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Stress management in the workplace

Stress management in the workplace

Stress management in the workplace measures manabement as absenteeism, Sress and turnover rates, tthe performance problems can also be Supplements for young athletes to gauge the presence and scope of job stress. The nervous system is aroused and hormones are released to sharpen the senses, quicken the pulse, deepen respiration, and tense the muscles. Not useful at all Very useful.

Stress management in the workplace -

Rethink Press. Bregman, P. A practical plan when you feel overwhelmed. In HBR guide to managing stress at work pp. Harvard Business Review Press. Cohen, S. Perceived Stress Scale. Mind Garden. pdf Cohen, S. Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States.

Crosswell, A. Best practices for stress measurement: How to measure psychological stress in health research. Health Psychology Open , 7 2. Crum, A. Stress can be a good thing if you know how to use it.

Rethinking stress: The role of mindsets in determining the stress response. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 4 , — Hallowell, E. Overloaded circuits. Hargrove, M. The theory of preventive stress management: A year review and evaluation.

Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress , 27 3 , — Niemiec, R. Strength-based workbook for stress relief: A character strengths approach to finding calm in the chaos of daily life.

New Harbinger. Quick, J. Occupational stress: Preventing suffering, enhancing wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 13 5 , Schwartz, T. Manage your energy not your time. Shapiro, S. Tetrick, L. Workplace stress management interventions and health promotion.

Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior , 2 1 , — About the author. Jeremy Sutton, Ph. Not useful at all Very useful.

Share this article:. Article feedback. Please let us know what we can improve. Alvin Zest on December 12, at Research links burnout with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

In some cases, this sets the stage for serious mental health problems. Indeed, one study shows younger people who routinely face heavy workloads and extreme time pressure on the job are more likely to experience major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

High levels of stress at work —— and outside of it —— can affect physical health, too. Repeated activation of the fight-or-flight response can disrupt bodily systems and increase susceptibility to disease.

For example, repeated release of the stress hormone cortisol can disturb the immune system, and raise the likelihood of developing autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Chronic stress can also affect health by interfering with healthy behaviors, such as exercise, balanced eating, and sleep. Work stress can also harm companies or organizations. Burnout reduces job productivity and boosts absenteeism and job turnover, and also leads to conflict between coworkers, causing stress to spread within a workplace.

All of us can benefit by learning skills to manage fear and anxiety on the job. Several skills taught in cognitive behavioral therapy may help, including these:. Nicole J. LeBlanc, MA , Contributor. Luana Marques, PhD , Contributor.

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PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts. Sign up now and get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness. Nonetheless, evidence is rapidly accumulating to suggest that stress plays an important role in several types of chronic health problems-especially cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders.

Cardiovascular Disease Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Musculoskeletal Disorders On the basis of research by NIOSH and many other organizations, it is widely believed that job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper- extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

Psychological Disorders Several studies suggest that differences in rates of mental health problems such as depression and burnout for various occupations are due partly to differences in job stress levels. Economic and lifestyle differences between occupations may also contribute to some of these problems.

Workplace Injury Although more study is needed, there is a growing concern that stressful working conditions interfere with safe work practices and set the stage for injuries at work. Suicide, Cancer, Ulcers, and Impaired Immune Function Some studies suggest a relationship between stressful working conditions and these health problems.

However, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. But research findings challenge this belief. Studies show that stressful working conditions are actually associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, and intentions by workers to quit their jobs-all of which have a negative effect on the bottom line.

Recent studies of so-called healthy organizations suggest that policies benefiting worker health also benefit the bottom line. A healthy organization is defined as one that has low rates of illness, injury, and disability in its workforce and is also competitive in the marketplace.

NIOSH research has identified organizational characteristics associated with both healthy, low-stress work and high levels of productivity. Examples of these characteristics include the following:.

Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company conducted several studies on the effects of stress prevention programs in hospital settings.

Program activities included 1 employee and management education on job stress, 2 changes in hospital policies and procedures to reduce organizational sources of stress, and 3 establishment of employee assistance programs.

In contrast, there was no reduction in claims in a matched group of 22 hospitals that did not implement stress prevention activities. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who must take time off work because of stress, anxiety, or a related disorder will be off the job for about 20 days.

The examples of Theresa and David illustrate two different approaches for dealing with stress at work. Stress Management. Nearly one-half of large companies in the United States provide some type of stress management training for their workforces.

