Workplace Stress: Managing Work Content and Work Context
Jitesh Nair

Workplace stress is unavoidable due to the demands of the contemporary work environment. A Gallup survey found the top five reasons for burnout are - Unfair treatment at work; Unmanageable workload; Lack of role clarity; Lack of communication and support from manager; and Unreasonable time pressure.

Workplace stress not only affects an employee’s health but also business performance. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) study, it costs the global workforce an estimated US$1 trillion in lost productivity each year. Besides, ‘Employee Burnout’ has been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Research findings show that the primary causes of workplace stress are related to work content and work context. Work content includes - job content; work load and pace of work; working hours; and extent of participation and control. Work context includes - career development; status and pay; role clarity; interpersonal relationships; organizational culture, and work-life balance.

Many organizations avoid managing workplace stress by categorizing it as an individual’s inability to handle pressure or challenge. All said and done, it is the primary responsibility of the managers to ensure that their colleagues do not end up stressed or frustrated on account of organizational factors.
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