Work stress and its prevention

Work-related stress is an increasingly frequent phenomenon that is increasing in our society

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Work-related stress is an increasingly frequent phenomenon that is increasing in our society, mainly because the types of work have been changing in recent decades. It affects the physical and psychological well-being of the worker and can deteriorate the organizational climate.

Currently, due to the relevance of information in production processes, tasks that traditionally required only muscular strength require mental effort. In addition, the pace of work has been increasing, since with a smaller number of workers better results have to be achieved.

But the responses to face the demands are not always negative, since they are often necessary to face difficult situations and for survival. Every person requires moderate levels of stress to respond satisfactorily not only to their own needs or expectations, but also to the demands of the environment. And very low levels of stress are related to demotivation, conformity and disinterest.

For this reason, the distinction can be made between eustress or positive stress (optimal level of activation to carry out the necessary activities in our daily life) that exerts a protective function of the organism and distress or negative stress (excessive or inadequate activation level of the organism to the demand of the situation) that causes dysfunctions in the person.

Stress is the second cause of sick leave in the European Union, affecting 40 million workers annually and assuming a cost of 20 billion euros a year in healthcare costs for its member countries, not counting the loss of productivity.

We call work stress to a set of emotional, cognitive, physiological and behavioral reactions of the worker to certain adverse or harmful aspects of the content, the environment or the organization of work.

How does work stress occur?

Different explanations have been sought for how work stress is generated.

Thus, it has been seen as the result of the interaction between the demands at work and the control that the worker exercises over him. Job stress or high stress arises when job demands are high, and at the same time, the ability to control decision-making (due to lack of resources) is low. Furthermore, other possible relationships between demands and control are low stress (low demand and high control), active (high demand and high control) and liabilities (low demand and low control).

The interaction between job demands, worker control and social support has also been seen. In such a way that a high level of social support at work reduces the effect of stress, while a low level increases it. Social support is the help that superiors and coworkers can give; when appropriate it can cushion part of the stress generated by the combination of high work demands during the business of Locksmith near me and low control over work.

Work stress can also be due to the mismatch between the demands of the environment and the resources of the workers to face them, that is, to the lack of adjustment between the skills and abilities of the worker and the demands and demands of the work to be performed.

What can be done to prevent or reduce work stress?

As the origin of work stress can be multiple, preventive measures to eliminate or reduce work stress can also be multiple; and therefore, the worker and the organization will be intervened. Intervention on the worker

Through different techniques, the worker can be provided with resources to cope with work stress when organizational measures do not give results. You have to exercise, avoid the intake of stimulants such as tobacco, coffee or alcohol, and avoid passive or aggressive communications, developing tolerance and respecting others.

This intervention should always be done first. To prevent stress, it is necessary to begin to intervene in the design phase, taking into account all the elements of the workplace, integrating the physical and social environment and its possible repercussions for health.

The prevention of work stress must go through the intervention of the organization.

Interventions can and should be directed toward the organizational structure, communication style, decision-making processes, job functions and tasks, the physical environment, and methods for training workers.

The basis for reducing stress is to improve communication, increase worker participation in decisions regarding work, improve environmental conditions; the variety and stimulation of work tasks must also be considered.

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