Stress is a situation in the nature of human beings where they are numerous internal or external forces affecting an individual. Stress arises in a situation when we as individuals feel that we are overloaded by forces that are too much and therefore we can not handle (Hicks and McSherry, 2007).
The result of stress is physical and emotional imbalances. So in a broad way, stress is when there is poor match between the job and the numerous demands of a worker at the work place resulting to physical, emotional and psychological distances (Hicks and McSherry, 2007).
In other words, work place stress can also be described as the situations at the work place that causes imbalance of an employee demands leading to low amount of control over situations. Generally, stress at the work place might result from many angles and have different effects to the party affected depending with the intensity of the stress. In most cases, various work related stress can have diverse effects to either the employee or the employer.
Stress can be positive or negative also depending on its intensity. Positive stress is the category of stress that makes an employee or employer at the work place to work towards making positive progress which may include; strict deadlines, making sales to get commission, finding new customers and so on (Hicks and McSherry, 2007).
These kinds of stress will motivate an individual to work hard towards attaining the objectives and therefore such category of stress can be regarded as positive. On the other hand, when an individual at the place is faced by too much prsessure to meet several demands at the work place, it can contribute to negative effects and which may result to physical and emotional damage.
Causes of work related stress
Depending with the nature of work or the work environment, there are several categories of work related stress that can occur. Such categories would include, unique experiences at work place, stress related to ones responsibility at the work place, individual career development, interpersonal relationship, and workplace environment (Ccohs.ca. 2008). The following discussion will look into each factor in a brief way for a broader understanding.
Our environment of work has a lot to do with determining how we are able to perform our duties and responsibility at the work. The management system put in place can contribute to stress especially if it is not friendly. Additionally, if the communication pattern is not favorable it may also result to some level of stress.
Moreover, the level of employee participation in decision making when it comes to solving issues at the work place may also result to stress especially if an individual is not given a chance to offer his opinions (Ccohs.ca. 2008).
The second factor that may also cause some level of stress is the issue of individual responsibility at the workplace. When an employee such as the manager is given multiple of responsibilities, it may be very challenging in dealing with all those responsibilities due to conflict of interest that arises. Additionally, when an individual is faced by an issue of role ambiguity more than ever if one is not sure about which role he/she is expected to perform within an organization; such a situation may also cause stress (Ccohs.ca. 2008).
Issues related to individual’s career development may also be a major cause to stress. Situations where an individual has worked hard for a long time in an organization but he/she is not awarded a promotion opportunity may cause emotional and economical stress in diverse ways (Ccohs.ca. 2008).
Once more, when an individual at the work place is facing panic to job security since one has not signed a contract for instance or if one is working under temporary basis, this may also cause emotional stress in one way or the other. On the other hand, Cases of over promotion may also have some forms of stress in a positive way because it will cause excitement to the affected party since such a chance is offering an individual with career development opportunities.
Finally, issues of interpersonal relationship and the way the employees and employers relate at the work place may also be the cause of stress. Most common scenario is when the supervisors or manager may be too demanding and at times issuing threats, harassing employees, personal threats or even inflicting physical damages to their subordinates (Ccohs.ca. 2008).
When the subordinates at the work place are not able to relate well with their bosses or the managers, it may cause high level of stress. Finally, when fellow colleagues are not relating well due to personal differences among other factors, it may also be the cause of stress at the work place.
Effects of workplace stress
Stress can be a major source of many troubles to both our work and our selves. There are a number of ways in which the work related stress can affect us. One such ways is that, stress can cause harmful health effects to our bodies (Employment Assistance Limited, 2003). According to medical and science researches, our bodies are automatically designed in a way to deal with stress.
The way the body is designed to deal with deal with such stress is so effective only for short term problems. When we experience severe and high levels of stress, our bodies can not be able to deal with it and this may results to effects such as; depression, increased blood pressure, increase in allergic responses, pain and other medical related problems (Employment Assistance Limited, 2003).
On the other hand, apart from medical problems that can be caused by work related stress, they are other categories of stress including emotional and economical stress. For instance, when an employee is faced by problem such as poor interpersonal relationship where there is cases of harassment, discrimination and so forth; such problems may cause emotional stress which will result to an individual declining work or even cause fights in the work place.
To the organization, work related stress can result to under-performance of the affected workers which will obviously slow down the activities of the company and hence also slow down achievements of the organization. As such, when there is any negative form of workplace stress, the work is also affected and the objectives of the company are not meet sufficiently (Employment Assistance Limited, 2003).
In this era of economical hard times, there is need to address issues that cause stress in the work place for better of the employees and for success of the company. This is because most times, people within their place of work find themselves really having to deal with stress instead of being relaxed.
As such, due to such stress, the organization is not able to achieve. For this reason, there are a number of ways which people can be able to take on in order to facilitate physical, emotional well being and relaxed mind which is free from stress at their places of work.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The first step towards being stress free is by taking responsibility; all people should take it as personal responsibility to make their life better for their well-being, this can only be achieved through dedicating ones self to making sure that they perform their duties as expected at all times (Segal, Smith, Robinson and Segal, 2001).
Additionally, individuals should prioritize the needs of the work by being more organized in their line of duty, this will be one way in which the employees and employers will be able to handle situations in a positive way; through such ways one can always reduce quarrels, and unnecessary arguments at the place of work.
Secondly, managers and supervisors should devise ways of improving communication system within the work place to facilitate effective communication that will ease interpersonal relationship between coworkers, the management and other sensitive areas where conflicts may arise (Sega et al, 2001).
Communication is an important aspect in resolving issues, so when there is a good and effective communication within the organization, both employees and employers can be able to participate in solving conflicts in a calm way and therefore avoid situations that can lead to stress.
Finally, both the managers and workers can always work towards reducing work related stress by cultivating a social and a friendly work environment (Employment Assistance Limited, 2003). This can be achieved thorough improved communication and regular meeting for consultation where involved parties will be able to talk about their problems and make necessary recommendations that can be put in place for a better work place (Sega et al, 2001).
Ccohs.ca. (2008).Work place stress. Retrieved from
Segal, J. Smith, M., Robinson, L. & Segal, R. (2001). Tips to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress. Retrieved from
Hicks, T. & McSherry, C. (2007). A Guide to Managing Workplace Stress. Los Angeles: Universal-Publishers.
Employment Assistance Limited. (2003). Managing workplace stress: what to do &how to it. New York: Employers Assistance press.