Stress Essay Research Paper StressCHAPTER IINTRODUCTIONStatement of

Stress Essay, Research Paper




Statement of the Research Problem

How do you cope with stress in the workplace to achieve a more balanced

lifestyle? Stress is a part of everybody’s life. Depending on the level of

stress, it can control our lives, especially in the workplace. We begin to

spend several long hours at work, and thus have less time for other things.

Stressed employees may be unhappy and thus produce nominally. Stress can

deteriorate social and family relationships and eventually burn you out;

ultimately it can take toll on your health. Organizations need to recognize

stress as a problem and decide whether or not to act upon it.

Background Information

This question needs to be answered because stress is a problem that all

organizations must deal with; stress can cause poor work performance and lower

employee morale. These factors can increase employee turnover rate and lessen

quality of life. We all must deal with stress; question is how we handle and

control it. With downsizing the buzz word in the modern corporate world,

companies have become mean and lean. Employees are compelled to be more

efficient; they find themselves taking on the work of what used to be two. The

result is longer hours, less time for outside activities, and consequently

increased stress.

According to Business Week, the typical American works 47 hours a week, and if

current trends continue, in 20 years “the average person would be on the job 60

hours a week.” Another factor that increases stress is technological

advancements. With all the new technology one is always connected to work and

accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week. According to Business Week, it is now

possible, and thus increasingly expected, for employees to be accessible and

productive any hour, any day.

At a workplace, one observes several sales people working long hours, claiming

it is due to under staffing. Employees reach a point of diminishing returns.

The more hours they work, the less productive they are. This stressful condition

causes the quality of work to dwindle. Consequently, clients recognize this,

and eventually they terminate the business relationship. Soon the company loses,

as it is built on these clients.

Statement of the Objectives

In this research, I expect to discuss factors which lead to stress in the

workplace. Are individuals stressed in the workplace? What causes stress in

the workplace? Who is mostly stressed: men or women? Are individuals being

exposed to stress management techniques? Should employers implement stress

management techniques? As a future manager, I would like to be able to

determine if stress is a problem for employees; if so, implement a strategy to

curtail stress in the workplace. By recognizing stress in the workplace,

employers can act appropriately to reduce stress. The outcome can benefit

social and family relationships, as well as preserve ones health and make us

more productive in our organizations.


The research project will comprise of a sample size of 30 individuals, randomly

selected from general business areas. The study will analyze stress factors in

the U.S workforce and its impact on the American organization. Effective stress

management techniques will then be presented, which will allow individuals or

organizations to implement. Secondary information from various sources will be

utilized to explore effective methods of coping with stress. The conclusions

and recommendations I will draw will be applicable to any American organization

with stress as a problem. Although this study will generalize from the small

population, it can be used as a starting point to recognizing the problem, as

each organization can require a different approach.


The sources utilized in the research will be extracted from current articles

(1994-present) from online services, the Internet, and public libraries. A

survey will be given to individuals of randomly chosen organizations and will

not target any specific company or industry. Due to time constraints, the

population will be limited to 30 individuals. The research will explore factors

causing stress in the workplace and its impact on organizations. Effective

methods of coping with stress will be given, but limited to ones examined in the

secondary resources.

Research Procedures

The project will focus on stress factors in the workplace and effective methods

to balance a healthy lifestyle. The sample group will consist of 30 individuals

randomly selected from general business areas. The survey will be conducted

during lunch periods when several employees leave and return to the workplace.

The questionnaire will attempt to see if the sample individuals believe stress

is a problem and what can be done to resolve it. The questionnaire will be

delivered in person and each individual will fill out the survey at that point.

Since the survey will be conducted in a general public area, no authorization is

needed to administer. Once I receive all the surveys, I will quantify the data

into an Excel spreadsheet. I will report the data mostly in percentages (e.g.

70percent of the individuals acknowledge that stress is a problem in the

workplace). The data will be utilized to see if stress is a factor impacting

the American workforce. Stress management techniques will be presented where


Additional Information

Data and references will be collected between now October 12, 1996 through

November 5,1996. I will conduct the survey individually. The gathering of

references will also be done on my own. The study will take approximately 25-40

hours to complete, not including data collection time.



