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Stress and Burnout in the Workforce

Uploaded by andrewsandon on Nov 13, 2006

Stress and Burnout in the Workforce
Work-related stress and burnout turn into a more widespread problem in the American workforce. Both employees and employers face problems when dealing with this issue. One of the common definitions of stress is “an adaptive response to a situation that is perceived to be challenging or threatening to the person’s well being” (McShane, 2001). Stress is much more then just a fastidious situation though. Stress basically is a responsive reaction of an individual to a particular situation. This is why stress is usually difficult to cope with because every person reacts differently to a certain situation. Overwork, job insecurity, and other numerous factors have a negative effect on person. Distress is produced, and an employee physiologically and psychologically deviates in her or his experiences in comparison to healthy functioning.
Office jobs are among the high stress rated occupations. The reasons seem to point towards the organization of work within the office, with employees having little control over their workload. Positions such as data entry operators find themselves at the mercy of computers since their salaries are paid according to their output. Heavy workloads and stress are also directly related as it is found that office and even policemen are usually overwhelmed by the large amount of paperwork, often unsuccessfully completed by the end of the business week. Paperwork carried over into the next week therefore becomes a common occurrence adding to the stress level of the employee. Jobs of little status and little opportunity for job advancement particularly more stressful since employees find that organizations do not value them. Women are more often found to be concentrated around jobs that entail both characteristics, heavy workloads and low job status, coupled with the natural responsibility to watch over the home and family; it is clear why stress is of a greater problem to women than men.
While mild stress can be beneficial to a person, providing stimulus and challenge. Stress becomes health threatening only when individuals feel unable to cope with demands expected from them. Acute stress triggered by circumstances such as divorce and loss of employment can put people under intense pressure.
Long term difficulties in their work situation or home life, such as unresolved family conflicts and loss of promotion opportunities can lead to chronic stress. These issues can burden people both psychologically, defined by symptoms such as resentfulness, loss of confidence and self-esteem;...

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Uploaded by:   andrewsandon

Date:   11/13/2006

Category:   Business and Economics

Length:   13 pages (2,851 words)

Views:   1705

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