Sunday, July 26, 2020

Stressful situation

Work stress is thought to affect individuals’ psychological and physical health, as well as organizations’ effectiveness, in an adverse manner. Modern definitions of stress all recognize that it is a personal experience caused by pressure or demands on an individual, and impacts upon the individual’s ability to cope or rather, his/her perception of that ability.

Workers who are stressed are also more likely to be unhealthy, poorly motivated, less productive and less safe at work. Their organizations are less likely to be successful in a competitive market.

The term “stress” was first used by Hans Selye in 1936 to define stress in biological terms as “a non-specific response of the body to any demand of change”. His research led to the study of stress in brain functions.

Stress can be brought about by pressures at home and at work. Employers cannot usually protect workers from stress arising outside of work, but they can protect them from stress that arises through work.

The effects of the work-related stress are evident in the following areas:
*physiological disorders – including blood pressure changes, breathing problems, gastrointestinal disorders, etc.
*emotional disorders – such as depressions, anxiety, aggression, low self-esteem, bad intellectual functions, inability to concentrate, etc.
*behavioral disorders – including lower performance, injuries, higher fluctuation, the use of addictive substances, communication problems, etc.

The workplace factors that can cause stress are called psychosocial hazards. The ILO defined psychosocial factors (hazards) in 1984, in terms of “interactions between and among work environment, job content, organizational conditions and workers’ capacities, needs, culture, personal extra-job considerations that may, through perceptions and experience, influence health, work performance and job satisfaction”.

Work-related stress occurs when there is a mismatch between the demands of the job and the resources and capabilities of the individual worker to meet those demands. Subjective and self-reported evaluations of stress are just as valid as ‘objective’ data, such as statistics on accidents or absenteeism.

Stress at work can be a real problem to the organization as well as for its workers. Good management and good work organization are the best forms of stress prevention. If employees are already stressed, their managers should be aware of it and know how to help.
Stressful situation

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