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job demands and the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Stress-related disorders encompass a broad array of conditions, including psychological disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder) and other types of emotional strain (e.g., dissatisfaction, fatigue, tension, etc.), maladaptive behaviors (e.g., aggression, substance abuse), and cognitive impairment (e.g., concentration and memory problems). In turn, these conditions may lead to poor work performance or even injury. Job stress is also associated with various biological reactions that may lead ultimately to compromised health, such as cardiovascular disease, or in extreme cases death. For workers everywhere, the troubled economy may feel like an emotional roller coaster. "Layoffs" and "budget cuts" have become bywords in the workplace, and the result is increased fear, uncertainty, and higher levels of stress
Stress is a prevalent and costly problem in today's workplace. About one-third of workers report high levels of stress. One-quarter of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Three-quarters of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago. Evidence also suggests that stress is the major cause of turnover in organizations.
Health and healthcare utilization
Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life stressor-more so than even financial problems or family problems. Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. On the basis of research by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and many other organizations, it is widely believed that job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders. High levels of stress are associated with substantial increases in health service utilization. Workers who report experiencing stress at work also show excessive health care utilization. In a 1998 study of 46,000 workers, health care costs were nearly 50% greater for workers reporting high levels of stress in comparison to ―low risk‖ workers. The increment rose to nearly 150%, an increase of more than $1,700 per person annually, for workers reporting high levels of both stress and depression. Additionally, periods of disability due to job stress tend to be much longer than disability periods for other occupational injuries and illnesses. Physiological reactions to stress can have consequences for health over time. Researchers have been studying how stress affects the cardiovascular system, as well as how work stress can lead to hypertension and coronary artery disease. These diseases, along with other stress-induced illnesses tend to be quite common in American work-places. There are four Main physiological reactions to stress:
According to one school of thought. and away from extremities. no change was noted in the period 1995–2000 (data not collected in 1990) in the percentage of workers reporting sufficient time to complete tasks. 50% of workers reported they work against tight deadlines at least one-fourth of their working time in 1990. differences in individual characteristics such as personality and coping skills are very important in predicting whether certain job conditions will result in stress. and for job redesign as a primary prevention strategy. the percentage of workers reporting that they worked at high speeds at least one-quarter of their working time was 48%. In 1990. Managers as well as other kinds of workers are vulnerable to work overload(Primm. This viewpoint underlies prevention strategies that focus on workers and ways to help them cope with demanding job conditions. An area near the brain stem. including conditions recognized as risk factors for job stress. Blood is shunted to the brain and large muscle groups. those who have very little influence to those who make major decisions for the company. more than 26% of men and more than 11% of women worked 50 hours per week or more in 2000. there has been an upward trend in hours worked among employed women. According to the Department of Labor. These figures represent a considerable increase over the previous three decades. causing a state of keen alertness as well as sharpening of hearing and vision. Large surveys of working conditions. A substantial percentage of Americans work very long hours. The differing viewpoints suggest different ways to prevent stress at work. Energy-providing compounds of glucose and fatty acids are released into the bloodstream. Causes Job stress results from the interaction of the worker and the conditions of work. Views differ on the importance of worker characteristics versus working conditions as the primary cause of job stress. Similarly. particularly couples with young children. By one estimate. increasing to 54% in 1995 and to 56% in 2000. However. and a considerable increase in combined working hours among working couples. especially for women. However. The immune and digestive systems are temporarily shut down. Such evidence argues for a greater emphasis on working conditions as the key source of job stress. Results showed a time trend suggesting an increase in work intensity. Although the importance of individual differences cannot be ignored. . While workplace stress has the potential to affect employees of all categories. were conducted in member states of the European Union in 1990. scientific evidence suggests that certain working conditions are stressful to most people. 2005). and 2000. what is stressful for one person may not be a problem for someone else. goes to work. increasing to 56% in 1995 and 60 % in 2000. an increase in extended work weeks (>40 hours) by men. A person's status in the workplace can also affect levels of stress. 1995. and organs that are not currently serving the body. In other words. known as the reticular activating system. less powerful employees (that is. those who have less control over their jobs) are more likely to suffer stress than powerful workers. skin.
