Workplace stress is a challenge that is affecting different organizations globally. When individuals in a given work environment are experiencing work-related stress, it negatively affects the health and wellbeing of employees hence reducing an organization’s productivity. Occasionally, work-related stress arises when the demand for fulfilling various types of work exceeds the employee’s capacity or ability to cope (Maulik, 2017). Employees experiencing work-related stress may exhibit various behavioral symptoms, including constantly being absent from work without a valid reason, reduced creativity and performance, isolation, mood swings, and irritability, among others (Maulik, 2017). Although workplace stress affects different organizations, adequate measures have not been instituted to help reduce its occurrence. As a result, this predisposes an organization to incur various measured and unmeasured costs. This essay seeks to expound on measured and unmeasured costs of workplace stress and some of the common individual actions recommended to reduce workplace stress.
Measured And Unmeasured Costs of Workplace Stress.
Holding interviews with three different individuals revealed important aspects concerning workplace stress. The three individuals work in a healthcare facility and are both tasked with fulfilling diverse duties. Ashley, who serves as a theater nurse, is the first person I interviewed. According to Ashley, she believes stress is personalized, and every person has a way of managing it. According to Ashley, serving as a theatre nurse has not been easy since she sometimes gets overwhelmed with work. She notes that workplace stress feels overwhelming to her since it sometimes impairs her ability to execute specific duties effectively. Ashley admits that the overwhelming stress sometimes makes her administer the wrong medications, leading to poor patient outcomes.
The second person I interviewed is Daniel, the hospital administrator. During the interview, Daniel quickly noted that his position is demanding since he has to oversee how activities run in all the departments. Although Daniel has learned to cope with the piling pressure at work, he feels that workplace stress makes him worried, especially in meeting a dateline or accomplishing a specific task. Daniel notes that when workplace pressure is piling up, he sometimes feels depressed, impairing him from effectively executing his duties. This, in turn, diminishes the overall productivity of the organization.
The last person I interviewed is Blanca. Blanca is the hospital social worker. According to Blanca, workplace stress arises when people start dropping in her office unexpectedly, causing distractions that prevent her from meeting her expectations. Social workers also have a busy schedule and have to ensure that the welfare of every patient in the hospital is catered for. Due to the constant distractions and demanding schedule, Blanca notes that she has sometimes felt stressed, hence failing to meet her set targets and deadlines.
Based on the interviews held on the three individuals, stress predisposed an organization into experiencing measured and unmeasured costs. Some of the common measured costs include loss of productivity due to high stress levels and increased healthcare costs for employees, especially those who constantly feel depressed. According to the American Psychological Association, most employers experiencing workplace stress are less likely to eat a balanced diet, exercise, or get sufficient sleep. When employers are experiencing work-related stress, they may develop unhealthy behaviors, including absenteeism (Bruce, 2013). Increasing absenteeism is among the factors that make an organization fail to achieve its targets, leading to reduced productivity.
One of the examples of the unmeasured costs of workplace stress relates to how pilling stress levels affect one’s health. Occasionally, every person is affected by stress differently, and as a result, it can make some people become mentally and emotionally drained (Bruce, 2013). The prolonged stress without proper management can cause one to lose their precious life. Recent studies also find a link between a stressful work environment and the emergence of chronic conditions among employees (Bruce, 2013). Common conditions that may arise due to workplace stress include depression, hypertension, and sleeping issues. Despite this body of evidence, many organizations have failed to connect these health challenges by offering long-term solutions to their employees (Bruce, 2013).
Common Individual Actions Recommended to Reduce Workplace Stress.
Recognizing that work-related stress is a health and safety issue lays a foundation for devising mechanisms to cope with it. Although an organization is also required to institute measures that will help their employees cope with stress, every person is also required to adopt measures that will aid them in stress management. According to the individuals that I interviewed, they both incorporate different strategies. For instance, according to Ashley, she likes taking breaks while attending to patients. This act is helpful since it helps her in catching fresh air and gathering her thoughts. On the other hand, Daniel ensures that when his stress levels are piling up due to his demanding schedule, he often takes a day or two from work. Additionally, since the hospital offers a paid time off program, he ensures that he makes good use of it when stressed. Lastly, Blanca manages her workplace stress levels by taking a walk during official break time hours. Taking these walks is helpful since they give her free time to think about her accomplishments and areas that need more improvement.
Apart from the strategies suggested by the three individuals, individual approaches to managing work-related stress can comprise of undergoing workplace stress management training, one-on-one psychology counselings services (Kelloway et al., 2018). The counseling services can either be clinical, health-related, or occupational. Training is linked to various advantages to individuals. For instance, it helps one become aware of signs of stress, hence helping them to promptly institute corrective measures (Kelloway et al., 2018). Training also helps an individual analyze a given situation and develop an action plan to suppress the stressors. Lastly, training also aids an individual in learning active coping and relaxation techniques. This will, in turn, help them to develop a lifestyle that aids them in creating burgers against stress (Kelloway et al., 2018).
Training courses may be the ideal strategy for helping an employee to develop coping techniques such as assertiveness, time management, and problem-solving skills. Counseling sessions will also give an employee a platform of discussing with their peers some of the overwhelming issues in the workplace and give them an avenue of discussing ways of addressing the issues in question (Kelloway et al., 2018). Although individuals may develop these stress management techniques, some sources of workplace stress may arise from external factors, including an organization’s structure and management style. As a result, it is essential to note that adopting stress management techniques that focus on an individual without addressing the sources of stress may not be effective (Kelloway et al., 2018). As a result, most individual approaches should primarily focus on developing the employee’s skills and confidence to change their current stressful situations or adapt to a stressful situation (Kelloway et al., 2018).
Workplace stress is a problem affecting different employees globally. With the increased cases, most organizations have incurred substantial financial losses due to reduced productivity. Additionally, workplace stress has predisposed employees to suffer from different health conditions, including hypertension, depression, and insomnia. Despite this body of evidence, many organizations have failed to join the dots between these health challenges are offering long-term solutions to their employees. Some effective strategies that can help reduce workplace stress include training, counseling sessions, and offering employees paid off day programs.
Bruce, J. (2013). The Cost of Stress in Your Organization & What You Should Do About It. Online: equilibrium.
Kelloway, E. K., Hurrell Jr, J. J., & Day, A. (2018). Workplace interventions for occupational stress.
Maulik, P. K. (2017). Workplace stress: A neglected aspect of mental health wellbeing. The Indian journal of medical research, 146(4), 441.