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The aim of this research is to establish the existence of work related stress and find out the factors that cause it. It also aims to establish the symptoms of organizational stress and its effect on the organizational output. The method used is interviewing method. A manager at a firefighter’s station is the interviewee. The results indicated that work related stress occurs in the work places. It is usually depicted by physical symptoms such as high levels of conflict. It is also results to unhealthy workers as it results to migraines, depression, and other health complications. The results imply that stress at work ought to be kept at low levels for effective production.
The rationale of the interview is to find out if work related stress exists. It also seeks to establish what is defined as work related stress. Another focuses on the major causes of the work related stress. It focuses also on the symptoms of work related stress. More than this, it focuses on how the health of the employees is affected by work related stress. Other issues that the interview seeks to establish include how work related stress is triggered in the work place. It also focuses on the effects of stress among workers, and how it affects he output of the organization.
Beheshtifar, Hoselnifar, & Moghadam (2011) in their research concluded that work related stress ranks highly among the risks that occur at any work place. They stated that stress at work makes workers to be dissatisfied by their jobs. In their thesis, they stated that this causes anxiety, irritability, confusion, and aggression among workers. The study by Beheshtifar, Hoselnifar, & Moghadam (2011) reveals that procrastination by management is among the key causes of stress at the work place.
Denny, Wells, and Cunningham (2009) indicate in their thesis that the main causes of stress at work were events that were uncontrollable. The other courses that are identified as causing stress at the work place include lack of communication between the members of the staff. Lack of support is also identified as a cause of stress alongside conflict. Denny, Wells, and Cunningham (2009) reveals that 20% of workers experience job stress. When the employees received social support at work, they seemed to experience less stress; Denny, Wells, and Cunningham (2009) attributes this to the psychological support that workers get in their job place. It also revealed that stress at work led to cardiovascular diseases and other complications. It differed with other studies that suggested stress causes insomnia.
Nixon, Mazzola, Bauer, Krueger, & Specter, (2011) in their thesis indicated that work related stress is mainly shown by physical symptoms. They also pointed the causes of stress at work to be mainly role conflict or occupational conflict. Other things cited as sources of stress are constraints in the organization. Cousins, Mackay, Clarke, Kelly, Kelly, and McCaig (2004), state that risk assessment at work aids in stress reduction. They also indicate that use of indicator tools in stress management offers organizations an easy means to manage stress.
On the other hand, Mirela & Madalina (2010), in their thesis define organizational stress as being a response to the aggressive and harmful aspects of work. They indicate that stress at work results from the diversity of tasks that exist at work. They also relate them to the high responsibilities given to workers. The thesis also indicates that excessive authority causes stress at the work place. Untrained people also bring stress to the other workers. The symptoms that indicate stress at work according to the thesis include health problems like chest pains and high blood pressure. Workers also show irritability and act depresses. Some also engage into drinking sprees. These could eventually lead to mental illness and to heart diseases. Other than halt problems, they sight organizational problems like high levels of absenteeism and poor quality control.
The interview was conducted with a high-ranking member of the management of a firefighting organization. He was male in gender and he aged 42 years old. The heritage of this manager is German. The manager of the organization happens to have started his career as an ordinary fire fighter. He had worked in the organization for a period of 18 years. Based on this, he could draw a lot of information from his experiences at the work place.
I went through the directory in search of a firefighting organization to get the interview. I placed calls and got to the secretary of the firefighting organization. I immediately booked an appointment with the interviewee right in the premises of the organization. The interview was held in the office of the manager. I also settled for this organization because it is multicultural. The member of management is preferred because he has the feel of how stress at work affects the staff. He is preferred as he has the feel of how the stress among workers affects the company’s productivity.
The procedure adopted included ensuring that the interview was conducted in a place of minimal distraction. The office served that just perfectly. I introduced myself formerly and explained to the interviewee my purpose for carrying out the interview. I also explained to him that any information I would collect would be purely confidential. I then engaged into asking the manager my questions in a span of 45 minutes. During this period, the manager was allowed to ask his questions.
