Stress


CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

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.

Scope

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.

Limitations

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