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Work Related Stress

Work related stress is the defined as:

The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work (HSE).

Stress can hit anyone at any level of an organisation and research shows that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries although some sectors seem to experience more than their ‘fair share’ of problems including Healthcare, Education and Social services.

Although stress in itself is not an illness, if it does become too excessive and prolonged then a number of problems can arise.

Six Causes of Work Related Stress

In 2007 the Health and Safety Executive commissioned a team of Psychologists to examine the core competencies that managers should possess (or acquire through training) that would best meet the objectives of minimising work related stress.

In additions to this research, reports also identified SIX critical factors within the working environment most likely to cause work related stress problems if not sufficiently managed.

Those factors were identified as:

  1. Workplace Demands
  2. Control of job aspects
  3. Support mechanisms
  4. Organisational Relationships
  5. Job Role Definition and Specificity
  6. Aspects of Change Management

Productive Work is Good For Wellbeing

Well thought-out, organised and managed work is generally good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in work related stress.

The stress reaction occurs when a person feels unable to cope with the demands being ‘placed upon them’.

Stress, including work related stress, can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as making more errors and in some cases a higher risk of workplace accidents.

Pressure v Stress

There is a difference between pressure and stress.

Pressure can be positive and a motivating factor, and is often essential in a job.

It can help us achieve our goals and perform better.

Stress occurs when this pressure becomes excessive, or if the ‘personal stress limit’ of the person is exceeded.

Stress is a natural reaction to too much pressure.

Balancing Demands and Pressure

A person experiences stress when they perceive that the demands of their work are greater than their ability to cope.

Coping means balancing the demands and pressures placed on you (i.e. the job requirements) with your skills and knowledge (i.e. your capabilities).

For example, if you are given a tight deadline on a project that you feel you have neither the skills nor ability to do well, then you may begin to feel undue pressure which could result in work related stress.

Stress can also result from having too few demands, as people will become bored, feel undervalued and lack recognition.

If they feel they have little or no say over the work they do or how they do it, this may cause them stress.

Stress Factors

Stress affects people in different ways and what one person finds stressful can be normal to another.

With each new situation a person will decide what the challenge is and whether they have the resources to cope.

If they decide they don’t have the resources to cope, they will begin to feel stressed.

How they appraise the situation will depend on various factors, including:

  • their background and culture;
  • their skills and experience;
  • their personality;
  • their personal circumstances;
  • their individual characteristics;
  • their health status;
  • their ethnicity, gender, age or disability; and
  • other demands both in and outside work.

Contact Paul

You can contact Paul on:

07434 776125

or by e-mail at:

paul@leepsychology.com

Joan

Hypnotherapist Joan Lee D. Hyp. MIAEBP

Location Map

Lee Psychology, Maypole House, Yew Tree Court, Wombourne, South Staffordshire, WV5 9JB.

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