Free Essay Example on Stress and Wellness in The Work Place

Published: 2023-12-19
Free Essay Example on Stress and Wellness in The Work Place
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Business Employment Stress
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1767 words
15 min read


The workplace has, for a long, been associated with stress because with work comes the pressure to perform. However, in the recent past, employed persons have continued to suffer psychologically and physically due to workplace stressors. This indicates that a lot must be done to improve the general well-being of people in the workplace. This research seeks to evaluate the concept of stress in the workplace by thoroughly discussing all aspects involved, such as the stressors in the workplace and the interventions that should be put in place to ensure that employees enjoy the workplace environment. By discussing this, we will be able to answer the research question which seeks to answer the importance of wellness in the workplace. Businesses and organizations should put up interventions that ensure that employees’ well-being is given the topmost priority.

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Research done by the American Psychological Association on the well-being of employed persons indicates that 31% of these people experienced a significant amount of tension when working, whereas 61% said they had the ability to handle stress at the workplace (APA,2014). However, in the recent past, employed persons have continued to suffer psychologically and physically due to workplace stressors. Stress can be defined as the change that occurs in a person’s physical or mental state due to situations or, in other words, stressors that threaten one’s well-being (Panigrahi,2016). On the other hand, workplace stress can be defined as the effect that employees face due to challenges in their places of work (Panigrahi,2016). When the stressors increase, the employee will be at risk of developing both psychological and physical difficulties. One must understand that stress is not the same as pressure (Adams, 2019). In many businesses, employees face pressure to achieve the objectives of the business. This kind of stress is healthy in the workplace. However, when the pressure exceeds the average level, it is regarded as stress. Therefore, to achieve productivity in the workplace, a lot must be done to reduce the stress faced by employees. Furthermore, interventions must be put in place at an individual and organizational level to achieve wellness.

By studying the impact that stress has on the individual, whether in terms of mind, body, or performance, stress can be classified into two distinct categories. These categories include eustress and distress. Eustress, as discussed earlier, is the usual amount of stress that an employee can handle. This category of stress has positive benefits because it acts as an inspiration to employees to discover their abilities and use them to meet their organizational objectives (Panigrahi, 2016). Eustress leads to success and increases productivity.

On the other hand, distress is the kind of stress that limits the individual’s productivity because of its effect on the well-being of employees. It has a detrimental impact on the workplace. According to Thomas &Eileen (2005), workplace stressors tend to lead to much frustration. As much as stress stimulates productivity, in certain circumstances, it significantly reduces productivity due to physical and psychological turmoil.

Generally, workplace stress has very adverse effects not only on individuals but also on the organization in which these individuals work. According to Tommy et al. (2019), many businesses and organizations have spent billions of dollars due to the detrimental effects of workplace stress. For instance, workplace stress in the US costs businesses a total cost of more than $300 billion due to low productivity. As a result, an increase in health costs and claims filed by employees due to time lost (Tommy et al., 2019). Many people may underestimate workplace stress, but its effect on job performance and business productivity is quite huge. The decrease in productivity results from the many problems caused by workplace stress, such as high employee turnover, absenteeism, lack of motivation, health costs, and other stress-related problems in the workplace.

Workplace Stressors

Understanding how different workplace stressors affect individuals in the workplace is crucial. Thomas &Eileen state that workplace stress is not only a psychological behavior in response to a stressor, but it is the anticonflict between an individual and the demand that exceeds the ability of the individual to handle. The causes of stress in the workplace can be classified into two distant classes: internal and external causes. Internal reasons are those causes that affect the individual’s way of thinking and mindset. Internal causes trace their origin from within the individual (Panigrahi,2016). On the other hand, external causes are those stressors within an organization that have adverse effects on the employee’s performance.

Working Conditions. Research findings have indicated that working conditions have the most significant effect on the well-being of employed individuals. A study done by Bhui et al. (2016) suggests that working conditions were the primary source of workplace stress; a significant number of participants in this study stated they encountered a lot of undue pressure and discomfort due to poor working conditions. The working conditions, in this case, refer to high employee turnover due to understaffing, and an uncomfortable physical environment due to factors such as poor ventilation and reduced working space (Bhui et al., 2016). Moreover, long hours at work and heavy tasks contributed significantly to workplace stress. Poor working conditions do not only affect those employees in the private sector but also in the public sector. However, employed persons in the private sector tend to suffer more mostly due to long working hours and failed management systems. Panigrahi (2016) states that a long period of working hours leads to a lot of physiological problems; thus, as a result, it leads to stress at work.