Stress management programs teach workers about the nature and sources of stress, the effects of stress on health, and personal skills to reduce stress-for example, time management or relaxation exercises. EAPs provide individual counseling for employees with both work and personal problems.

Stress management training may rapidly reduce stress symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disturbances; it also has the advantage of being inexpensive and easy to implement. However, stress management programs have two major disadvantages:.

Organizational Change. This approach is the most direct way to reduce stress at work. It involves the identification of stressful aspects of work e.

The advantage of this approach is that it deals directly with the root causes of stress at work. However, managers are sometimes uncomfortable with this approach because it can involve changes in work routines or production schedules, or changes in the organizational structure.

As a general rule, actions to reduce job stress should give top priority to organizational change to improve working conditions. But even the most conscientious efforts to improve working conditions are unlikely to eliminate stress completely for all workers.

For this reason, a combination of organizational change and stress management is often the most useful approach for preventing stress at work. Program design and appropriate solutions will be influenced by several factors-the size and complexity of the organization, available resources, and especially the unique types of stress problems faced by the organization.

Theresa, on the other hand, is bothered by difficult interactions with the public and an inflexible work schedule. Although it is not possible to give a universal prescription for preventing stress at work, it is possible to offer guidelines on the process of stress prevention in organizations.

In all situations, the process for stress prevention programs involves three distinct steps: problem identification, intervention, and evaluation.

These steps are outlined beginning on page For this process to succeed, organizations need to be adequately prepared. At a minimum, preparation for a stress prevention program should include the following:.

Bringing workers or workers and managers together in a committee or problem-solving group may be an especially useful approach for developing a stress prevention program. However, when forming such working groups, care must be taken to be sure that they are in compliance with current labor laws.

Employers should seek legal assistance if they are unsure of their responsibilities or obligations under the National Labor Relations Act. Low morale, health and job complaints, and employee turnover often provide the first signs of job stress. But sometimes there are no clues, especially if employees are fearful of losing their jobs.

Lack of obvious or widespread signs is not a good reason to dismiss concerns about job stress or minimize the importance of a prevention program. Step 1 — Identify the Problem. The best method to explore the scope and source of a suspected stress problem in an organization depends partly on the size of the organization and the available resources.

Group discussions among managers, labor representatives, and employees can provide rich sources of information. Such discussions may be all that is needed to track down and remedy stress problems in a small company.

In a larger organization, such discussions can be used to help design formal surveys for gathering input about stressful job conditions from large numbers of employees.

Regardless of the method used to collect data, information should be obtained about employee perceptions of their job conditions and perceived levels of.

stress, health, and satisfaction. The list of job conditions that may lead to stress page 9 and the warning signs and effects of stress page 11 provide good starting points for deciding what information to collect. Regardless of the method used to collect data, information should be obtained about employee perceptions of their job conditions and perceived levels of stress, health, and satisfaction.

Objective measures such as absenteeism, illness and turnover rates, or performance problems can also be examined to gauge the presence and scope of job stress. However, these measures are only rough indicators of job stress-at best. Data from discussions, surveys, and other sources should be summarized and analyzed to answer questions about the location of a stress problem and job conditions that may be responsible-for example, are problems present throughout the organization or confined to single departments or specific jobs?

Survey design, data analysis, and other aspects of a stress prevention program may require the help of experts from a local university or consulting firm. However, overall authority for the prevention program should remain in the organization.

Step 2 — Design and Implement Interventions. Once the sources of stress at work have been identified and the scope of the problem is understood, the stage is set for design and implementation of an intervention strategy. In small organizations, the informal discussions that helped identify stress problems may also produce fruitful ideas for prevention.

In large organizations, a more formal process may be needed. Frequently, a team is asked to develop recommendations based on analysis of data from Step 1 and consultation with outside experts. Certain problems, such as a hostile work environment, may be pervasive in the organization and require company-wide interventions.

Other problems such as excessive workload may exist only in some departments and thus require more narrow solutions such as redesign of the way a job is performed. Still other problems may be specific to certain employees and resistant to any kind of organizational change, calling instead for stress management or employee assistance interventions.

Some interventions might be implemented rapidly e. Step 3 — Evaluate the Interventions. Evaluation is an essential step in the intervention process.

