Stress and work
Through its effects on psychological and physical health, stress can affect performance at work. All jobs involve a certain amount of stress, but there is a growing interest in work conditions that increase stress.
For example public and private companies have to maintain productivity and performance at high standards but are both affected by stress related illness.
Here are some sources of stress which apply to most workers : -
* Relations with co-workers - These can be with those of the same level standard work as you, or with those working under you or even superiors.
* Quantitive - people feel they are overloaded and have too much to do or are required to work too fast.
* Qualitative - overload, when people find their work too difficult or to require too much concentration.
* Control - lack of control, in many organisations, work load and work pattern are decided by other people.
Loss of control is a major source.
I have researched into the causes of stress and found two studies which are related to this area.
Johansson et al (1978) - Experiment on employees in a Swedish sawmill.
Workers indicated a relationship between lack of control and high levels of stress. The workers did little more than feed timber into cutting and planing machines. The work was repetitive and monotonous and the workers felt there was nothing they could do about it.
Machines controlled the speed of their work and their work operations. Since the machines had to be constantly 'fed' and tended to, workers were prevented from moving around the factory floor, so having little opportunity for social contact. The control over work was minimal.
Compared to other workers in the mill, these workers had high blood pressure, a high rate of...