Three out of every four Americans describe their work as stressful. As a matter of fact, occupational stress has been defined as a “global epidemic” by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization.(APA, 2014 ) Workplace stress has cost U.S. employers an estimated $200 billion per year in absenteeism, lower productivity, staff turnover, workers’ compensation, medical insurance and other stress related expenses. Stress management can be considered to be one of a business’s most important challenges of the 21st century. Stress is defined as a person’s adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical on the person. (Schenk, p.181) Stress is a factor in every one’s life, particularly during major events such as marriage, divorce or buying a home. According to the Holmes-Rahe Life Events Scale, which rates the levels of stress caused by such events, many of the most stressful events are related to the workplace: firings, business readjustments, changes in financial status, altered responsibilities, a switch to a different line of work, trouble with the boss, variations in work hours or conditions, retirement and vacations. (Gordreau, 2013) Stress isn’t always considered a bad thing, surprisingly, because no one can usually reach a peak performance without being stressed. The human natural response behavior is to experience stress, react to it with increased tension and then return to a relaxed, normal state. Most of the problems occur when the pattern is unbroken and the stress is so overwhelming and constant.
Finding the Root of Stress The level of occupational stress can be determined by three dimensions; life situations, work and self, and the balance between the causes of the stress and the support system one may have must be considered. Sources of stress can vary tremendously. For some factory workers, stress can often be related
References: Goudreau, J. (2013, March 20). 12 Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work. Forbes. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2013/03/20/12-ways-to-eliminate-stress-at-work/ Organizational Behavior (pp. 177-201). (2012). Individual Pricesses in Organizations. Manson, OH: Michael Schenk. Stress in the Workplace. (n.d.). http://www.apa.org. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/workplace-stress.aspx Stress in the Workplace: A Costly Epidemic. (n.d.). Stress in the Workplace: A Costly Epidemic. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/magazine/99su/stress.html Workplace Stress. (n.d.). The American Institute of Stress. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/