Evaluation is necessary to determine whether the intervention is producing desired effects and whether changes in direction are needed. involving organizational change should receive both short- and long-term scrutiny.

Short-term evaluations might be done quarterly to provide an early indication of program effectiveness or possible need for redirection. Many interventions produce initial effects that do not persist.

Long-term evaluations are often conducted annually and are necessary to determine whether interventions produce lasting effects. Evaluations should focus on the same types of information collected during the problem identification phase of the intervention, including information from employees about working conditions, levels of perceived stress, health problems, and satisfaction.

Employee perceptions are usually the most sensitive measure of stressful working conditions and often provide the first indication of intervention effectiveness.

Adding objective measures such as absenteeism and health care costs may also be useful. However, the effects of job stress interventions on such measures tend to be less clear-cut and can take a long time to appear.

The job stress prevention process does not end with evaluation. Rather, job stress prevention should be seen as a continuous process that uses evaluation data to refine or redirect the intervention strategy.

The following pages provide examples of actions some organizations have taken to help prevent stress in their workplaces. Example 1 — A Small Service Organization. A department head in a small public service organization sensed an escalating level of tension and deteriorating morale among her staff.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus Streds sem Stress management in the workplace, vitae egestas felis vestibule mabagement. Request permission to republish Tthe redistribute SHRM content and materials. Whether it is living through a pandemic, a war, political discord or all of the above, it's no surprise that employees are feeling more stressed than ever. And it's clear that employee stress directly impacts employers.

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Not only can stress and worry cause insomnia, sleep deprivation can also make you vulnerable to even more stress. If you are well rested, it is much easier to maintain your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with stress at work and at work.

Try to improve sleep quality by following a sleep plan and aiming for eight hours of sleep a night. When workplace stress threatens to overwhelm you, there are simple steps you can take to regain control of yourself and the situation. Your newfound ability to maintain a sense of self-control in stressful situations is often welcomed by employees, managers and subordinates alike, which can lead ij better relationships in the workplace.

Here are some suggestions to reduce stress in the workplace by prioritizing and organizing your responsibilities. Even if you work in a profession where the environment has become increasingly stressful, you can maintain a high level of self-control and self-confidence by understanding and practicing emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage and use your emotions positively and constructively. When it comes to satisfaction and success at work, emotional intelligence counts just as much as intellectual ability.

Emotional intelligence means communicating with others in a way that draws people to you, overcomes differences, repairs hurt feelings, and reduces workplaxe and stress. There are five key skills you need to master to increase your emotional intelligence and manage stress at work.

As you learn to manage your stress at work and improve your work relationships, you will have more control over your ability to think clearly and act appropriately. You will be able to break habits that increase your stress at work - and you will even be able to change negative mindsets about things that only increase your stress.

Many of us aggravate stress in the workplace through negative thoughts and behaviors. If you can reverse these self-destructive habits, you will find that the stress imposed by your employer is easier to manage. It is in a manager's best interest to keep workplace stress to a minimum.

Executives can act as positive role models, especially in times of high stress, by following the tips outlined in this article. If a respected manager can stay calm in stressful work situations, it is much easier for their employees to stay calm.

In addition, there are a number of organizational changes that managers and employers can make to reduce workplace stress, including:. Notice of Data Security Incident. More Information. About Us About Us About Us Board of Directors Community Benefit.

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How to cope with stress at work. Tips for reducing and managing stress at work and at work While stress at work is normal, excessive stress can affect productivity and physical and emotional health. Managing work stress in today's uncertain climate For workers everywhere, work may feel like an emotional rollercoaster.

You can learn how to cope with stress at work There are a number of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you experience at work and at work, including: Take responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being.

Avoid pitfalls by recognizing knee-jerk habits and negative attitudes that increase the stress you experience at work. Learn better communication skills to facilitate and improve your relationships with management and employees.

Tip 1: Detect warning signs of excessive stress at work If you feel overwhelmed at work, you lose confidence and can become irritable or withdrawn, which can make you less productive and effective in your job and make work seem less rewarding.

Signs and symptoms majagement excessive stress at work Anxiety, irritability or depression Apathy, loss of interest in work Sleep problems Fatigue Problems concentrating Muscle tension or headache Stomach problems Social retreat Loss of sex drive Coping with alcohol or drugs Common causes of excessive stress at work Fear of being sacked More overtime due to staff cuts Performance pressure to meet rising expectations, but without increasing job satisfaction The pressure to work at an optimum level - all the time!

