working location also can have stressful effect on an individual. This usually happens to the personnel that are in the industries or institutions that there is lot of noises and at the same time the work has a lot of demands. Some of the common factors that attributes to this include; loud noises, poor lighting, lack of ventilation, inadequate sanitary facilities, no privacy, extreme low or high temperatures and poor management. These setting actually contribute to psychological stress to the individual working under these conditions (Muttaba & McCartnery, 2007).
Alcohol and Nicotine
Heavy consumption of alcohol and nicotine are the number one cause of stress enhancers, although they actually don’t happen in the work place it is related to work because most of the company that individuals partake alcohol with are workmates. Cigarettes are also shared among workmates in the lavatories or parks, many people tend to think that these two attributes relieve stress but in the real sense they add more stress. The psychological effects include terminal illness and delusions by the consumers (Schafer, 1992). They add stresses as the amount of energy they take when coping with certain task are slowed down by their implications, they reduce the productivity of the individual by about 12% and eventually about 90% due to the terminal diseases like cancer and kidney failures.
It has been noted that the issues that lead to work related stresses in one way or another leads to physical stress to workers in an organization, for instance back pains can be increased by about three times, heart disease go up by three times, injuries such as musculoskeletal disorder risks can go up by two-three times, cancer by five times, substance abuse by two or more times, conflicts and violence in work place may go up by two-three time and so does mental illnesses and imbalances (Lazarus & Folkman, 1994).
According to American Psychological Association (2004) they argues that it is articulated that Employees can counteract some of the work related stresses by solving their problems by using well established grievances channels and use workers union. Allocation of an occupation that best suit the employee and qualifications to reduce job strains, or looking into another job if the one in is demanding and one is unable to reciprocate. Alcohol intake cutting back, stopping smoking habits, adequate sleep, scheduling and organized working portfolio which favors the career minimizing stress.
Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid nicotine
It is assumed that moderate intake of alcohol reduces anxiety and worries, however, it is also accounted that heavy consumption of alcohols is associated with anxiety and other cardiac implications. The best practice is to cut alcohol completely and leave it to the table wines only or occasional consumption. However, the case is not so as believed with cigarettes which harbors a myth that it relieves stress, this advised to be stopped completely as it is among number one killer of people below the age of 40, not only does it brings anxiety, depression and other terminal diseases but it claims more lives than road accidents daily (Lehrer & Woolfolk, 1993).
This is the most natural remedy to work related or any other form of stress. Work related stress is usually related to complication such as insomnia and depression, these complication are combated by a simple every day chore. However, most of the people with work related stress lack this mainly because they work over sleeping hours or are psychologically disturbances that they lack these aspects due to stress complication like insomnia (Hubbard & Workman, 1998). Adequate sleep enhances proper blood flow which is responsible for emotional balance through out the day after a restful enough sleep. These will help combat the stress that work stresses may inject into the system, it also helps to cope and manage job related stresses.
Reducing work stress through prioritizing and organizing
Through out the world all the jobs are demanding due to the targets that are the objective of every organization. Therefore every now and then one is bound to be in a stressing position, this does not mean that the situation cannot be reversed or avoided. The key here is having a sense of self control over the stressing situation, when this is perfected through prioritizing and organizing schedules. Then this will be easily transferred to the other team work, as transformation starts within oneself and is very contagious. This will help ease the workload through organizing and prioritizing the responsibilities and chores at hand (Lazarus & Folkman, 1994).
When time is well utilized and well planned the stresses of work becomes minimal, this is because with an analyzed schedule, daily task and responsibilities one is able to balance between family, social life, work and solitary pursuit. Adapting small etiquettes like waking early to prepare or taking exercises lesson or yoga classes, voiding over committing, delegating tasks, planning regular breaks and prioritizing responsibilities through organizing and scheduling (Tyler, 1999).
Reducing workplace stress through emotional intelligence improvement
According to Lazarus & Folkman (1994) however stressful the work environment present to be due to more and urgent demand of the objective of the organization maybe, there is still room for making sure that one has control over the situation through self-control and self-confidence instead of the situation taking control, this will only be possible if emotions are set on a positive and constructive manner. Good communication with other will draw your positive emotions to them while drawing their positive energy toward you, this is essential in helping to overcome difference and working toward one goal. This eventually will diffuse any stress or tension that is work related. The major component that usually helps the pursuant of emotional intelligence achieve stress free working environment includes; self-management, self awareness relationship management and social awareness. These factors helps in reducing stress in the working place and add value to the services/product produced under these conditions.
