Stress in the workplace is something that we all have experienced at some point or another. The cause of the stress could be a result of our own actions or simply from working in a stressful environment. It has been times I was stressed out at work from simply taking on more tasks than I could handle. This could have been avoided by delegating work to other team members. Other times I’ve been stressed from the type of environment I worked in. For example, when I worked as a nurse in the hospital it was extremely stressful. However, I enjoyed the stress and the challenge. I had times when I could have one patient waiting to be admitted in one room, a patient who just coded in another and a patient in extreme pain next door. These were all things that were out of my control.
Yet, all happening at the same time. I learned when working in stressful environments such as hospitals that I was only one person and I dealt with each situation accordingly. I loved the adrenaline rush I got from working in the hospital. Yes, it was very stressful and challenging. But, at the end of the day I didn’t bring that stress home with me. I learned to leave the stress at work. From the readings on the two personality types I would say that I’m type B behavior. I adopt easily to change. I don’t have to be in control all the time. However, I do try very hard to control my stress levels because stress can kill you. Individuals become so overwhelmed with stress that it begins to take psychological and physical tolls on your body (Mayo Foundation, 2010). High levels of stress have been linked to several illnesses such as depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and cancer (Mayo Foundation, 2010).
Running head: WORK STRESS 3 The key factor in dealing with stress is to identify the triggers (Segal & Smith, 2012). Once the trigger points are identified employees and employers need to come up with strategies to eliminate or cope with the stress. An acquaintance of mine works with solders just coming home from Iraq. His job is to find them counseling, jobs and housing. The job itself can be very stressful. Especially, listening to their horror stories and seeing how it affects them mentally. The supervisor of the department realized how stressful their jobs were and delegated time for them to go golfing together as a team every Thursday. Their boss figured it was a good way to relieve stress and have fun together as a team. I thought that was an excellent approach for the supervisor to take. Another way to reduce stress is through improving communication (Birchenall, 2003).
Having weekly meetings can help with communication among the team. In my office our team has brief morning meetings we call “huddles”. During this time we talk about upcoming deadlines. We discuss who is doing what projects and distribute the work evenly among the team. This works well because it doesn’t leave one person bombarded with work. Employers and employees must work together to keep stress levels low in the workplace. Managers need to delegate work evenly among the team. Employees need to avoid taking on more work than they can handle. Lower stress levels result in higher productivity and satisfied employees. The ability to deal with stress in the workplace can mean the difference between success and failure (Segal & Smith, 2012).
Birchenall, P. (2003). It Is Important That Managers Target Stress In The Workplace. British Journal of Nursing, Vol 12 NO 21.
Seagal, J & Smith, M. (2012). Tips To Reduce Job and Workplace Stress. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org./mental/work_stress_management.htm. The Mayo Foundation of Medical Evaluation and Research. (2010, June 26). Stress Management. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coping_with_stress.