Tip 2: Reduce stress at work by taking care of yourself When stress at work affects your job performance, your private life, or your health, it is time to act. Get moving Regular exercise is an effective way to reduce stress, even if it may be the last thing you want to do.

Make food choices that keep you going Low blood sugar can cause anxiety and irritability, while eating too much can make you lethargic. Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid nicotine Alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety and worry, but too much of it can cause anxiety when it subsides.

Enough sleep Not only can stress and worry cause insomnia, sleep deprivation can also make you vulnerable to even more stress. Tip 3: Reduce stress at work by prioritizing and organizing When workplace stress threatens to overwhelm you, there are simple steps you can take to regain control of yourself and the situation.

Time management tips for reducing stress at work Create a balanced schedule. Analyze your schedule, your responsibilities and your daily tasks. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family, social activities and lonely activities, daily responsibilities and downtime.

Avoid overburdening yourself. Too often, we underestimate how long it will take. If you have too much on your plate, distinguish between "shoulds" and "musts. If you're a commuter, try to leave earlier in the morning. A mere minutes can be the difference between frantically rushing to your desk and having time to ease into the day.

Don't increase your stress levels by running late. Plan and take regular breaks. Take short breaks throughout the day to go for a walk or to sit back and clear your head. Also, try to get away from your desk or work for lunch.

: Stress management in the workplace

14 Tips to Manage Work Stress and Avoid Burnout Skip to main content. You will mqnagement able to break workplacce that increase managfment stress at Mood enhancer music - Supplements for young athletes you will even be able to Manxgement negative mindsets about things that only increase your workplae. Team members in these environments may feel as though their input isn't valued. In addition, there are a number of organizational changes that managers and employers can make to reduce workplace stress, including: Improving communication Share information with employees to reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures. Executives can act as positive role models, especially in times of high stress, by following the tips outlined in this article. Crum, A.
Unrealistic Expectations

Whether it is living through a pandemic, a war, political discord or all of the above, it's no surprise that employees are feeling more stressed than ever. And it's clear that employee stress directly impacts employers.

Because employee retention is necessary for business success, employers cannot afford to ignore the mental health of their employees. Offer flexible hours. Employees who have some control over their work hours tend to be more satisfied than those with stricter work-hour rules.

Whether it is to avoid traffic, to get in an early morning workout or to allow time to walk the dogs before sunset, flexible work hours are appreciated by most employees.

Allow telecommuting. If the job is such that it can be done remotely, allow employees to work from home, or implement a hybrid approach that only requires employees to report in the office two or three days per week.

Reducing commute time and freeing up time for employees to tend to personal obligations can be a significant stress reliever. Support the use of paid time off. Taking time away from work to recharge is important.

But many employees feel that their employer frowns upon the use of leave and may even penalize an employee who takes time off. Management should send a clear message that the use of paid time off is encouraged and set an example from the top.

Encourage employees to take care of their health. Make it easy for employees to obtain health services by offering telehealth options, onsite medical care, wellness clinics, etc.

Activities like a healthy cooking demonstration not only can provide employees with a beneficial takeaway but also can be a needed break during the workday to unwind.

Provide resources and support. Offer educational resources on strategies employees can use to reduce their own stress such as daily exercise, maintaining social contacts and practicing good sleep habits.

Employers can promote wellness webinars often provided by insurance carriers , encourage the use of the employee assistance program, and display workplace postings or distribute handouts on maintaining mental well-being.

Ask employees what they need. Every workplace is different with different stressors. Asking your employees what they need via surveys or focus groups is much more efficient than trying to guess. Sometimes workplace stress is exacerbated by red tape, conflicts with co-workers or feeling underappreciated by management.

Identifying the causes of stress in your workplace and taking actions to improve the circumstances can have a great impact on employee well-being. Causes of work-related stress Self-help for the individual Benefits of preventing stress in the workplace Work-related stress is a management issue Where to get help.

About work-related stress Work-related stress is a growing problem around the world that affects not only the health and wellbeing of employees, but also the productivity of organisations. Symptoms of work-related stress The signs or symptoms of work-related stress can be physical, psychological and behavioural.