Heart diseases. The following economic factors may lead to workplace stress: Pressure from investors. strokes and diabetes are estimated to have wiped $9 billion (euro6. putting more stress on the employee(Primm. This boon in productivity however. who can quickly withdraw their money from company stocks. lifestyle diseases threaten India’s hi-tech growth New Delhi: A sharp rise in lifestyle diseases such as heart problems and strokes.Economic factors that employees are facing in the 21st century have been linked to increased stress levels. Bullying in the workplace can also contribute to stress. The lack of trade and professional unions in the workplace. sleep disturbance. upset stomach. Nonetheless. Inter-company rivalries caused by the efforts of companies to compete globally The willingness of companies to swiftly lay off workers to cope with changing business environments. and psychological disorders Workplace stress. headache. 2005).5 billion) off India’s national income in 2005. but the losses could total a staggering $200 billion (euro144 billion) over the next 10 years if corrective action is not taken quickly The study by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. coupled with a lack of adequate preventive health care. musculoskeletal disorders. psychological distress. threatens India’s future growth prospects. The effects of job stress on chronic diseases are more difficult to ascertain because chronic diseases develop over relatively long periods of time and are influenced by many factors other than stress. there is some evidence that stress plays a role in the development of several types of chronic health problems--including cardiovascular disease. but has also sparked a surge in workplace stress and lifestyle diseases that few Indian companies have addressed. has caused higher expectations and greater competition. Researchers and social commentators have pointed out that the computer and communications revolutions have made companies more efficient and productive than ever before. a research study said. Signs Stress-related problems include mood disturbance. said India’s rapid economic expansion has boosted corporate profits and employee incomes. Experts warn that the country’s hugely successful outsourcing industry could be the hardest hit. a New Delhi-based research group. . and problems in relationships with family and friends.
has a 24-hour hot line for employees suffering from depression to access psychiatrists. These include: Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being. chronic or intense stress can also lead to physical and emotional health problems. ―It’s the fastest-growing industry in our country. 1) Recognize warning signs of excessive stress at work When you feel overwhelmed at work.‖ Long working hours. This can make you less productive and less effective in your job. Beyond interfering with job performance and satisfaction. but it is most vulnerable to lifestyle diseases. irritable. Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work.548. night shifts and a sedentary lifestyle make people employed at information technology companies prone to heart disease and diabetes. you lose confidence and may become irritable or withdrawn. riding on the outsourcing boom in recent years. India’s per capita health spending of $7 is one of the lowest in the world and is a fraction of what the United States spends -.Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said his biggest concern was the country’s information technology industry that has grown rapidly. Prevention A combination of organizational change and stress management is often the most useful approach for preventing stress at work.‖ Ramadoss said. There have also been growing reports of mental depression and family discord in the industry. they can lead to bigger problems. according to a 2006 WHO report.. Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and coworkers. Infosys Technologies Ltd. There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find on the job and in the workplace. and make the work seem less rewarding. or depressed Muscle tension or headaches Apathy. Signs and symptoms of excessive job and workplace stress Feeling anxious.$2. If you ignore the warning signs of work stress. ―Its future growth could be stunted if we don’t address the problem now. the report said. India’s second-largest software exporter. loss of interest in work Stomach problems Problems sleeping Social withdrawal Fatigue Loss of sex drive Trouble concentrating Using alcohol or drugs to cope 2) Reduce job stress by taking care of yourself .
which can lead to better relationships at work. By eating small but frequent meals throughout the day. levels of anxiety. The better you feel. and as you make more positive lifestyle choices. manage your personal life. and relax both the mind and body. a key factor in coping with job and workplace stress. Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid nicotine Alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety and worry. sharpen focus. increase energy. it’s time to take action. you’ll soon notice a reduction in your stress levels. Even small things can lift your mood. . When you're well-rested. not lower.When stress at work interferes with your ability to perform in your job. try to get at least 30 minutes of heart-pounding activity on most days. but nicotine is a powerful stimulant – leading to higher. managers. both at home and at work. there are simple steps you can take to regain control over yourself and the situation. and subordinates alike. 3) Reduce job stress by prioritizing and organizing When job and workplace stress threatens to overwhelm you. Make food choices that keep you going Low blood sugar can make you feel anxious and irritable. For maximum stress relief. Drinking to relieve job stress may also eventually lead to alcohol abuse and dependence. it's much easier to keep your emotional balance. you can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar and avoid these swings in mood. Get moving Aerobic exercise—activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat—is a hugely effective way to lift your mood. When your own needs are taken care of. Your newfound ability to maintain a sense of self-control in stressful situations will often be well-received by coworkers. Take things one step at a time. you’re stronger and more resilient to stress. If it’s easier to fit into your schedule. Taking care of yourself doesn’t require a total lifestyle overhaul. but a lack of sleep can leave you vulnerable to even more stress. or adversely impacts your health. but too much can cause anxiety as it wears off. and make you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat. Similarly. the better equipped you’ll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed. smoking when you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed may seem calming. Start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health. increase your energy. Here are some suggestions for reducing job stress by prioritizing and organizing your responsibilities. break up the activity into two or three shorter segments. while eating too much can make you lethargic. Get enough sleep Not only can stress and worry can cause insomnia.