Furthermore, work overloads, which refer to too much work in a short period, contribute significantly to work stress. On the contrary, low loads of work may affect the well-being of an individual since there is less work but too much time to do it. This may, in some way, lead to stress in that the individuals may question their capabilities to perform (Panigrahi, 2016).

Stressful working conditions have, for a long time, affected the productivity of individuals, thus reducing overall work performance. When the working environment is unfavorable, employees experience psychological and behavioral problems such as anxiety and low concentration. The employees also lack the motivation to deliver the objectives of their organizations.

Poor management style/ Limited Involvement in Decision Making. In most organizations, managers fail to manage their employees in a manner that gives them freedom in the workplace. Most managers tend to put much pressure on their employees without emphasizing the employees’ needs. In some situations, the employees are rarely involved in decision-making in their respective organizations. In other extremes, people who hold managerial positions harass employees, which is even more severe. The result of this is psychological and physical stress due to the highly restrictive rules imposed on them. Poor managerial style resulting from workplace stress relates to the lack of support towards employees and treating staff with little or no respect (Bhui et al., 2016). Research indicated that a significant number of managers, especially in Non -non-governmental organizations failed to appreciate the efforts of their employees, leading to low motivation and, thus low job performance.

Furthermore, low decision latitude (limited involvement in making decisions) in organizations and too much demand from managers to employees had severe implications on the stress levels of the employed persons. The flawed management system also tends to favor managerial bullying and firing threats. Bullying refers to unwanted and inappropriate behavior that is directed towards somebody else. Bullying leads to humiliation and distress. Managerial bullying behavior may be exhibited by the following. Firstly, failure to give reasonable deadlines to employees and giving the workers too much pressure. Secondly, humiliating workers makes them feel unappreciated. Thirdly, those in managerial positions may, as aforementioned, deny employees opportunities in the workplace. All these have adverse effects not only on the individual’s productivity but also on well-being. Researchers have, on many occasions, associated bullying and work conflicts with illnesses in employees and a reduction in job satisfaction (Foy et al., 2019). Therefore, it is vital that managerial interventions are put in place to ensure that workplace stress is reduced.

Individual life events

A study done by Bhui et al., (2016) indicates that an individual experienced pressure due to family events such as family issues and financial constraints. Employees had challenges with work-life balance. Most of the participants in this study had problems maintaining a work-life balance due to work demands and other personal issues. Some of the participants in the survey attributed financial constraints to low benefit packages in the organizations they worked for. Many employees felt their efforts in their respective jobs failed to match their benefits.

Job Insecurity/Career Development. Many employees suffer from workplace stress due to their uncertainty of having their jobs in the future. If these employees lose their jobs, they will tend to suffer more due to the loss of income (Bhui et al., 2016). Moreover, the lack of growth career-wise and limited chances in career development may lead to stress. Often, employees feel that they have been denied the opportunity to hold positions that may increase their opportunities for advancing in their careers. Therefore, it is crucial that managers give their employees opportunities to grow career-wise.

Measurement of Stress

Stress in the workplace can be measured in the following ways. Measurement of workplace stress is crucial, especially when trying to quantify the amount of stress. To measure stress due to workplace stressors, one measures the individual’s response to a stressor. There are three different means of measuring stress. These are autonomic measures, and physiological and psychological measures (Panigrahi,2018). Autonomic measures tend to measure changes in various body constants such as blood pressure, which increases due to work-related stress. Other autonomic measures include vagal tone, changes in salivary amylase, which is a significant indicator of stress, and changes in salivary cortisol (Panigrahi,2018).

On the other hand, psychological measurements tend to analyze by observing psychological observations in an individual while physiological measurements analyze changes in the body hormones to indicate stress. These measurements are essential during research on workplace stress and the interventions to be put in place, depending on the cause.

Effects of Workplace Stress

Workplace stressors can be grouped into two distinct categories. These groupings are physical and psychosocial stressors. Psychosocial stressors are the dominant stress factors. These stressors include bullying at work, harassment, long working hours, and poor work design. On the other hand, physical stressors comprise poor ventilation, noise, and low lighting. Studies indicate that workplace stress has several health effects. People exposed to workplace stress have recorded an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases leading to hypertension and other related diseases.

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