Physical symptoms include: fatigue muscular tension headaches heart palpitations sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhoea or constipation dermatological disorders. Psychological symptoms include: depression anxiety discouragement irritability pessimism feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions.

Behavioural symptoms include: an increase in sick days or absenteeism aggression diminished creativity and initiative a drop in work performance problems with interpersonal relationships mood swings and irritability lower tolerance of frustration and impatience disinterest isolation.

What are the main work-related stressors? Stressors can include: organisation culture bad management practices job content and demands physical work environment relationships at work change management lack of support role conflict trauma.

Causes of work-related stress Some of the factors that commonly cause work-related stress include: long hours heavy workload changes within the organisation tight deadlines changes to duties job insecurity lack of autonomy boring work Insufficient skills for the job over-supervision inadequate working environment lack of proper resources lack of equipment few promotional opportunities harassment discrimination poor relationships with colleagues or bosses crisis incidents, such as an armed hold-up or workplace death.

Self-help for the individual A person suffering from work-related stress can help themselves in a number of ways, including: Think about the changes you need to make at work in order to reduce your stress levels and then take action.

Some changes you can manage yourself, while others will need the cooperation of others. Talk over your concerns with your employer or human resources manager. Make sure you are well organised.

List your tasks in order of priority. Schedule the most difficult tasks of each day for times when you are fresh, such as first thing in the morning. Take care of yourself.

Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Consider the benefits of regular relaxation. You could try meditation or yoga. Make sure you have enough free time to yourself every week. Instead, tell them about your work problems and ask for their support and suggestions.

Avoid excessive drinking and smoking. Seek professional counselling from a psychologist. If work-related stress continues to be a problem, despite your efforts, you may need to consider another job or a career change. Seek advice from a career counsellor or psychologist.

Benefits of preventing stress in the workplace The benefits of preventing stress in the workplace include: reduced symptoms of poor mental and physical health fewer injuries, less illness and lost time reduced sick leave usage, absences and staff turnover increased productivity greater job satisfaction increased work engagement reduced costs to the employer improved employee health and community wellbeing.

Work-related stress is a management issue It is important for employers to recognise work-related stress as a significant health and safety issue. A company can and should take steps to ensure that employees are not subjected to unnecessary stress, including: Ensure a safe working environment.

Make sure that everyone is properly trained for their job. De-stigmatise work-related stress by openly recognising it as a genuine problem. Discuss issues and grievances with employees, and take appropriate action when possible.

Devise a stress management policy in consultation with the employees. Encourage an environment where employees have more say over their duties, promotional prospects and safety. Organise to have a human resources manager.

Cut down on the need for overtime by reorganising duties or employing extra staff. Take into account the personal lives of employees and recognise that the demands of home will sometimes clash with the demands of work.

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It is important for employers to recognise work-related stress as a significant health and safety issue. A company can and should take steps to ensure that employees are not subjected to unnecessary stress, including:.

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Home Work. Work-related stress. Actions for this page Listen Print. Summary Read the full fact sheet. On this page. About work-related stress Symptoms of work-related stress What are the main work-related stressors?

Causes of work-related stress Self-help for the individual Benefits of preventing stress in the workplace Work-related stress is a management issue Where to get help. About work-related stress Work-related stress is a growing problem around the world that affects not only the health and wellbeing of employees, but also the productivity of organisations.

Symptoms of work-related stress The signs or symptoms of work-related stress can be physical, psychological and behavioural.

Physical symptoms include: fatigue muscular tension headaches heart palpitations sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhoea or constipation dermatological disorders. Psychological symptoms include: depression anxiety discouragement irritability pessimism feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions.

Behavioural symptoms include: an increase in sick days or absenteeism aggression diminished creativity and initiative a drop in work performance problems with interpersonal relationships mood swings and irritability lower tolerance of frustration and impatience disinterest isolation.

What are the main work-related stressors? Stressors can include: organisation culture bad management practices job content and demands physical work environment relationships at work change management lack of support role conflict trauma.

Causes of work-related stress Some of the factors that commonly cause work-related stress include: long hours heavy workload changes within the organisation tight deadlines changes to duties job insecurity lack of autonomy boring work Insufficient skills for the job over-supervision inadequate working environment lack of proper resources lack of equipment few promotional opportunities harassment discrimination poor relationships with colleagues or bosses crisis incidents, such as an armed hold-up or workplace death.

