- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Workplace Stress

By:   •  Research Paper  •  1,312 Words  •  January 6, 2010  •  892 Views

Page 1 of 6

Join now to read essay Workplace Stress

Workplace Stress

Although a term which is readily understood, in order to discuss any form of stress based relationship, it is essential to first and foremost understand stress by definition and then categorise the primary causes which bring it to existence.

Stress is described as 'The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them' ( Due to the many definitions on stress it is important to develop a further understanding by retrieving a second definition by The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health further goes to define stress as �The harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, needs of the worker’ (

The primary causes that contribute to the levels of stress can be classified under two key headings as discussed by Bratton and Gold (2003), work-related factors and individual factors. Both of the factors are inter-related which result in high pressure levels which hence lead to stress. For these reasons it is essential to identify the components that are players in the fluctuation of an individuals stress levels.

Some of the work-related factors which contribute to higher levels of stress are:

п‚  Poor job role definition

п‚  Frustration

п‚  Flexibility

п‚  Disputes or conflicts

п‚  Violence and harassment

п‚  Work overload

п‚  Unrealistic time constraints

п‚  Unrealistic employer expectations

Some of the individual factors which contribute to higher levels of stress are:

п‚  Financial worries

п‚  Marital problems

п‚  Problems with children

п‚  Adaptability to change

п‚  Lack of confidence

п‚  Clash of home/work priorities

Cooper (1983) has created a model which incorporates some of the key factors discussed above. This model sees the individual differences as mediating between the work-related and individual factors discussed above.

Job-related factors that lead to stress Cooper (1983)

As we have identified the factors above, it is quite understandable that high levels of stress have an adverse effect on the performance and efficiency of both the employee and organisations. Although work place stress will not be eliminated in its entirety, it is understood that the field of stress will evolve according to time, there are certain measure that can be taken by organisational human resources departments in order to organise work and hence reduce stress levels.

Human resources departments will need to analyse and identify the key problems in the organisational structure. The HR department will need to identify and define clear and concise job roles within the organisation by specifying individual responsibilities and organisational objectives. This will help the individual to clearly identify what is required and expected of him/her and will give them a greater understanding of what the objective of the organisation is. When the objectives and expectations are clarified, the individual will be able to prioritise and organise work effectively, rather than making ad-hoc decisions the individual will show a greater understanding towards their role this will increase performance and efficiency. Workload can be reduced by allocation, delegation and distribution, this will help the work-load to be spread in the organisation hence reducing the work-load stress on any one individual employee. Realistic deadlines and statistical expectations should be derived by the management with consultation of working staff, this will help the management get knowledge of what the employee feels they can do without exerting too much stress upon themselves. This will give the individual enough time to complete the task successfully within the allotted times. Due to the proper allocation of time for a

Continue for 5 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Workplace Stress and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)