The Effect of Work Related Stress and Its Impact on the Productivity of Both the Organisation and the Employee.

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The Effect of Work Related Stress and its Impact on the Productivity of Both the Organisation and the Employee.


This study explored the effect of work related stress on the individual. The results of work stress then affecting the organisation financially and the individual personally. It has been suggested that due to pressure of economic rationalism, workforce numbers have been cut back but the amount of work has remained the same and as a result workers in full time positions are experiencing job intensification, increased work pressure and longer hours, all of which contribute to work stress. This study participant was a 40 year old male full time worker in a high responsibility position with the Information Technology department of an organisation. The hypothesis that employees with high work stress that did affect productivity was being adversely affected was supported, with the participant expressing a desire to produce better work than was being allowed due to the time constraint, unrealistic deadline and lack of communication in the organisation. It was concluded that effective communication and acknowledgement of expertise was a possible solution to decrease work stressor and thereby increase productivity.

Work related stress is fast becoming the norm in many organisations. “Nearly two-thirds of Australian employees say they are under extreme stress at work.” (McShane & Travaglione 2005 p224) Workplace stress is defined as the harmful physical and emotional response that occurs when there is a poor match between job demands and the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker. This is often caused by poor work conditions, poor communication between colleagues, harassment, unreasonable work expectations, impossible deadlines, lack of autonomy and management bullying to name a few. The workplace has changed significantly in the recent decade and technology has allowed for new means of communication and ways to conduct business. Where once workers were skilled entering into a position, now they have to be skilled and be willing to up-skill regularly in order to keep ahead. This has made the work environment more fluid and with many workers having outside commitment such as families and responsibilities this lack of stability is stressful. Dunnette (1991) suggested that this work fluidity has led to increases in role ambiguity and possibly results in increased work stress and even illness. Halpern (2005) reported a strong association between mental and physical stress levels with reduced performance. It follows then that workers who are unwell will take more sick days and this then will in turn affect the workers ability to perform at work. Thereby affecting his deadlines and in turn the end result of an objective where in there is likely a fiscal cost to the organisation for that delay. Dollard & Winefield (2001) also suggested that work stress depended primarily on the way jobs were, constituted, constructed and managed. Clear outlines of the position, expectation and outcomes with open communication seem a more preferred method to relieve work stress. Workers are entering positions with many ‘hats’ and very little communication about expectations and avenues of resolution. This causes confusion and in turn will affect the work performance of the worker. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of work stress on an individual. In particular to assess the types of issues that are impacting his stress levels and thereby affecting productivity. The hypothesis of this study is that high work stress affects employee productivity in organisations.



Participant was a 40 year old male full time worker in the Information technology sector. Average working week was 40+ hours. Participant is researchers’ husband and volunteered to take part in the study. Materials

A questionnaire was designed using open ended questions and...
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