The questions that were asked in the interview were geared towards getting the managers true view of what work related stress is. The first question was what work related stress was in his organization. This was geared to getting the rigid view of what he felt as a manager. I also asked him what the causes of this stress were. This was mainly to understand the contributing factors to stress in the fire fighting organizations.
I also asked if stress affected the health of the workers. This question was meant to establish the connection that exists between health of workers and stress. I also asked the effects of stress and how it affects the organization. This was geared towards establishing the long-term effects of stress at work. The data was then recorded just as the manager answered. He also filled a questionnaire that was also used to compile the results. As I left him, he signed the question form for me, and we parted. We exchanged contacts in case the need to communicate arose.
In the opinion of the manager, work related stress referred to the behaviors that result when employees face so much pressure at the work place. He indicated that this behavior could be physical and sometimes emotional. He described the fact most officers get stress due to the nature of their duty. He expressed the fact that the officers are constantly on call. This results to the fact that they hardly get enough sleep.
This he termed as a major factor that contributes to stress among the officers. He also indicated that the stress among the officers sometimes comes from their homes. Due to being constantly away, the officers hardly fulfill their conjugal rights. This results to misunderstandings and constant fights at home. This makes the officers suffer stress even at work. Officers also suffer stress because most of the victims of fire are usually in critical conditions. This affects the officers just as the death of the victims does. He indicated that in several instances work related stress results to the ill health of the officers. The ill health is in the form of headaches and migraines. In severe cases, officers faint at work due to fatigue and stress.
He indicated that the organization had developed means of establishing stress among the officers. He indicated that this is geared towards identifying stress early to prevent bad outcomes. He further indicted that workers who were stressed constantly engaged in conflicts unnecessarily. He also indicated that the stressed worker tended to engage in uncomely activities like drug abuse. Others would constantly forget things as their memory seemed to be affected. He indicated that the total output of the organization was constantly affected by the stress at the work place. He indicated that when officers were stressed they were hardly productive. This made their rescue missions to fail to be effective as officers tended to be lowly motivated. My hypothesis is supported as its indicative that work related stress results to poor productivity in the organization.
Work related stress is a consequence of many factors (King, 2006). It may result from the pressure that is exhibited in the work place. Most times, it results from the lack of proper management. It is impossible for workers to experience work related stress if the managers ensure the various functions within the organization are working. Stress results from the nature of work given to the employees. This is especially if the work is very strenuous for them. Long working hours also serve to stress the workers as it results in lack of sleep. This is so among the fire fighters who rarely get enough sleep especially during emergencies. This contradicts the finding by Beheshtifar, Hoselnifar, & Moghadam (2011), which states that, stress, is caused by job dissatisfaction.
The officers in this case are satisfied by their jobs. They get into stress due to the pressure presented by their work. It also differs from the finding of Denny, Wells, and Cunningham (2009), which stated that stress results from uncontrollable factors. The factors cited in this study can be controlled as the management can hire more officers and ensure officers get enough rest to reduce stress (Stranks, 2005).
The discrepancy could result from the fact that the research by earlier scholars was based on researching people in civil offices. This is different from firefighters as their duties are normally extended in the field. Work related stress also causes conflict. It is also shown by wayward behaviors by the workers such as substance abuse. The stress among the workers can result to issue like depression. It also results to headaches and bodily pains like chest pains. This results from the fact that the body is not comfortable, and thus it gets sick. The fire officers mainly suffer migraines and headaches due to reassure at work.
The effect of work related stress is that the production of the workers diminishes. This makes the production extended by the workers to be inefficient. In turn, the organization becomes ineffective. Management should ensure that all functions are balanced in the work place. This will ensure that workers work enjoyably without so much pressure (Antonopoulos, 2003).
The limitations include the fact that the interview was conducted with only one officer. His view could not be inclusive of every other firefighter. This is because he could have incorporated his opinion in the findings of his study. Interviewing another officer might altogether give a different view. Future researchers should conduct with the emergency officers concerning the job related stress. This will result to more investigation as to what causes stress among the different emergency officers.