Stress in the workplace is observed when demands are not addressed adequately with the help of resources available to an employee. The reference to demands and resources is presented in the literature on occupational stress and its management. In this context, demands are pressures and uncertainties associated with work that make individuals concern and feel uncomfortable. Resources are associated with all means that are available to a person to cope with demands and stress. In addition, employees can face various types of stressors that can affect them differently (Bhui, Dinos, Galant-Miecznikowska, De Jongh, & Stansfeld, 2016).
Thus, challenge stressors make people mobilize their resources and demonstrate their potential. The impact of these stressors is less negative than the impact of hindrance stressors that cannot be overcome easily only with reference to employees’ use of their resources. Not all types of stress are considered to be negative for a person depending on the outcome (Li et al., 2017; Panigrahi, 2016). Still, in both cases, much attention needs to be paid to support from colleagues and supervisors to manage stress.
Regardless of its type, stress in the workplace has multiple effects on a person, and the task of managers is to be able to provide employees with enough resources to eliminate stressors and overcome stress consequences. Some types of work are more stressful in their nature than others, and in these environments, the implementation of supportive and wellness programs for employees is the necessity (Robbins & Judge, 2018).
In their articles, Lewis (2014) and DeCarlo (2019) discuss stress and its management in the workplace from different perspectives. In addition, the researchers also propose approaches to overcoming pressure and eliminating its negative impacts. The review of these articles will provide important information on the topic with a focus on the definition of the problem and determination of the most effective techniques to resolve it.
Review of the Article by R. Lewis
In the article titled “Examining the Causes and Impact of Stress in the Workplace,” Lewis (2014) provides a detailed analysis of stress in the workplace as a phenomenon, as well as its causes and management approaches. As it is stated in the article, stress is usually provoked by a person’s inability to address certain demands and associated expectations. The result of this feeling of inability is a psychophysiological reaction of an organism that can be observed with reference to high levels of fatigue, anxiety, and even depression (Lewis, 2014). In the article, the author discusses how stress can be provoked in the workplace, what outcomes are typical, and what measures to address it can be adopted.
In the introductory part of the article, the researcher provides statistics regarding the probability of stress in working environments. Thus, thousands of people in developed countries experience pressure and stress daily in association with their work, observing effects on their health. Employed individuals are inclined to assess their stress levels as very or even extremely high, and this situation leads to their problems with health and increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Among other methods of coping with stress, people name spending time alone, communicating with close people, and focusing on hobbies (Lewis, 2014).
After providing such evidence, the author notes that the source of stress in most reported cases is associated with occupational environments, and much attention should be paid to developing organizational programs to help people cope with stress and promote their well-being.
In the next section of the article, the researcher defines stress in an occupational context. Thus, as it was stated earlier, the problem is in an individual’s inability to effectively address certain demands. Origins of stress in the workplace can include work overload, deadlines, poor working conditions, a role conflict, job security, promotion issues, and relations with colleagues. Such factors as the absence of the work-life balance and job dissatisfaction are also related to stress at work.
Furthermore, the levels of experienced stress depend on a role and responsibilities associated with different job positions. Thus, mentioning origins of occupational stress, Lewis (2014) refers to the impacts for individuals. Possible outcomes include aggression, anxiety, fatigue, and the lack of motivation among others, including addiction. The problem is that increased tobacco, alcohol and even drug consumption is a possible outcome of work-related stress.
To prevent stressful environments and stressors in the workplace, managers are expected to propose employees more comfortable and less stressful working conditions to increase productivity and satisfaction. Thus, according to Lewis (2014), the focus should be on making employees healthier with the help of workplace health programs to address the problem of stress and presenteeism. Physical activity, the ideas of psychophysiological wellbeing, adequate healthy nutrition are important for managing stress and predicting the development of diseases. These areas need to be covered with the help of occupational wellness programs.
The article by Lewis (2014) provides a comprehensive analysis of the problem of stress in the workplace, defining the phenomenon, discussing outcomes, and proposing a solution. As stressful and unhealthy working environments can lead an individual to diseases, psychological problems, and even addiction, managers should implement programs to address the issue. Specific anti-stress wellness programs in the workplace can improve the situation and help employees adapt to challenging cases.
