Anjali feels irritable and exhausted most of the time. She is suffering
from loss of appetite and restless sleep. At first, she tries to ignore
these problems but eventually goes to see a physician. Anjali’s
symptoms are not uncommon and they arise from the stressful job she
holds, where she is expected to work long hours and meet tight deadlines
on a regular basis. Job stress is a very common phenomenon amongst most
employees today due to the exacting nature of most professions and the
excessive demands placed on the employee by the organization in its bid
to outstrip the competition.
stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses
that occur in the individual. This happens when the potential,
resources, or competencies of the individual do not measure up to the
requirements of the job. A little bit of stress at the workplace is not
harmful. On the contrary, it may even prove beneficial for the employee,
as it will act as a challenge spurring him on to achieve his targets and
goals. However, prolonged and continuous exposure to extreme stressful
conditions can transform the individual into a complete wreck. Job
stress can be caused by numerous factors. Some of them have been listed
below and subsequently explained at greater length.
roles: Stress can occur when the employee is unsure of his job
description and the role he is expected to play in the organization.
Stress can also result if there are too many expectations of the
employee and he is expected to perform at a level beyond his ordinary
capabilities. Stress can also be caused by excessive demands on an
individual when he feels that his true potential is not being tapped and
his job description does not match up to his true capabilities.
styles: Stress can result from ineffective management styles. For
instance, if the management is too autocratic and the worker is not
involved in the decision-making process at any level, he is likely to
feel stressed out. When the employee feels that external forces control
his work environment and he has little or no control over it, this may
cause him mental tension after a point of time.
the non-involvement of the management in the day-to-day operations of
the organization may also affect workers adversely. Lack of management
feedback on tasks performed may leave the workers unsure about their
performance. They may wonder whether their contribution is considered
worthwhile and their task appreciated by the organization. Prolonged
exposure to such a situation may result in demotivation and stress.
insecurity: This is one of the primary causes of stress among employees.
This is especially high in organizations where downsizing and
restructuring take place and employees are unsure of holding a job in
the organization, no matter how capable they are.
conditions: Certain external conditions may also cause stress among
employees. Overcrowding, lack of proper resources and facilities,
exposure to too much noise, or even situations where the employee’s
work area isolates him/her from other employees, can result in stress.
relationships: Poor interpersonal relationships with colleagues and
peers can cause stress. In such a situation, the employee does not have
anyone to share his/her problems with. This lack of a supportive and
cooperative environment may cause stress amongst the employees.
The technology boom and the onset of computers, pagers, mobile phones,
and fax machines have resulted in heightened expectations from
employees. They are expected to keep abreast of the latest developments
in technology. Technology has also increased expectations of speed and
efficiency from employees and they are expected to perform at peak
levels at all times. This often results in stress amongst employees.
culture: The culture of an organization refers to dressing styles, communication
patterns, hierarchy, workspace, and most important, working and
behavioral patterns of the management and employees. If the employee is
unable to fit into the culture of an organization or if the
organizational culture is at odds with his values, he is likely to feel
is a checklist to determine if you are under stress at your place of
work. Read the questions provided and check those that apply to you.
you suffer from increased blood pressure?
you suffer from increased heart rate?
you suffer from increased muscle tension?
you suffer from frequent headaches?
you feel anxious?
you feel depressed?
you aggressive with your colleagues?
you confused about what you are expected to do?
you taken up smoking recently?
you are already a smoker do you find that your smoking has
you consume alcohol even during working hours?
you overly concerned with trivial issues?
your work performance consistently poor?
you have checked more than 4-5 of the statements provided above then you
are probably stressed out and need to take active measures to relieve
Stress at Work
you are stressed out at the workplace here are a few stress relievers
that you can practice.
If you have been working under high pressure or at a demanding task for
several hours at a stretch then it is time to take a break. You can chat
with your colleague for ten minutes or have a cup of coffee, whatever
works best for you.
humor to work:
When you are under pressure it often helps to spend a couple of minutes
reading a joke or telling your colleagues a joke. Laughter can sometimes
be one of the best stress-relieving medicines.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Empty your mind of all the
pressure that has been building up within you. After a few minutes you
will be ready to tackle your tasks with renewed vigor.
Close your eyes and visualize yourself in a calm and serene place.
Appreciate and savor the beauty of the place and feel the tranquility
Place helpful reminders on the wallpaper or screensaver of your PC. It
could be an inspiring thought, a favorite joke or even a picture of a
beautiful and tranquil place.
your judgment on the stress relieving technique that will work best for
you. Also make sure that you select one that is not likely to disturb
your colleagues or make the management unhappy.
are more prone to stress at the work place. There are several reasons
for this. The most common is sexual harassment, which can be a constant
source of worry for working women. Apart from this, women can also face
discrimination at the workplace where they may find that they are paid
less or passed up for promotion in favor of their male counterparts.
Another factor that contributes to the working woman’s stress is the
pressure to balance the demand of home and family with those of her work