Why It’s Necessary to Fight Work Stress and How to Do It

Posted on January 4, 2017

Photo: flickr

There are many work-related problems that crop up as a result of work stress. These are similar to stress experienced outside of the workplace (i.e., involving physical, psychological, or behavioural reactions). Employees complain about and/or experience sleep disorders, inability to concentrate or focus, feeling exhausted or burned out, feeling irritable, engaging in arguments or conflicts with coworkers or supervisors, or withdrawing and isolating from others.

When work/job stress is prolonged, frequent, or intense, such individuals will be at higher risk for psychological problems, such as depression, bipolar, anxiety, panic attacks, or even PTSD. If these problems are left unattended, there might be arise in larger organizational issues, such as increased absenteeism, medical/disability cost, high turnover, reduced productivity, etc. Undeniably, work stress has been a serious and growing problem that harms employees and organizations.

How to Combat Work Stress

Reason being to why we need to combat work stress – it is not easy to manage stress effectively. There are many resources about combating and managing stress which fail to point out that managing work stress is multifaceted and involves individually-targeted as well as organizationally-targeted interventions. Most resources target only on how an individual’s approach to manage his/her own stress. That is, it’s about how individuals can take steps to manage their own stress in the workplace.

There are different perspectives on the contribution to work stress. It could be due to worker’s characteristics (or qualities relating to the worker), which some may be due to the working conditions.

What we need to do is think about interventions for work stress in terms of levels (primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary intervention targets the source of the work stress (i.e, the design, management, and organization of work). When we talk about how workers can better respond to and manage stress, that’s the secondary intervention. Secondary prevention intervention (often called stress management) is about changing the ways that individuals respond to risks or job stressors. Finally, there’s the tertiary intervention that provides remedial support for problems that have already manifested.

Here are some tips for coping with stress:

1. Learn to identify the signs your body is giving you
2. Learn to identify what increases your stress
3. Learn to delegate work tasks
4. Establish a list of priorities
5. Suggest changes at work
6. Develop a good support network, recognise help is necessary to get through hard times
7. Participate in leisure activities
8. Exercise
9. Reduce consumption of stimulating foods and beverages (coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, sugar or alcohol)

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Category(s):Stress Management

Source material from Workplace Psychology

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