Management involvement in workplace stress reduction
Management has been defined as people or individuals who encompass labor force of a given business institution or an organization. Management is bestowed with the responsibility of putting in place policies, strategies and measures that will supervise organizations’ workforce. Due to the responsibilities bestowed to the management department, it is then the main arm in any organization to help curb factors leading to both physical and psychosocial irregularities (Spiers, 2003). They can articulate and curb and irregularities that may make the working sphere uncomfortable for the task force by providing security and all the requirements of a stress free environment through transformational kind of leadership.
Workplace bullying simply refers to the repeat sequence of actions by an individual or a group of individuals, aimed at humiliating, degrading, intimidating and undermining an employee or a group of employees. Bullying in the workplace results, in employees, feeling defenseless and, powerless and, undermines their dignity as human beings. Workplace bullying is unfair and employees should never put up with it even if it means losing their jobs.
There are three types of organizational justice and the one that closely resembles work place bullying is interactional justice. Interactional justice is the treatment that individuals receive from by their superiors when decisions are being made. it also refers to talking to them with sensitivity and, respect. Interactional justice closely represents work place bullying in that the individuals being bullied are able to determine if they are being treated with dignity, consideration and respect. An unjust case may be entirely impartial in the eyes of another and, for this reason, the individuals, are in a better position to see whether they are being bullied or not.
Workplace bullying more often than not lowers employees’ self esteem, makes them feel insecure and inadequate. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs says that an individual’s self efficacy is tremendously affected when they are bullied. As a result of this, such employees will experience a further deterioration in their already damaged self efficacy, their need for power, affiliation and, accomplishment and will want to remain in the lower ranks because they feel inadequate.
If I were a victim of workplace bullying, I would let the person who is bullying me know that it is inappropriate for them to do so because they may not be aware of their actions. However, if they fail to listen and continue with the same behavior, I will seek the involvement of the management, if this person is not part of the management. However, if the bully is a member of the management, then I will approach a trade union representative. If all these informal efforts prove to be unsuccessful, then I will make a formal complaint and back it up with written evidence of every bullying incident. In the second situation where my colleague is being bullied by a supervisor, I would ask the associate to find a convenient time to talk to the supervisor. If not, then I will ask her to use the legal system because such an approach is bound to be successful and, will instill policies in the company that will protect the employees.
There are several factors that contribute to work place bullying and, they include low-self esteem, insecurity and lack of self confidence. Sometimes workplace bullying is as a result of the organizational culture and employees’ see it as normal behavior. Bullies are both a product of the environment and flawed personalities. Such people will walk over what comes between them and their goals and, they end up becoming bullies. Examples of those with defective personalities are the narcissistic, who believe that they are better. They show little or no empathy for their coworkers and they end up bullying them. Another group of people with flawed personality are the perfectionists (Oade, 2009). It is difficult to work with perfectionists. This is because they believe that the work that other employees in the company do will never be as good as they would have done it. Furthermore, women are more likely to be bullied than men because some men will speak out regardless of whether they are speaking to their boss or the administration.
Work place bullying is inappropriate and studies have shown that it results in stressful work environments and, subsequently low productivity. The management of every company should put measures in place to protect their employees against bullying. Employees should also play their part and, speak out when they are bullied in the workplace, and, through the proper procedures bring it to attention.
Any organizations that don’t seriously address the issues concerning stress as well as other psychological irregularities will definitely loss in one way or another; absenteeism, employee disability, reduced level of output and increased amounts in term of compensation normally a court litigation. Workplace stresses has raised more concerns in most if not all organizations thus there is need for such organizations to use all available resources and in particular management department to address the problem. If not addressed at an early stage, the consequences are negative and enormous to both the organization and the employees (Patel, C. (1999)). However, the issue not only relies on the organization but the employees as well, this is how to manage stress and avoiding things that act as catalyst to stress like alcohol and cigarettes and adapting good organized schedules of undertaking responsibilities.