emotional intelligence matters just as much as intellectual ability. Analyze your schedule. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Don’t over-commit yourself. You will be able to break habits . and connect to others and manage conflict. 5) Reduce job stress by breaking bad habits As you learn to manage your job stress and improve your work relationships. repair wounded feelings. and daily tasks. you’ll have more control over your ability to think clearly and act appropriately. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. Even 10-15 minutes can make the difference between frantically rushing to your desk and having time to ease into your day. overcome differences. you can retain a large measure of self-control and self-confidence by understanding and practicing emotional intelligence. All too often. When it comes to satisfaction and success at work.Time management tips for reducing job stress Create a balanced schedule. Also try to get away from your desk or work station for lunch. understand. Try to find a balance between work and family life. productive. Emotional intelligence is about communicating with others in ways that draw people to you. If you've got too much on your plate. and defuse tension and stress. Emotional intelligence in the workplace: Emotional intelligence in the workplace has four major components: Self-awareness – The ability to recognize your emotions and their impact while using gut feelings to guide your decisions. and react to other's emotions and feel comfortable socially. Relationship management – The ability to inspire. social activities and solitary pursuits. we underestimate how long things will take. daily responsibilities and downtime. Stepping away from work to briefly relax and recharge will help you be more. distinguish between the "shoulds" and the "musts. not less. Make sure to take short breaks throughout the day to take a walk or sit back and clear your mind. 4) Reduce job stress by improving emotional intelligence Even if you’re in a job where the environment has grown increasingly stressful. Plan regular breaks. Social awareness – The ability to sense." Drop tasks that aren't truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely. Don’t add to your stress levels by running late. influence. responsibilities. Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage and use your emotions in positive and constructive ways. Try to leave earlier in the morning. Self-management – The ability to control your emotions and behavior and adapt to changing circumstances.
Rather than stressing out over them. If you can turn around these self-defeating habits. No project. situation. Make communication friendly and efficient. These include: Improve communication Share information with employees to reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures. Try to think positively about your work. so trying to attain perfection on everything will simply add unnecessary stress to your day. especially in times of high stress.that add to your stress at work – and you’ll even be able to change negative ways of thinking about things that only add to your stress. just knowing where everything is saves time and cuts stress. Make to-do lists and cross off items as you accomplish them. you’re setting yourself up to fall short. Managers can act as positive role models. Consult your employees Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their jobs. even if no one else does. set your clocks and watches fast and give yourself extra time. by following the tips outlined in this article. Flip your negative thinking. Clearly define employees’ roles and responsibilities. Plan your day and stick to the schedule — you’ll feel less overwhelmed. it is much easier for his or her employees to also remain calm. focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems. you’ll find employer-imposed stress easier to handle. no one can ask for more than that. If a respected manager can remain calm in stressful work situations. Additionally. and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself or try to do too much. If you’re always running late. there are a number of organizational changes that managers and employers can make to reduce workplace stress. Aim to do your best. file and throw away the clutter. or decision is ever perfect. Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. If you see the downside of every situation and interaction. Consult employees about scheduling and work rules. Many things at work are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. you’ll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. . not mean-spirited or petty. Eliminate self-defeating behaviors Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behavior. Clean up your act. Resist perfectionism. If your desk is a mess. 6) Learn how managers or employers can reduce job stress It's in a manager's best interest to keep stress levels in the workplace to a minimum. avoid negative-thinking co-workers.
Provide opportunities for career development.org/mental/work_stress_managem ent. avoid unrealistic deadlines. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for harassment. Make management actions consistent with organizational values. Offer rewards and incentives.livemint. Cultivate a friendly social climate Provide opportunities for social interaction among employees.com . Be sure the workload is suitable to employees’ abilities and resources. BIBLIOGRAPHY WIKIPEDIA http://helpguide. Show that individual workers are valued. Praise good work performance. both verbally and officially. through schemes such as Employee of the Month.ht www. Promote an ―entrepreneurial‖ work climate that gives employees more control over their work.
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