Importance of Work and Private Life

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The importance of balancing work and private life for individuals in organisations - discussing motivation and work place stress.

In this essay, I will discuss about motivation and work place stress that individuals endure in organisations (work) and their private life. I will look at what stress is, what causes it and how it can be managed. I will also talk about how people are motivated and how this affects them and the organisation. I will use theorises to support my essay and also explore whether some theories are relevant in today’s world.

Firstly, it is important to understand what an organisation is and what is meant by organisational behaviour. The term organisation is quite loose and can be used to cover any recognizable system or structure or structure that exists to help or maintain people’s ability to achieve something. Organizational Behaviour is the study of human behaviour in the workplace, as an academic discipline, its concern is to gain understanding of those factors, both individual and organizational, that influence people’s behaviour (Dick, 2006).

Organizational behaviour studies are becoming more important than in previous years because workplaces must learn to adapt to the rapidly changing business cultures that have stemmed from a competitive and fast-paced market. Organizational behaviour was a topic that was not discussed until an employee's behaviour changed, productivity changed, or sales decreased. In today's business world, managers are beginning to view organizational behaviour as an intricate piece of training and development of the workforce. I feel organizational behaviour is an essential tool for managing effective teams.

One of the issues that organisational behaviour looks at is stress. There are many definitions of stress. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (1999) defines stress as ‘the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, needs of the worker’. However, a cognitive definition focuses more on the perceptions of an individual. One example is: ‘Stress occurs when the perceived pressure exceeds your perceived ability to cope’ (Palmer et al, 2003).

Over the past few years it has become apparent that a lot of stress in adults has been due to the environment of a workplace. Stress has even taken over the common cold as the main cause of absence from work (Furedi, 1999). There are a number of reasons stress is caused in workplaces. These range from conditions of work, job threat or poor relationships between other members in the workplace. A person's status in the workplace can also affect levels of stress. Research shows that employees who are less powerful i.e. those who have less control over their jobs, are more likely to suffer stress than powerful workers. This is mainly due to work overload. Stress management has become an increasing concern to organisations because it leads to accidents, absenteeism, and a reduction in productivity (Arnold el al., 1998). Furthermore, it also leads to problems such as mood disturbance, psychological distress, sleep disturbance, and headache, which all reduce productivity and efficiency at work.

“Work stress is one of the key problems of twenty-first century life” (Wainwright & Calnan, 2002) and is on the increase. It has been estimated to cost UK employers around £370 million and society as a whole about £3.75 billion each year (costs provided in 1995/96, HSE, 2001. Figures from the TUC (November 2004) state that the estimated cost of work-related stress costs the UK economy £7 billion a year in sick pay, lost production and NHS costs. (The Health and Safety Executive).

Interest in the physiological aspects of stress was stimulated by the work of the American cardiologists Friedman and Roseman (1974), who developed the notion of the Type A or coronary-prone personality. They claimed to have found a relationship between...
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