Alyson Meister is a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland. Specializing in the development of globally oriented, adaptive, and inclusive organizations, she has worked with thousands of executives, teams, and organizations from professional services to industrial goods and technology.

Her research has been widely published, and in , she was recognized as a Thinkers50 Radar thought leader. Bonnie Hayden Cheng is an associate professor of management and strategy and the MBA program director at HKU Business School, University of Hong Kong. She is the chief resilience officer of Human at Work and serves as a scientific advisor of OneMind at Work.

She works with senior executives of companies ranging from startups to Fortune , transforming corporate cultures by incorporating wellness into their business strategy. Follow her on Twitter: drbcheng. Nele Dael is a senior behavioral scientist studying emotion, personality, and social skills in organizational contexts.

She is leading research projects on workplace well-being at IMD Lausanne, focusing on stress and recovery. Examples of individual and situational factors that can help to reduce the effects of stressful working conditions include the following:. The Design of Tasks.

Example: David works to the point of exhaustion. Theresa is tied to the computer, allowing little room for flexibility, self-initiative, or rest.

Management Style. Lack of participation by workers in decision- making, poor communication in the organization, lack of family-friendly policies.

Interpersonal Relationships. Poor social environment and lack of support or help from coworkers and supervisors. Work Roles. Career Concerns. Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for growth, advancement, or promotion; rapid changes for which workers are unprepared.

Environmental Conditions. Unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions such as crowding, noise, air pollution, or ergonomic problems. Stress sets off an alarm in the brain, which responds by preparing the body for defensive action.

The nervous system is aroused and hormones are released to sharpen the senses, quicken the pulse, deepen respiration, and tense the muscles. This response sometimes called the fight or flight response is important because it helps us defend against threatening situations.

The response is preprogrammed biologically. Everyone responds in much the same way, regardless of whether the stressful situation is at work or home. Short-lived or infrequent episodes of stress pose little risk.

But when stressful situations go unresolved, the body is kept in a constant state of activation, which increases the rate of wear and tear to biological systems. Ultimately, fatigue or damage results, and the ability of the body to repair and defend itself can become seriously compromised.

As a result, the risk of injury or disease escalates. In the past 20 years, many studies have looked at the relationship between job stress and a variety of ailments.

Mood and sleep disturbances, upset stomach and headache, and disturbed relationships with family and friends are examples of stress-related problems that are quick to develop and are commonly seen in these studies.

These early signs of job stress are usually easy to recognize. But the effects of job stress on chronic diseases are more difficult to see because chronic diseases take a long time to develop and can be influenced by many factors other than stress. Nonetheless, evidence is rapidly accumulating to suggest that stress plays an important role in several types of chronic health problems-especially cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders.

Cardiovascular Disease Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Musculoskeletal Disorders On the basis of research by NIOSH and many other organizations, it is widely believed that job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper- extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

Psychological Disorders Several studies suggest that differences in rates of mental health problems such as depression and burnout for various occupations are due partly to differences in job stress levels. Economic and lifestyle differences between occupations may also contribute to some of these problems.

Workplace Injury Although more study is needed, there is a growing concern that stressful working conditions interfere with safe work practices and set the stage for injuries at work. Suicide, Cancer, Ulcers, and Impaired Immune Function Some studies suggest a relationship between stressful working conditions and these health problems.

However, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. But research findings challenge this belief. Studies show that stressful working conditions are actually associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, and intentions by workers to quit their jobs-all of which have a negative effect on the bottom line.

Recent studies of so-called healthy organizations suggest that policies benefiting worker health also benefit the bottom line. A healthy organization is defined as one that has low rates of illness, injury, and disability in its workforce and is also competitive in the marketplace.

NIOSH research has identified organizational characteristics associated with both healthy, low-stress work and high levels of productivity. Examples of these characteristics include the following:. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company conducted several studies on the effects of stress prevention programs in hospital settings.

Program activities included 1 employee and management education on job stress, 2 changes in hospital policies and procedures to reduce organizational sources of stress, and 3 establishment of employee assistance programs. In contrast, there was no reduction in claims in a matched group of 22 hospitals that did not implement stress prevention activities.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who must take time off work because of stress, anxiety, or a related disorder will be off the job for about 20 days. The examples of Theresa and David illustrate two different approaches for dealing with stress at work.

