Occupational Stress Stress Management Onkar R. Satam
Definition Physical or psychological disorder associated with an occupational environment and manifested in symptoms such as extreme anxiety, or tension, or cramps, headaches, or digestion problems. Stress related to responsibilities associated with work, corporate culture or personality conflicts Can lead to physical as well as emotional disorders May cause depression if left unattended
Effects of OccupationalStressPsychological and behavioral problems Anxiety Irritability Alcohol and Drug Use Feeling Powerless Low Morale
Physical symptoms: Fatigue Headache Stomach Problems Muscular Aches and pains Chronic Mild Illness Sleep Disturbances Eating DisordersIf exposure to stressors in the workplace is prolonged, then chronic health problems can occur including stroke.
Managing Occupational Stress New TechnologyStress due to introduction of new technology can be greately reduced by training of the employees in the new technology so that they are comfortable and can easily adjust to the new machines and work procedures Shift WorkAllocation of shifts to employees making sure that all employees are awarded shifts in rotation to avoid monotony in work timings and conditions
Longer Working HoursTry not to work long hour and ask whether flexible working hours are available. Enough sleep is essential. DeadlinesSet realistic goals and targets which are achievable in the given time frame with optimum effort. Commuting to WorkTry to move in closer to workplace or find work near to residence. Travel with a friend to work.
Working ConditionsOrganizations need to provide with good lighting, ventilation, washroom facilities, rest rooms, first aid, canteen etc to ensure hygienic and safe working conditions. Bad CommunicationImprove communication skills, training can be imparted to employees in work related communication and interpersonal skills as well as written communication. Accepting New JobsMoe on to next job once u learn the present job.
Being the BossDevelop good rapport with employees and subordinates, lead by example, have good clear communication with them and always reason out clearly and create a consensus for your decisions Queen Bee SyndromeIt is best to create a balance with fun, humor, and compassion with your co-workers and intermingle this with your enthusiasm of strong work ethics to gain respect and guide others to mimic your enthusiasm. Lack of Enthusiasm
Job SatisfactionTry and identify what u like in your job and what you don’t. Try and chalk out possible solutions. Talk to superiors and try and change the characteristics of the job to make it more satisfying. Job SecurityThe threat of losing a job makes life generally very stressful. Workers also put up with more hassles just to keep a job. Changing occupations is far more common now days - this can be one of the most stressful times in a persons life. BoredomTry and induce various activities and variations in
Occupational Stress andGenderAccording to a study conducted jointly by University of the Witwatersand, South Africa, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, U.K., Graduate Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Taiwan and University of South Florida, U.S.on the variations in effect of occupational stress on males and females Both males and females experience same amount of stressors at workplace But men experience less stress than women Stressors at work have more effect on women as compared to men.http://web.ba.ntu.edu.tw/luolu/Occupational%20stre
Women and Occupational StressCauses of Stress Dual responsibilities of professional as well as family life Decimation on basis of gender at workplace Inability to take up better or different jobs due to family pressureSymptoms of Occupational Stress in WomenPsychological problemsDepressive symptoms, insomnia, dissatisfaction, irritability, rage, anxiety, fearfulness, feelings of guilt and shame and
Physical problemsCoronary heart disease, changes in blood pressure, body ache, tension headaches, digestive problems and back painDysfunctional behavioral manifestationsSickness absenteeism, changing jobs frequently, career interruption and job withdrawal owing to negative job attitudesWomen have to develop a model of working which enables them to keep a good balance between professional and family life. They should not work the same way as men as men have much lesser need to
Strategic Planning to CombatOccupational Stress 1. Individual Level Strategy Examples of individual and situational factors that can help to reduce the effects of stressful working conditions include the following: • Balance between work and family or personal life • Create support network of friends and coworkers and talk out openly • Maintain relaxed and positive outlook/attitude • Change the motto - No one is perfect – perform the best • Have realistic expectations • Have a balanced diet • Practice relaxation and meditation • Have thorough medical check up at frequent
2. Corporate Level StrategyIt is important to identify characteristics associated with both healthy, low-stress work and high levels of productivity Recognition of employees for good work performance• Opportunities for career development• An organizational culture that values the individual worker• Management actions that are consistent with organizational values• Exposure to stressful working conditions (called job stressors)
Corporate StressPrevention Strategy • Talk to individual employees, if possible or else to their first supervisors • Hold group discussions with employees • Measure employee perceptions of job, working conditions, stress, satisfaction • Design a survey method • Collect objective data • Analyze the data and identify the problem • Find out remedial measures
How to Change the Organizationto Prevent Job Stress • The workload should be in line with workers’ capabilities and resources • Job design should stimulate and provide ample opportunities for workers to use their skills • Clarity in workers’ roles and responsibilities • Worker’s participation in making decisions for those actions affecting their interests • Improved channels of communication • Drawl of clear career development chart • Ensuring social interaction opportunities