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Stress at the work place is a physical or emotional response occurring through the interaction between the worker and the work environment. Stress is the unconscious preparation to fight that a person experiences when faced with any demand. It has two distinctive factors: the stressor and the distress. A stressor is the factor that generates stress. It can be the person or the event. Distress is the resulting consequences of a stressful event.
It is a fact that, at some point all human beings face stress in their lives. Healthy and unhealthy stress at work have different impacts. The ability of a worker to deal with good and bad stress depends on one’s attitude. Stress at work is a serious and wide spread factor. It should be well addressed otherwise, it can result in harmful and adverse effects. In the work place the causes can arise from either internal, external sources or a combination of both. Job stress results from the interaction of the worker and the conditions of work.
The research findings state that most of the patients that have stress related illness inflicted it from the work place. Further findings show that women are more prone to stress than men. Stress affects women as they have numerous duties and try to create a balance in their lives. A modern woman has the responsibility of bearing children, looking after the family, education, job and others.
Stress has both positive and negative impacts on the work organization. It is a tool that helps people to live well balanced and more meaningful lifestyles. Both types of stress can be useful for people who has the correct attitudes towards their work. A variety of factors serve as indicators of stress-related disorders in the work place.
They include psychological disorders like mood and sleep disturbance, depression, aggressive behaviour and substance abuse. Also, poor performance at work and health problems in extreme cases can even lead to death. Research findings prove that stress plays an important role in the development of chronic health problems like musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and, psychological disorders.
The workers should avoid extreme exposure to the stress situations. In our daily life, it is not possible to avoid stress. Therefore, it is necessary for every employee to know how to effectively maintain a healthy balance between the two types of stress.
The ability of a worker to recognize stress appropriately leads to better management and,general improvement of one’s life. Stress may fall into two categories: short term, which refers to a problem that lasts for a short period until the stress factor is over, like a job interview and long term, whereby a worker constantly worries about something for a long period.
Many underlying factors like social, psychological, emotional and physical problems facilitate stress at work. The ability of workers to cope with stress depends on their personality and attitudes. People have different perspectives and varying tolerance levels depending on the circumstances. Most people find working conditions stressful thus there is a need to help them cope with this situation.
At the work place, workers tend to deal with the various forms of stress that affects them in different ways. They include denial, repression, displacement, intellectual rationalization and other reactions. The aim of these reactions is to affect stress but it is not the solution how to cope with stress. Like in the case of a worker who is sexually harassed in the work place, he/she will suffer every time when he comes across the fellow worker who assaults him. (Bond 2010).
Also, when the work system changes without giving the workers a grace period or prior training they will have stress because they will try to adjust. Low self-esteem that may be as a result of ridicule from fellow workers may make one feel rejected and he/she does not want to be the part of the organization.
When employee has a good stress, he/she can contol own actions and can limit them to a degree when he/she can comfortably handle. It helps people to work efficiently and helps them to adjust the pressure and other challenges positively. A proper balance of beneficial stress has many greeds. It is a powerful tool to use in handling emergencies and achieving high levels of performance. It also helps in the inspiration of a worker to achieve reasonable goal if the approach is sensible and will reduce the stress.
Good stress provides a worker with inner drive and motivation to pursue and achieve relevant goals. An example of good stress is when a worker can use his/her adrenalin energy to produce positive results when facing challenge. Like when one is attending an interview thinks faster and more sharply, an actor uses the adrenalin to enhance the performance.
Bad stress is fatal especially if it prolongs because it has physical, mental and social impacts on a person. This stress is bad because it is out of control and leaves the worker without choice. It is always extremely necessary to avoid factors that lead to unhealthy stress at work. In most of the cases, this stress results to poor performance, inefficiency, health problems and inconveniences that can cost to an organization. Bad stress in the work place can be minimized through well researched approaches like proper selection and training of the staff for vacancies.
Managing stress at the work place revolves around differentiating between bad and good stress. Different approaches are available and they depend upon the situation. It is necessary for proper selection and training of workers to ensure that the job allocation fits their capabilities. An organization requires stress management strategies and fair policies for every worker. Providing stress management education in order to help workers to identify and cope with bad stress is vital to their health.
In every organization, the well being of worker should be of primary importance as it holds a key to the success and also contributes to an overall well being of a person. It is essential for workers to develop and maintain positive attitudes towards work and believe in their ability to perform well. Every worker should make realistic goals depending on their different ability levels. Also, a worker should develop a suitable technique of reducing and managing stress. Adopting a positive life style like balanced diet, regular exercise and enough of the rest are some of the ways to achieve body, mind and soul balance.
The human resource department needs to recognize, motivate and address grievances of the workers appropriately in order to reduce stress that relates to the absence of these factors. In extreme cases, the management should provide professional help to workers because stress is a potential killer.
Managers can provide other alternatives in the work arrangement through the work system decentralization and workers can choose their own conducive work environment. Bad and good stress factors will always present themselves in every work place. It is easier to manage the stress when you have the right attitudes and measures (Olmstead 2002).
This will enhance the overall work performance and the workers overall wellbeing in the workplace. It is the responsibility of every worker to try manage their stress so as not to interfere their performance at work.