Review of the Article by D. T. DeCarlo
The article titled as “Workplace Stress in a Nutshell” is written by DeCarlo (2019) for the purpose of discussing the new idea of compensating stress experienced at work. Recently, the trend of filing compensation stress claims has been observed with reference to several court cases in the United States. In his article, the author provides the definition of stress in the workplace, lists types of compensation claims related to the problem, focuses on the legal recognition of the issue, evaluates the tendency in terms of its potential progress, and accentuates a possible solution.
As it is stated in the article, stress is a personal response to stressors that is rather individual in its nature. Thus, it is a non-specific reaction of a body to experienced challenges and changes. When concentrating on the definition of stress, DeCarlo (2019) notes that it is important to avoid a situation when stress becomes distress because, in this case, such a state can result in a disability which can be a reason for filing a claim.
Three types of claims can be identified with reference to the problem: mental-physical claims (mental stress has a physical outcome), physical-mental claims (a physical injury has a mental outcome), and mental-mental claims (mental stress provokes further mental disability) (DeCarlo, 2019). All these cases can be observed at work, and employees experiencing these problems can file their compensation claims with reference to the resolutions regarding previous court cases.
The author asserts that it is possible to observe the further increase in the number of stress compensation claims because of the legal recognition of the problem and because of a young generation’s approach to regarding their stress. Young people are not inclined to refer to prejudice associated with admitting mental problems, and there is a high probability that they will file compensation claims in the future, understanding their need for such reimbursement. Such a behavior is not typical of the older generation of workers. Furthermore, according to the author, females more often use this opportunity to protect their interests in comparison to males.
The first court case regarding the problem, Wolfe v. Sibley, Lindsay & Curr Co., was observed in 1975. Later, there was Wyman v. Maidas Floral Shop. According to DeCarlo (2019), these cases helped to demonstrate that employees have the right to receive some compensation if specific working environments and situations caused significant mental harm to them. The author concluded his article with the statements that clearly support the necessity of various work wellness and fitness programs to help cope with stress.
The review of the article by DeCarlo (2019) provides some important implications for practice. Firstly, there is a current tendency of filing work stress compensation claims in order to cover the harm associated with stress and pressure at work. Secondly, in the future, this tendency will develop with reference to a new generation’s attitude toward the issue, and more people will file such claims. Finally, the author of the article views the solution to the problem of stress at work in adopting specific wellness programs that are developed to support individuals’ physical and psychological health and promote their job satisfaction.
Stress is typical of any workplace because of the nature of tasks employees need to perform every day as they work under pressure of deadlines and complex instructions and need to build relationships with colleagues and clients. As a result, different types of stress that can lead to mental and physical harm are the reality of working people. In order to protect their workers, organizations are recommended to develop and implement wellness programs that would help make working environments more comfortable and supportive. The idea of developing these programs was declared by both Lewis and DeCarlo in their research articles.
Faith Integration: Enter into the Master’s Joy
People work similarly to God who has created the world, thus, people are also creators in their life. Furthermore, in their workplaces, people can be provided with the authority or they need to follow other leaders. In both cases, employees need to understand the origin of joy in their work to remain happy. Since work is an approach to glorifying God, it is expected that people feel joyful when they act in a responsible manner and perform their duties (Bakke, 2005). Therefore, labor is extremely important for a human life, and individuals follow the example of God, who has created the world for them, when they work.
What is more important is that people should enjoy their work as God enjoyed the process of creating the Earth. They need to learn how to see joy in their daily working routine referring to the aspect that their actions help to glorify God. Thus, it is important for believers to focus on the idea that “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). In this context, remembering about God during all activities, people should also remember to remain joyful, to understand and accept the source of joy in their work (Holy Bible, 2017). Joy is not only in God and the act of creation but also in people’s daily work that they complete with love and faith in their heart.
When believing in the fact that work is important for people’s relationship with God and for feeling joy, it is also necessary to concentrate on the idea of faithfulness. Doing one’s work every day, an individual should remain faithful in other people and believe in God’s joy. As it is stated in the Bible: “And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:12). Accordingly, remaining faithful is also important for a working context when it is necessary to believe in one’s own and other people’s powers. In addition, recognizing joy in working, those individuals who take leadership positions should also focus on joy of serving other people.
