Stress Management Within the Workplace
Kendall E. Williams
STRESS MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE WORKPLACE 2
Arthur Miller’s well-known plan Death of a Salesman details the tragic life and death of Willie Loman. After 34 years of traveling through New England, Willie had reached 60 years of age, and felt he could no longer stand the rigors of extensive international travel. After a number of nervous breakdowns, Willie reluctantly decided to pursue a position with the company at his home base in New York City. After several attempts to plead his case, the company informed Willie that his services were no longer needed. The company had consumed 34 years of Willie’s life, and sent him out to pasture as if he were an aged mule that had outlived its usefulness. Miller’s play stands as a fitting metaphor for the popular sentiment among workers that companies consume and exploit their employees. Many workers and managers at all levels of organization find their health and personal lives being sacrificed on the altars created by modern organizations (Morgan, 1997, p. 307). Insurance industry surveys among American workers have found that over forty percent of employees find their jobs very or extremely stressful. Moreover, it is estimated that somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of visits to physicians in the United States are stress related (Morgan, 1997, p. 321). For women, stress is identified as the number-one problem, highlighted as a major concern by an average of 60 percent over all occupational groups. The figures are as high as 74 percent for women in their forties in professional and managerial roles, and 67 percent for single mothers (Morgan, 1997, p. 321). Overwork, work/life imbalances, difficult...