Work Stress Factors

The demands of the job, lack of support from coworkers and boss, control of work, change in organization and roles are a few work stress factors.

We face everyday allĀ  work stress factors. How do you handle them?

Some workers do not seem to distinguish work stress with work challenge. The big difference is how you feel about the job. When you find your work invigorating, fulfilling and you are happy learning while doing your tasks, then it’s a work challenge. When you feel otherwise, you know that your job has become a source of stress.

Harvard and Stanford Business School undertook a study which revealed that job stress costs US tens of billions of dollars in healthcare as it job stress is responsible for 120,000 death among Americans every year.

When not properly managed, work stress factors can lead to conflicts and low productivity, even health risks and injury. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published an article on work stress on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website and suggestions on how to deal with them.

The demands of the job, lack of support from colleagues and bosses, control of work, relationships with co-employees, change in organization and role in work place are a few examples of work stress factors. Management styles and working conditions also add to the list.

An employee who has control over his or her work can reduce the effects of high demands. On the other hand, a bullying co-worker or a demanding and short-tempered boss or an arrogant office mate can be a very consistent source of stress.

Problems regarding your role in a working environment are considered the less stressful while changes in team members, in the type of work or technology used in your work can equally be stressful.

Early warning signs of work stress

Symptoms that would indicate your are experiencing the effects of stress borne out of the work can manifest in many forms such as:

  • negative feeling or depression
  • disappointment with yourself
  • loneliness
  • being more tearful or sensitive or aggressive
  • mood swings
  • loss of confidence
  • being hard to motivate
  • lack of commitment

When work stress make you lose focus in what you are doing in the work area and also results in confusion and poor memory, it is advised for you to consult a staff of your Human Resource department, a line manager or an official of your trade union as soon as possible to ease the stress and more importantly to stop or reduce these symptoms.

Resolving work stress

Tackling work stress factors in the work area requires cooperation of persons at each level of organization where stress takes place. The results would benefit not only the individual but the team as well as the organization.

Discussions with one another to resolve the problem would be better than going through litigation while reducing costs for sick pay as well as sickness coverage. Stressed individuals benefit most since he or she may feel more motivated and committed to the job. Morale is increased and the individual works harder and performs better, eventually increasing earning power. The individual regains confidence and feels wanted as an important part of the team and in its decision making.

Management would also benefit from resolving work stress factors since this will reduce staff turnover and intention of worker to leave. Managers would worry at a lesser rate with what is going on with employee relations and can divert her time on more important matters of the job. This will also develop more staff understanding and tolerance on other workers experiencing the same problems.