From this perspective, it is almost impossible to imagine how a human being can survive without possibilities to work. Furthermore, in many cases, a person cannot live happily if he or she cannot follow the path of God in terms of creating and serving other people. Being created with the ability to critically think and act, humans are expected to work and feel joy in this process when finding their path to God through these activities. Thus, people’s ability to work can be considered as their opportunity to demonstrate their glory to God.
Academic Content: Managing the Pressure and Stress of Work
Stress can be provoked by both environmental and organizational factors, and the origin of stress factors can determine how to cope with it effectively. In most cases, changes in organizations that can lead to alterations in operations, employment, and employees’ daily activities are caused by certain political, economic, and technological aspects (Robbins & Judge, 2018). From this perspective, environmental and organizational factors are strictly connected when the focus is on stress, and each employee needs to learn how to cope with this pressure effectively.
Environmental factors include work instability, the lack of job security, and the fear related to employment and the future because of economic and political situations. If the environmental uncertainty creates additional pressure for a person and influences his or her work, it is possible to speak about a stressful situation that needs to be overcome. The problem is also observed when an organization starts to implement changes, innovation, and technologies to address tendencies of the business environment (Robbins & Judge, 2018). An employee faces a necessity of learning new skills, and he or she can find oneself at risk to be fired because of increased automation, for example. All such changes, including those ones oriented toward the development of a company, lead employees to stress.
In the context of an organization, much attention should be paid to interpersonal aspects that can cause stress if relationships between coworkers are problematic. Different types of harassment, direct and indirect discrimination, bullying and cyberbullying can be observed in the workplace and lead to high levels of stress in people even if they are not aware of it (Robbins & Judge, 2018). Employees require knowledge of how to manage workplace-related pressure and stress to improve their emotional and psychological state.
Stress is associated with a physiological process in a human body when the release of hormone cortisol causes specific reactions in the organism, including a high blood pressure and headaches. It is not easy to “forget” pressure related to work when coming home, and the management of stress requires a complex approach. In this context, individuals need to be concentrated not on stabilizing an emotional state but on supporting the body on a physical level (Robbins & Judge, 2018).
All the processes associated with cortisol can be regulated via a person’s physical activity. If a person is in a poor physical form, he or she is more exposed to stress. Thus, it is important to improve a physical state while paying attention to a regular physical activity like jogging, walking and yoga, appropriate nutrition, a regime, and sleep (Schumacher, 2016). Stress management also includes using relaxation techniques, time management in the workplace, and the development of social support networks.
Stress cannot be avoided in the organizational context, but people should know how to cope with it. Much attention should be paid to regulating a psychological and physical state. Applying time management and relaxation techniques, an individual can decrease cases of pressure and improve a personal response to them. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle and physical activities, an individual supports his or her body and becomes more resistant to stress at work and in a daily life.
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Schumacher, S. (2016). Is stress getting the best of you? Rock Products, 119(10), 42. Web.
Bhui, K., Dinos, S., Galant-Miecznikowska, M., De Jongh, B., & Stansfeld, S. (2016). Perceptions of work stress causes and effective interventions in employees working in public, private and non-governmental organisations: A qualitative study. BJPsych Bulletin, 40(6), 318-325.
DeCarlo, D. T. (2019). Workplace stress in a nutshell. Insurance Advocate, 130(13), 10-12. Web.
Lewis, R. (2014). Examining the causes and impact of stress in the workplace. Journal of Social & Psychological Sciences, 7(1), 34-44. Web.
Li, J., Riedel, N., Barrech, A., Herr, R. M., Aust, B., Mörtl, K.,… Angerer, P. (2017). Long-term effectiveness of a stress management intervention at work: A 9-year follow-up study based on a randomized wait-list controlled trial in male managers. BioMed Research International, 2017, 1-12.
Panigrahi, D. (2016). Managing stress at workplace. Journal of Management Research and Analysis, 3(4), 154-160.
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Publications, Inc.
Bakke, D. W. (2005). Joy at work: A revolutionary approach to fun on the job. Seattle, WA: PVG Publications, Inc.
Holy Bible: Christian standard Bible, outreach Bible. (2017). New York, NY: B&H Publishing Group.