Stress Management. Nearly one-half of large companies in the United States provide some type of stress management training for their workforces. Stress management programs teach workers about the nature and sources of stress, the effects of stress on health, and personal skills to reduce stress-for example, time management or relaxation exercises.

EAPs provide individual counseling for employees with both work and personal problems. Stress management training may rapidly reduce stress symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disturbances; it also has the advantage of being inexpensive and easy to implement.

However, stress management programs have two major disadvantages:. Organizational Change. This approach is the most direct way to reduce stress at work. It involves the identification of stressful aspects of work e. The advantage of this approach is that it deals directly with the root causes of stress at work.

However, managers are sometimes uncomfortable with this approach because it can involve changes in work routines or production schedules, or changes in the organizational structure. As a general rule, actions to reduce job stress should give top priority to organizational change to improve working conditions.

But even the most conscientious efforts to improve working conditions are unlikely to eliminate stress completely for all workers. For this reason, a combination of organizational change and stress management is often the most useful approach for preventing stress at work.

Program design and appropriate solutions will be influenced by several factors-the size and complexity of the organization, available resources, and especially the unique types of stress problems faced by the organization. Theresa, on the other hand, is bothered by difficult interactions with the public and an inflexible work schedule.

Although it is not possible to give a universal prescription for preventing stress at work, it is possible to offer guidelines on the process of stress prevention in organizations. In all situations, the process for stress prevention programs involves three distinct steps: problem identification, intervention, and evaluation.

These steps are outlined beginning on page For this process to succeed, organizations need to be adequately prepared.

At a minimum, preparation for a stress prevention program should include the following:. Bringing workers or workers and managers together in a committee or problem-solving group may be an especially useful approach for developing a stress prevention program.

However, when forming such working groups, care must be taken to be sure that they are in compliance with current labor laws. Employers should seek legal assistance if they are unsure of their responsibilities or obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.

Low morale, health and job complaints, and employee turnover often provide the first signs of job stress. But sometimes there are no clues, especially if employees are fearful of losing their jobs. Lack of obvious or widespread signs is not a good reason to dismiss concerns about job stress or minimize the importance of a prevention program.

Step 1 — Identify the Problem. The best method to explore the scope and source of a suspected stress problem in an organization depends partly on the size of the organization and the available resources.

Group discussions among managers, labor representatives, and employees can provide rich sources of information. Such discussions may be all that is needed to track down and remedy stress problems in a small company.

In a larger organization, such discussions can be used to help design formal surveys for gathering input about stressful job conditions from large numbers of employees. Regardless of the method used to collect data, information should be obtained about employee perceptions of their job conditions and perceived levels of.

stress, health, and satisfaction. The list of job conditions that may lead to stress page 9 and the warning signs and effects of stress page 11 provide good starting points for deciding what information to collect. Regardless of the method used to collect data, information should be obtained about employee perceptions of their job conditions and perceived levels of stress, health, and satisfaction.

Objective measures such as absenteeism, illness and turnover rates, or performance problems can also be examined to gauge the presence and scope of job stress. However, these measures are only rough indicators of job stress-at best.

Data from discussions, surveys, and other sources should be summarized and analyzed to answer questions about the location of a stress problem and job conditions that may be responsible-for example, are problems present throughout the organization or confined to single departments or specific jobs?

Survey design, data analysis, and other aspects of a stress prevention program may require the help of experts from a local university or consulting firm.

Manage stress and regain control with 20 tips to better living Lorem ipsum dolor Wlrkplace amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Dairy-free snack ideas Signup Sign Up. Structural wrkplace can be stressful at the best of times. Think positive. The Five Key Skills of Emotional Intelligence There are five key skills you need to master to increase your emotional intelligence and manage stress at work.
Stress management in the workplace Coronavirus Stress management in the workplace : Latest Un Visitation Policies Visitation Policies Visitation Policies Visitation Policies Visitation Stress COVID Testing Vaccine Information Vaccine Information Detoxification for cancer prevention Supplements for young athletes. Workplace stress is highly personal. Some people thrive in fast-paced jobs, such as emergency room nurses, police officers, and air-traffic controllers. Every job has its own kind of stress. There could be short deadlines, endless paperwork, or the occasional angry customer. Or there may be meetings that drag on for hours, putting everyone even more behind.

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