Conditions at Work That Lead To Stress
There are a number of causes that lead to stress in a typical workplace (CDC, 1999).
Unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions such as crowding, noise, air pollution, or ergonomic problems. Example: David is exposed to constant noise at work.
Design of Tasks
Heavy workload, infrequent rest breaks, long work hours and shift work; hectic and routine tasks that have little inherent meaning, do not utilize workers’ skills, and provide little sense of control.
Example: David works to the point of exhaustion. Theresa is tied to the computer, allowing little room for flexibility, self-initiative, or rest.
Preventing Burnout Can Boost The Bottomline. The last thing you want to do is burn out. Unfortunately, most employers lack any kind of sense of responsibility for the endless hours that cause burn-out. Still, some employers are making a difference (Noguchi, 2014).
Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for growth, advancement, or promotion; rapid changes for which workers are unprepared. Example: Since the reorganization at David’s plant, everyone is worried about their future with the company and what will happen next.
Conflicting or uncertain job expectations, too much responsibility, too many “hats to wear.” Example: Theresa is often caught in a difficult situation trying to satisfy both the customer’s needs and the company’s expectations.
Dominant Leadership Style
Lack of participation by workers in decision- making, poor communication in the organization, lack of family-friendly policies.
Example: Theresa needs to get the boss’s approval for everything, and the company is insensitive to her family needs.
Your Boss Is Bad For Your Health? According the Anna Nyberg, “If you are working under a boss who stresses you in a destructive manner, and your possibilities or chances to change the situation are limited, you should try to change jobs as soon as possible.” The reason has to do with the fact that you increase your risk of a heart attack, the high blood pressure and increase risky behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use (Shannonhouse, 2014).
Poor social environment and lack of support or help from coworkers and supervisors. Example: Theresa’s physical isolation reduces her opportunities to receive help from them.
64% — Type of Work Done
50% — Lack of Communication
46% — Understaffing
44% —Employer Demands
38% — Preoccupation with work
32% — Incompetent Supervisors
32% — Co-workers
31% — Too many hours
29% —Incompetent Subordinates
Centers For Disease Control (1999). National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Stress . . . At Work, Publication 99-101.
Noguchi, Yuki (2014). Preventing Burnout Can Boost The Bottomline. National Public Radio, September.
Shannonhouse, Rebecca (2014). Is Your Boss Making You Sick? Washington Post, October.