Workplace Stress

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Three out of every four American workers describe their work as stressful. According to the Holmes-Rahe Life Events Scale, which rates levels of stress, many of the most stressful events in life are related to the workplace. Some examples are firings, business readjustments and changes in financial status, altered responsibilities, a switch to a different line of work, trouble with the boss, changes in work hours or conditions, retirement and vacations. Workplace stress costs American employers an estimated $200 billion per year in lower productivity, absenteeism, staff turnover, workers' compensation, medical insurance and other stress-related expenses. However, stress may not always be a bad thing. It can stimulate creativity and productivity. The natural pattern of human behavior is to experience a stress-causing event or situation, react to it with increased tension and then return to a normal, relaxed state. The problem occurs when stress is so overwhelming or constant that this pattern is broken. This overwhelming feeling is usually caused by some lack of communication. Everyone has a breaking point and the fact that some people may be able to handle certain job types more than others does not excuse employers from having a duty to the health and welfare of their employees. An article that was written by Bill Wilkerson, CEO of Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, conducted a survey to find the top ten workplace stressors. In a report submitted to the Industrial Accident Prevention Association, Wilkerson listed the following ten reasons for workplace stress and after each one is an brief explanation of how better communication could remedy the situation. "The treadmill ... ... middle of paper ... ...hedule a group discussion or even an off site meeting so that the employees feel that they are in a more comfortable environment. Humor has become one of the most popular tools for stress relief. Positive effects of laughter include reduced muscle tension, controlled anxiety, the ability to handle unexpected events, and simply the joy of humor. It is important for managers to allow employees to have fun. We spend the majority of our lives at work and we need to enjoy the experience. References: Braham, Barbara J. Calm Down: How to Manage Stress at Work. Glenview: Scott, Foresman & Co., 1990. "Stress - America's #1 Health Problem." http://www.stress.org/problem.htm. The American Institute of Stress - http://www.stress.org/ Job Stress Help - http://www.jobstresshelp.com/ Center for Anxiety and Stress Treatment - http://stressrelease.com/

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