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WORKPLACE STRESS:

CAUSES & CURES


INTRODUCTION
ÄOccupational stress is a significant problem that

affects the health of not only individuals but also

that of organisations & society.

ÄIt occurs when there is an imbalance between the

demand posed by a particular work environment & the

perceived capability of the employee to meet the

demand.
DEFINITION
ÄTaber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines

stress as “The result produced when a structure,

system or organism is acted upon by forces that

disrupt equilibrium or produce strain.”

Ä
ÄJob Stress can be defined as “The harmful

physical & emotional responses that occur when the

requirements of the job do not match the

capabilities, resources or needs of the worker. Job


IMPACT OF STRESS

ÄOccupational Stress is a

global phenomenon that

results in heavy costs to

individuals, companies or

organisations & the

society.
AT INDIVIDUAL LEVEL:
ØDevastating effect on the physical & mental health

ØLoss of capacity to cope with challenging work &

social situations
ØAffect concentration & focus on work, leading to

poor performance
ØLeads to a variety of disorders & illness & also

abusive habits like excessive smoking, drinking,

drugs, etc.
ØLeads to extreme consequences like depression,
AT ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL:
ØProductivity & efficiency of the organisation

ØIncreased absenteeism on account of sickness,

higher medical expenses, drop in performance due

to low motivational levels


Øhigh labour turnover

ØAssociated recruitment & training costs


Ø
INTERNAL STRESSORS

Arise from the individual’s

perception of threat from the

environment
CLASSIFICATION:
üTime stress – arising out of pressure on account

of deadlines to be met
üSituational Stress – that occurs when a person is

caught in unpleasant situations.


üAnticipatory stress – when a person perceives

that an impending event is going to be unpleasant &

worries about it.


üEncounter Stress - arising out of interpersonal

contacts & work relationships.


EXTERNAL STRESSORS

Attributable to the

environmental conditions

beyond individual’s control


CLASSIFICATION:
üPhysical environment – poor lighting conditions,

excessive noise levels, etc.


üQuality of work – monotony, long hours, unrealistic

targets, etc.
üRole ambiguities – ambiguous demands, value

conflicts, conflicting responsibilities.


üRelationship at work – with peers, superiors &

subordinates, the way in which managerial authority

is exercised, & organizational structure & climate.


WHO IS

VULNERABLE TO
ØStress affects all categories
STRESS???
of workers – blue collared as

well as white collared, young &

old, male & female.


ØOnly the degree of

vulnerability varies.
Occupations with high stress levels
Occupation Rating scale
Miner 8.3
Police officer 7.7
Prison officer 7.5
Construction worker 7.5
Airline pilot 7.5
Journalist 7.5
Advertising executive 7.3
Dentist 7.3
Actor 7.2
Doctor 6.8
Broadcasting personnel 6.8
Nurse 6.5
Film production crew 6.5
Ambulance personnel 6.3
Musician 6.3
Firefighter 6.3
Teacher 6.2
Social worker 6.0
Personnel manager 6.0
GENDER & WORK
ØA survey of 1300 STRESS
full time employees of private

companies in the United states, found that stress

affects women more than men, & that women are

more exposed to burnout, stress- related illness &

resignation.
Ø

ØResearch studies conducted in Sweden show that

the total workload of women employed part-time is


GAS MODEL
SIGNS &

SYMPTOMS

OF STRESS
PHASE SIGNS/ ACTION
SYMPTOMS

Feelings of vague anxiety


 
Talking about feelings
1. WARNING depression 
Taking a vacation

Boredom 
Taking time for yourself

Apathy

Emotional Fatigue


Sleep disturbances 
More aggressive lifestyle
2. MILD 
Muscle aches changes may be needed
SYMPTOMS 
More frequent 
Short-term counselling
headache/cold

Irritability

Intensified depression

Depression The help of medical &

3. 
Physical & emotional psychological professionals is
ENTRENCHED fatigue highly recommended
CUMULATIVE 
Ulcer
STRESS 
Intense Anxiety

Rigid thinking

Restlessness

Sleeplessness


Asthma 
Significant intervention
4. SEVERE 
Severe depression from professionals
CUMULATIVE 
Uncontrolled anger, grief,
STRESS rage
REACTION 
Over-reaction to minor
events

Frequent Accidents

Carelessness, forgetfulness

Heart Conditions

STRESS
MANAGEMENT
INTERVENTION &
1.FIRST APPROACH – TO TREAT THE
TECHNIQUES
SYMPTOMS OF STRESS:

This involves identifying those suffering

from severe stress, & providing health-care &

psychological counseling to alleviate them.


2.SECOND APPROACH – TO TAKE STEPS TO BUILD

STRESS MANAGEMENT SKILLS IN THE

INDIVIDUALS:

This can be done through structured

programs that teach employees time management,

relaxation techniques, & also educate them on

improving their dietary habits.


3. THIRD APPROACH – TO REMOVE THE CAUSES

OF STRESSORS BY CHANGING THE

ENVIRONMENT:

This requires eliminating or reducing the

environmental stressors like excessive noise,

pollution, etc, modifying the production schedules

& workloads, setting realistic targets, having

supportive work & family policies.