Workplace stress is a problem that will continue to grow in the coming years, given the increased competition, high-performance expectations, and longer working hours, as anticipated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2016 work Stress at work: a collective challenge. But to what extent does job stress affect employee performance and company results?
What is workplace stress?
Workplace stress is the physical and emotional response to damage caused by an imbalance between an individual’s perceived demands and the perceived resources and capacities to cope with those demands.
Implications for job redesign speak of workplace stress when job demands are high and the ability to control them is low. In contrast, other current links stress discrepancies between expectations and the actual situation.
Workplace Stress Causes
Although suffering the effects of stress will vary from person to person, research agrees that some factors drive this pathology. In this sense, we can point out the following stressors in the company:
- The physical environment. It refers to external aspects of the physical environment, such as noise, vibration, lighting, temperature, humidity, etc.
- The demands of the job. The work activity can generate stress: an excessive work shift, task overload, and exposure to high occupational hazards.
- The characteristics of the tasks. The adequacy between the worker’s abilities and the requirements of a position, the style of communication between the leader and the team, the degree of autonomy over the work, or the complexity of the functions are also factors to consider.
- Role performance. The greater responsibility of an intermediate or managerial position and the ambiguity regarding the distribution of roles or conflicts between colleagues also lead to the appearance of work-related stress situations.
Interpersonal and group relationships. It is about relationships between subordinates, superiors, peers, customers, and suppliers.
- Career development. Those employees who do not feel secure in their positions, are stuck in the same position or perceive promotions approved by management as unfair may experience increased stress levels.
- New technologies. On the one hand, digital non-natives must face the challenge of managing the changing new technologies; on the other, their high connectivity also requires constant attention that can overwhelm workers.
- The organizational structure or climate. A highly centralized system, an overly bureaucratic process, or authoritarian or absent leadership can also cause stress at work.
- External factors. We cannot forget other causes of the individual’s personal life that, although unrelated to the workplace, will also affect the sphere of work.
Consequences of Workplace Stress
It is essential to bear in mind that stress is adaptive: being exposed to a moderate level of stress is convenient for maintaining a vital tone, being awake, not getting bored, and facing life’s challenges with energy.
Stress at work can be positive when it occurs at low intensity, allowing professionals to stay active and alert. However, negative consequences arise when these levels are exceeded and it becomes a pathology. What are these harms of work stress?
Detriments for employees:
- Sleeping problems.
- Inability to relax or concentrate.
- Increased risk of having an accident at work.
- Decreased interest in work.
- Higher risk of substance abuse.
- Deterioration of the physical state and overweight.
- Higher incidence of heart disease, coronary disease, diabetes, or musculoskeletal disorders.
- Burnout or exhaustion syndrome.
- Depression with anxiety, low self-esteem, irascibility, and poor concentration.
Detriments for the company:
- Increase in work accidents.
- Increase in absenteeism and presenteeism rates.
- Growth of the staff turnover rate.
- Decrease in the degree of motivation and satisfaction of the staff.
- Decrease in the involvement and commitment of human capital.
- Negative brand reputation.
- Less interest of professionals in recruitment processes.
- Decrease in productivity.
- Fall in profits and economic losses.
Therefore, workplace stress is not an issue to be taken lightly.
How To Manage Workplace Stress?
Counter Stress In Healthy Ways
Relax And Rejuvenate
Speak To Your Superior
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