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Stress in the workplace


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Stress in the workplace

  1. 1. Stress in the Workplace <ul><li>46% of workers find job to be extremely stressful </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of stress related disorders is estimated to be $150 billion a year </li></ul><ul><li>Stress related disorders comprise 14% of workers’ compensation cases </li></ul>
  2. 2. Stress – What is it? <ul><li>Stress – physiological and psychological responses to events in the environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eustress: good stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distress: bad stress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Physiological Effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alarm: preparation of body for fight or flight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resistance: maintain state of elevated preparation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exhaustion: when demands exceed body’s capabilities </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Stress – More Background <ul><li>Where does stress come from? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major life events? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily hassles: frequency, intensity, duration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Job satisfaction and stress – those who enjoy work suffer less impact from stressful events </li></ul>
  4. 4. Individual Differences in Coping <ul><li>Social Support </li></ul><ul><li>Job Skill – the more skilled at job, the less stress </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Health – good health leads to reduced impact of stress </li></ul><ul><li>Type A/Type B Personality – Type A personality reflected by competitiveness, inflated sense of time urgency, hostility </li></ul>
  5. 5. Type A Personality <ul><li>Hostility component of Type A personality is linked to heart disease </li></ul><ul><li>Type A individuals, in essence, create more stress for themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Type B individuals rarely have heart attacks before the age of 70 </li></ul>
  6. 6. More Individual Differences <ul><li>Job Complexity – increased complexity leads to heart disease in Type A individuals. But, complexity also is linked to job satisfaction!! </li></ul><ul><li>Locus of Control – internal locus of control is linked to reduced impact of stress </li></ul><ul><li>Negative Affectivity – linked to neuroticism from the Big 5. A tendency to focus on the negative aspects of life. Linked to high levels of stress </li></ul>
  7. 7. Individual Differences: Hardiness <ul><li>Reflects a resistance to stress: elements include : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense of commitment to family and work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A perceived sense of control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A view of change as normal and challenging </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Even More Individual Differences <ul><li>Organization-based Self Esteem – our assessment of our adequacy and worth with regard to our place in the employing organization (job specific self esteem) </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Differences – female managers face more stressors than do male managers (e.g., role conflict, discrimination, harassment) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Stress and Type of Occupation <ul><li>Clerical and blue collar workers suffer the most stress due to a relative lack of control </li></ul><ul><li>Most stressful professions include: laborer, secretary, clinical lab. technician, nurse, first-line supervisor, restaurant server, machine operator, farm worker, miner </li></ul><ul><li>One of the least stressful professions is college professor – yeah!! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Work-Family Conflicts <ul><li>Greater role conflict for women – primary responsibility for family life falls on woman </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Family with 3 kids, average work week for females is 90 hours, for males it is 70 hours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bad work days tend to carry over into family life – tendency is stronger for women. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sadly, positive states do not carry over </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Work-Family Conflict, Continued <ul><li>Workers report that jobs interfere with family life more than vice versa </li></ul><ul><li>Companies can help reduce stress with flexible schedules and supportive supervisors – more helpful than child care facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Despite these problems, women with paying jobs are psychological and physically healthier than full-time homemakers </li></ul>
  12. 12. Causes of Stress in the Workplace <ul><li>Work overload </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative: too much to do in too short a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative: work that is too difficult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative has increased in recent years due to downsizing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work underload – work that is too simple or insufficient to fill one’s time </li></ul><ul><li>Both of these impact stress and health, appears that a moderate amount of stress is optimal </li></ul>
  13. 13. Causes of Stress - Continued <ul><li>Organizational Change – if not hardy, change causes stress in individuals. Can be reduced by including employees in planning </li></ul><ul><li>Role Ambiguity – unstructured or poorly defined job responsibilities (expected standards, methods, schedules) </li></ul><ul><li>Role Conflict – conflict between job demands and employee’s personal standards </li></ul>
  14. 14. Procrastination <ul><li>Delay action for no “good” reason </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions for controlling: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculate the cost of procrastination: e.g., reduce chance of promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worst in, first out principle: tackle worst task first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Break task into manageable chunks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a commitment to other people: “I’ll give it to you on Friday/by lunch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove mind clutter: eliminate trivial items from to do list </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill your schedule – provides stimulation you had been receiving by working up to deadlines </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Effects of Stress in the Workplace <ul><li>Mass psychogenic illness – also known as assembly line hysteria. Isolation and suggestibility </li></ul><ul><li>Burn out – results from overwork. Includes, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional Exhaustion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depersonalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced sense of personal accomplishment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity of work may stay the same, but the quality declines, depression, apathy, irritability, and boredom may occur </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Workaholism <ul><li>“Addiction” to work because of anxiety and insecurity or because of a genuine liking for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy, work enthusiasts – usually have jobs with autonomy and variety, appropriate skills for job, and supportive families </li></ul><ul><li>Unhealthy, workaholics – Compulsive, driven to perform job tasks. Often negatively impact co-workers </li></ul>
  17. 17. Treating Stress in the Workplace <ul><li>Organizational Techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide sufficient support for change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide sense of control through participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly define employee roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate work over and under load </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EAPs for stress reduction (teach coping strategies) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide opportunity for social support (formal or informal) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Individual Techniques for Stress Reduction <ul><li>Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Relaxation Training </li></ul><ul><li>Biofeedback </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior Modification </li></ul>