Exam Question: Several sources of stress in the workplace have been identified. Describe these sources of stress and suggest ways that the work environment can be changed to address each one.
Stress is usually a part of people’s daily living. As the educational requirements progress and become more stringent and workers work more throughout a year, attempt to solve other issues at home, strive to find a life partner, accumulate enough wealth to buy the things they need and keep oneself in a good shape, they get perplexed and confused. It is hard to do all these things and once in a while every person experiences stress and anxiety.
There are different reasons why people experience stress. Some of the sources of stress are depicted below.
- Being overwhelmed with assignments (Dumbleton 2008). It is a common knowledge that the management wants to maximize its profits by improving the overall efficiency. To the employees it means that the number of assignments constantly grows.
- Lack of time. Since people work, study, lead social life, have hobbies and various interests they frequently lack time to do all the things properly, so they get stressed about not having enough time to do what they want.
- Lack of skills. People sometimes lack the ability to do all the required jobs. As a result, sometimes they feel they do not have the skill to perform the task correctly and worry about it (Elkin, 2005).
- Tension with other employees. Any job, despite the management’s attempt to create a collaborative environment, is a competitive place where employees fight for the best place under the sun. Likewise, some people might be naturally inclined to treat other with contempt or disrespect. Such people do make each other angry, where angriness results in a stress.
There are some approaches to combat stress some of which are summarized below:
- Self-talk and positive attitude. This involves the general attitude and a personal view of the situation that causes stress (Cooper, 120). Oftentimes, things are exaggerated by people and it is only a positive attitude (e.g. viewing difficult and stressful situations not as ‘problems’ but rather as ‘challenges’) that makes some people become more/less stressed when experiencing the same stressful situation.
- Relaxation, breathing, Yoga, meditation. These techniques, originally designed by followers of Eastern religions (Buddhism, Hinduism) to separate oneself from the material world, work perfectly in stressful situation. They typically allow one to separate oneself from the center of conflict to gain the position of a ‘looker-on’, which is much less stressful (Davis, 2007).
- Exercise, jogging. This is natural solution to stress, the “flight” part of the “fight or flight” response that people and animals alike exhibit when stressed. Running or jogging improves the overall health condition of individuals, reduces the effect of stress hormones (e.g. adrenaline) on the human body, and improves self-confidence.
- Stress relief toys: stress balls, stress “punching” bag, stress-relieving computer games. This is a natural solution to stress, i.e. the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” reaction. It also improves the relationships as all the dissatisfaction and grievances are projected on the toy or object of hate rather than on the actual person (Charlesworth, 2006).
- Davis, Martha. Robbins, Elizabeth. (2007). The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook). Prentice Hall, pp. 134-137.
- Elkin, Allen. (2005). Stress Management for Dummies. McGraw Hill, pp. 74-75.
- Charlesworth, Edward A. Nathan , Ronald G. (2006). Stress Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Wellness. Wiley and sons press, pp. 68-72.
- Cooper, C.L., and Cartwright, S. (1996) Managing Workplace Stress. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Dumbleton, Trevor Dealing with Workplace Stress, http://www.goal-setting-guide.com/articles/stressmanagement/DealingwithWorkplaceStress.html ,2008.