, Exploring interpersonal dynamics
Running head: JOB STRESS 1
Indiana Wesleyan University
Along with every job comes a certain amount of stress. It does not matter if one is an office worker, a factory worker, a lawyer, a doctor, a florist, a wedding planner, a baby sitter, a spa critic or a chocolate taste tester. There is some type of stress that is sure to follow. Sometimes simply juggling the job, family, finances and other personal issues can prove to be a difficult task for many. Many may know they suffer from job stress but they may not be able to pinpoint the cause or even how to handle it. Recognizing the issues causing the stress, realizing that their own characteristics could be an issue, and finding ways to manage the job stress are all very important for a successful professional life.
Job Stress in the Workplace
Stanley (2014) notes that “stress is everywhere in today’s fast-paced work environment” (p. 17). Although it appears that work today is less stressful than it was in 1972, workers are still under a great amount of stress that can cause more issues than one may realize (Tausig, Fenwick, Sauter, Murphy, & Graif, 2005). Employees are reporting fewer job demands, less strain on the job, more ability to make decisions, and more job security (Tausig et al., 2005). Of course, these particular changes have not affected all workers the same. It seems as though women, those less educated, non- self-employed workers, and blue collar workers reveal the largest decrease in job stress (Tausig et al., 2005). Men, college educated workers, and white collar workers have reported higher stress levels (Tausig et al., 2005).
Recognizing Job Stress
Recognizing job stress, or any stress for that matter, is a fairly simple task. There are many different side-effects that one may experience when under stress. There may be changes in ones eating habits, headaches, backaches and stomach aches. One may find themselves avoiding co-workers and friends, bringing about isolation (Estes, 2009). A decrease in one’s memory and ability to concentrate may be noticed and deadlines may be missed when they were not missed in the past (Estes, 2009). Fatigue, problems sleeping, loss of sex drive, irritability, and depression are a few key signs that one may notice (Estes, 2009). All or any of these signs and symptoms should not be ignored, but rather taken very seriously and addressed as quickly as possible.
Causes of Job Stress
Job stress can be caused by many factors such as the economy and over working. A huge cause of job stress that has been seen more and more over the past few years is the economy (Pace, 2012). Staff lay-offs and lack of funds for training create a lot of uneasiness and insecurities which may lead to job stress (Pace, 2012). The lack of work-life balance appears to be a huge issue in the workforce when it comes to stress (Pace, 2012). Today’s family is not like it was in the past. Children seem to be more and more involved in sports and other after school activities. The family make-up varies from family to family and in most cases both parents must work just to pay the bills. It can prove to be very difficult to juggle the demands of family and work. A lack of balance can cause issues not just at work but at home as well.
It is important for an employee to recognize when under stress and what is causing the stress. It is also important for employers “to promote the creation of a climate that allows employees to perform well and reach productive outputs, but also enjoy non-work activities” (Mazzetti, Schaufcli, & Guglielmi, 2014, p. 248). There are many tools and a great deal of reading material available to employees that can be utilized in managing job stress. The road to not only professional satisfaction, but also mental and physical satisfaction comes by reducing and eliminating stress. Employees and employers can work together to reduce the incidence of continued job stress in the workplace.
Estes, C. (2009, September 27). Recognizing red flags: Signs of workplace stress. Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved from https://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/stories/2009/09/28/smallb1.html
Mazzetti, G., Schaufcli, W. B., & Guglielmi, D. (2014). Are workaholics born or made? Relations of workaholism with person characteristics and overwork climate. International Journal of Stress Management, 21(3), 227-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0035700
Pace, A. (2012). Stressed out? T +D, 66(10), 14. Retrieved from http://www.astd.org
Stanley, T. L. (2014). Stress management for high achievers. Supervision, 75(5), 17-19. Retrieved from http://www.national-research-bureau.com/
Tausig, M., Fenwick, R., Sauter, S.L., Murphy, L.R., & Graif, C. (2005). The changing nature of job stress: Risk and resources. In P. L. Perrewe & D.C. Ganster (Eds.), Exploring interpersonal dynamics (pp. 93-126). Retrieved from http://www.ebsco.com
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