Stress is an adaptive response. It is the body’s reaction to an event that is

seen as emotionally disturbing, disquieting, or threatening. When we perceive

such an event, we experience what stress researchers call the fight or flight

response. To prepare for fighting or fleeing, the body increases its heart rate

and blood pressure; more blood is then sent to your heart and muscles, and your

respiration rate increases (Domar, 1996). Stress is both positive and negative.

Good stress is a balance of arousal and relaxation that helps you concentrate,

focus, and achieve what you want. Bad stress is constant stress and constant

arousal that may lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and worse.

The body does not distinguish between negative and positive stress. The same

physiological responses can take place whether you are happy or sad about a

given situation (Robinson, 1996). When extending to the workplace, stress may

lead to poor work performance and end up costing an organizations several

thousands of dollars. The organization loses on salary because they are not

receiving satisfactory production and if the employee becomes ill, health and

workers compensation rates can soar (Carpi, 1996). The organization must decide

whether or no to implement a stress management program, since there are several

external stressors that can overtake an individual. Internal stressors, within

organizations include technology and corporate downsizing which leads to longer

hours and job uncertainty. If one does not know how to manage stress, it can

get out of control (Carpi, 1996).

Analyzing Stress on Individuals

In a 1995 survey of 1,705 respondents it is analyzed that stress rises with

level of education and job level and is higher than average for women (Robinson,

1996). Fifty-eight percent of the women respondents possess moderate to a lot

of stress in the workplace compared to 53 percent of men. From the divorced

individuals, 62 percent are stressed in the workplace compared to married and

never married at 57 percent, and 58 percent respectively. The widowed

respondents maintain the least stress at 38 percent (Robinson, 1996). College

graduate respondents possess more stress at 64 percent than high school

graduates at 55 percent. Only 43 percent of the less than high school

respondents felt stress in the workplace. Those with more education feel more

stress, possibly because their jobs involve greater managerial and financial

responsibility (Robinson, 1996). Stress is an epidemic in American life. In

nationwide polls, 89 percent of Americans reported that they often experience

high levels of stress, and 59 percent claimed that they feel great stress at

least once a week (Hellmich, 1994). A five year study of the American workforce

conducted by the Families and Work Institute showed that 30 percent of employees

often or very often feel burned out or stressed by their jobs, 27 percent feel

emotionally drained from their work, and 42 percent feel used up at the end of

the work day (Hellmich, 1994). Balancing work pressures and family

responsibilities leaves many workers feeling burned out. Researchers at Harvard

found that as stress increases, performance and efficiency do also. However, if

stress continues to increase, the level of performance and efficiency decreases

(Hellmich, 1994). Paula Morrow, director of the Industrial Relations Center at

Iowa State University College of Business states that According to the Center on

Work & Family , “Flexible scheduling, job-sharing, and on-site child care cut

absenteeism and turnover, boosting productivity. The key is for managers to

give up control of the process of work and empower employees to determine how it

gets done” (Daniel, 1994).

Examining the Effects of Downsizing on Stress

The downsizing of organizations have caused a stressful environment. Downsizing

has created concerns over job security, and has forced employees to take on a

larger workload. According to a local union representing U.S. West stated that

work still needs to be done, but with fewer people (Scott, 1996). Downsizing

creates quantitative and qualitative stress. Quantitative stress pertains to

doing the same amount of work with fewer people. Reengineering the organization

entails shaping the company to be more efficient with less individuals. These

individuals are asked to do a wider variety of work functions they are not

trained to do, causing qualitative overload (Scott, 1996).

Identifying Job Uncertainty

Elizabeth Fried, president of N.E. Fried and Associates states, “We have cut out

a whole layer of middle management an the pressure has to go someplace, either

up or down.” (Tahmincioglu, 1995) Ed Simon, analyst with the Labor Department

is concerned that the “leaner, meaner” mentality will be a trend that continues

with us for a while. He states that eventually the people working long hours

may not be able to keep that pace up and that it might be to a company’s benefit

to train and bring in more workers (Tahmincioglu, 1995). Not only are the

longer hou



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