Stress is used in our everyday conversations to express pressures life gives us. However, stress is more than just pressures we receive – it is the way our body responds to any demand placed on it (physical or mental). These demands, often causes changes that tenses us causing a disruption of normal functioning. While anything can provoke stress in the body but work is a major source of stress in our lives.
Work is many times defines us and our place in our world, it also shapes the society as a whole. How work after our view of life, our health, economic prowess and even injury. Work related stress is often confused or mistaken with challenges that comes along in being productive on the job, but the concepts are not the same, challenge strengthens us psychologically and physical, it then motivates us to a novel experience as it assists to learn new skills and place us in charge of our jobs. When challenging tasks are met relaxation ensures and satisfaction is enjoyed. Challenges on the job task is important and necessary for a productive work.
Work related Stresses are sometimes related to the conditions in and around the workplace that negatively affect our performance and even overall well-being of the body and mind. They are caused by a lot of complex set of reasons like Job Insecurity, unhealthy demand for performance, workplace culture, management styles, Environmental conditions, Technology, organizational restructuring etc.
The effect of work related stress can include Insomnia, loss of mental concentration, Anxiety, Depression, substance Abuse, Family conflict, Extreme Anger, frustration, compassion fatigue and even physical illness such as heart disease, migraine, headaches, stomach problems and back problems.
Early warning signs to work related stress
1. Frequent aches and pains
2. Musculoskeletal problems especially lower back pains
3. Lowering desire to do activities related to work place
4. Palpitations about the job
5. Frequent work place errors or injuries
6. Impaired immune function (frequent colds, tiredness etc)
There are organizations that believe that stressful working conditions are important for organizations to be productive and profitable however this is on the wrong side of science as studies have shown for work places to be productive and profitable in today’s economy less stress is more productivity. As the bigger the stress the higher the absenteeism, tardiness, and intentions by workers to quit their jobs-all of which have a negative effect on the organization
How to prevent job stress
Although there is no standardized or straight jacket mode on “how to” develop work place prevention stress program. Program design and appropriate solutions will be influenced by several factors-the size and complexity of the organization, available resources, and especially the unique types of stress problems faced by the organization.
Steps toward prevention of work stress
- Identify the problem (stressors in the work place)
- Design and implement interventions
- Evaluate the interventions
Finally, many workers are unwilling to talk about stress at work, because of the stigma stress has. But stress is not a weakness and can happen to anyone. If you see these aforementioned signs in you or your employees or suspect that a friend or loved one is going through above, DON’T KEEP QUIET, help them seek psychological help immediately. Don’t wait and hope for improvement. Contact us 081 2827 6962, +234 2291 4084.
Olamide Olaniran, BSc
Reviewed by Olugbemi Olukolade