In the Western world, many people learn to cope and deal with a variety of different stresses. One of the main causes of stress in Canada is occupational stress. Occupational stress is quite simply stress involving work. It can stem from a wide range of problems from inadequate work conditions and long hours to an unbalanced workload (too much work to be performed in the time frame, too difficult of work, or the work not being challenging enough) or bullying within the workplace.
Occupational stress is bad for both employers and employees. An employee suffering from occupational stress is more likely to miss work and have low performance, to have regular headaches and develop coronary heart disease, and they can even began to show signs of anxiety and depression. While all of these symptoms are bad for the employee and their health outcomes, a business with even a third of their workforce suffering from occupational stress will be noticing reduced revenue due to time lost through absenteeism and lowered productivity.
Stress surrounding problems such as how household chores are divided can be dealt with at a personal level by the persons experiencing the stress and the other members of the household, but occupational stress can be difficult to alleviate as an employee. However, some have found that therapy can be a helpful tool in learning to cope, and the employee may benefit from a change of position or a discussion with their superior about some of the stress and problems they are experiencing.
When it comes to preventing and countering present occupational stress, the business at large will have realize there is a problem and work to remedy it. Supervisors should be familiar with an employee’s abilities and skills, and they should strive to provide challenging, meaningful work. A worker’s role and responsibilities should be clearly known by them and others in the organization. Managers should monitor workloads and make sure that employees don’t have more work than they can accomplish in the set time. Supervisors and managers should work to ensure that employees are able to provide input and participate in some of the decisions that affect their jobs directly. Work schedules should be created to be compatible with demands and responsibilities outside of work, and a healthy work-life balance should be encouraged through family-friendly benefits and policies.
Occupational stress can cost individuals, companies, and even nations billions of dollars in lost revenue and strain on the health care system. It’s a problem that hurts everyone. At Health Risk, we hope to see companies taking the necessary steps to limit the effects of occupational stress on their employees. Providing adequate health care plans for workers and their families can help to alleviate some of the stress employees may feel.
To learn more about employee health plans, contact Health Risk today!