1. WORK STRESS
Work related stress learning material in this chapter intends to provide the basic qualifications/pre-requisites required by employees, employers, managers, supervisors, the self employe, apprentices an trainees to manage stress. Required qualifications are:
- be able to understand what is work related stress
- be able to understand causes of stress
- be able to understand impact of stress
The aim of this chapter is to develop the participantsí knowledge and skills in recognizing
the indicators of work-related stress and in identifying and tackling the structural problems that cause stress in working life.
After study reader recognise what work-related stress is, understand its effects and identify stress symptoms and causes of work-related stress.
The nature of working life has changed significantly during the last decades. There are now more work demands than ever before. Nearly one in three of European workers, more than 40 million people, report that they are affected by stress at work. It is responsible for millions of lost working days every year. Stress can affect everyone. It is relevant to employees, employers, managers, supervisors, the self-employed, apprentices and trainees.
Stress at work and psychosocial hazards are now major occupational health concerns, joining the traditional problems of unemployment and exposure to physical, chemical and biological hazards. A survey in the new EU Member States found that 90% of the respondents thought that in their countries stress is a major cause of disease, which together with burnout and bullying is attributed to the psychosocial work environment (World Health Organization 2005). The figures speak for themselves, but too many organizations do not realise the extent to which stress can affect their business performance.
Stress is recognised as one of the most important work-related problems and is linked to work organization in new knowledge-based economies. A need for stress prevention activities is prevalent in all European countries and all types of organization.