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Work Related Stress Among Working Women -a Cause Effect Analysis

A STUDY OF WORKPLACE STRESS AMONG WORKING WOMEN- THE CAUSE AND EFFECT ANALYSIS MRS LINA SADEKAR, MRS SHAMI PAI, ASSISTANT PROFESSORS, VVM’S SHREE DAMODAR COLLEGE OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMICS, MARGAO GOA. INTRODUCTION: The American Institute of Stress estimates that work- related stress costs American businesses about $300 billion every year in lower productivity, higher absenteeism, low turnover rate, alcoholism, and medical costs. Today, chronic work-related stress is not just an American affliction. In India, over half of the call centre employees feel so stressed out by the tough working conditions that they end up quitting.

Stress is an adaptive response to a situation that is perceived as challenging or threatening to a person’s well being. Stress is a negative consequence of modern living. People are stressed because of overwork, job insecurity, information overload and the increasing pace of life. Hans Selye first introduced the concept of Stress into the life science in 1936. He defined stress as, “the force, pressure, or strain exerted up to a material object or person which resists these forces and attempt to maintain its original state. The phenomenon of stress has become very common in the modern complex world. In the fast changing world of rapid technological advancement, more and more people are becoming victims of stress and this is true of people in all organization and at all levels. A study conducted by W. H. O. in 2001 reveals that every fourth person in the world is suffering from high level of stress, and by 2020, depression will be the world’s second largest cause for urban disease after heart ailments. The role of stress in everyday life therefore needs hardly to be over emphasized.

Stress as well as its prevention and management has now become an integral and essential part of the modern life. OBJECTIVES: The following are the main objectives of the present paper: * To identify the causes of stress among working women. * To suggest the measures that can be adopted by employees and the employer to reduce stress. Methodology: The paper is based on both primary and secondary data. The primary data is collected by using selective sampling technique on a sample size of 50 working women from Margao city of Goa. The secondary data is through reference books, journals, magazines, websites, etc.

SCOPE: The study involves workplace stress among working women in Margao City of Goa State. The study is based on the responses from the respondents which was collected through a questionnaire which included both open ended and closed ended questions. WORKPLACE STRESS: Workplace stress can be defined as the physiological and emotional responses that occur when workers perceive an imbalance between their work demands and their capability and/or resources to meet these demands. Stress in the workplace is not a new phenomenon, but it is a greater threat to employee health and well being than ever before.

Workplace stress has a negative impact on the business as well as the employees. Workplace stress may be caused by a complex set of reasons. Some of the most visible causes of workplace stress are Job Insecurity, high demand for performance, technology, workplace culture, personal or family problems, etc. Women may suffer from mental and physical harassment at workplaces, apart from the common job stress. This can consist of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct. The conceptual literature on stress suggests that working women are prone to the same stressors experienced by working men.

Yet women are confronted with potentially unique stressors such as discrimination, stereotyping, social isolation, and work/ home conflicts. In addition, taking care of children and aging parents continues to be a source of stress to working women. ANALYSIS OF DATA: DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF THE RESPONDENTS: AGE 20-30| 31-40| 41-50| 50&Above| 05| 15| 18| 05| EDUCATION GRADUATION| POST-GRADUATION| 30| 20| ORGANISATION BANKS| LIC| PRIVATE CO| 20| 20| 10| MARITAL STATUS MARRIED| UNMARRIED| 45| 05| NUMBER OF CHILDREN 01| 02| 02 AND ABOVE| 20| 25| 05| JOB PROFILE

CLERICAL| MANAGERIAL| TRAINEE| 35| 10| 05| JOB EXPERIENCE LESS THAN 10 YRS| 10-15 YRS| 16-20 YRS| ABOVE 20 YRS| 05| 15| 10| 20| STRESS RELATED QUESTIONS Q NO 1 Do you feel that you are under stress at your workplace? YES| NO| 27| 23| Q NO 2 Factors causing stress IMPOSSIBLE STANDARDS| 04| WORKING IN CHANGED CIRCUMSTACES| 05| JOB INSECURITY| 01| WORKING WITH DISAGREEABLE PERSON| 09| TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY| 14| TOO HEAVY WORKLOAD| 14| ANY OTHER| 03| Q NO 3 How are you affected by stress? PHYSICALLY| MENTALLY| 17| 25| Q NO 4 How do you recognize that you are stressed out?

OVER REACT & GET FRUSTRATED| 06| ARGUE| 04| FEEL MISEARABLE AND DULL| 14| HAVE LESS ENERGY THAN USUAL| 14| LOOSE YOUR CONTROL| 03| SWEAT, HEADACHE, FEVERISH, ETC. | 02| NEED A HEALTH DRINK| 03| Q NO 5 Do you refer to doctor for stress/ Medication? YES| NO| 07| 37| Q NO 6 Is your performance affected after stress at home/ workplace? YES| NO| 24| 19| Q NO 7 What strategy do you adopt to comfort yourself when you are stressed out? RUN AWAY| 01| THINK A LOT| 13| CHOOSE A MIDDLE PATH FOR A DECISION| 07| ENGAGE IN DELAYING OF WORK| 04| SEEK EXCITEMENT BY DOING RECKLESS THINGS| 16|

GET ANGRY, CRY AND GIVE UP| 04| WITHDRAW FROM WORK OF INTEREST| 06| Q NO 8 EFFECT OF STRESS Options| Yes| No| OVER REACTIVE| 11| 32| DECISION MAKING DIFFICULTY| 07| 36| TIREDNESS| 17| 33| TOO MUCH WORK| 20| 27| IGNORANCE OF PROBLEMS| 07| 38| DELAY IN FACING ISSUE| 06| 36| CONCLUSION AND OBSERVATIONS: Most people experience stress on daily basis. However, they may not want to admit that their job is causing them stress. The Survey on 50 working women in Margao city revealed the following results: * More than 50% of the working women said that they do not experience stress at workplace.

This shows the fact that they are not ready to accept that they experience stress at workplace. This was the opinion of the women in the age group of 41-50 years. This reveals that, women learn to manage stress at workplace as they grow old. * The various types of organizations in which they are working are, Banks (nationalized as well as co-operative), LIC, Private Organizations. The type of job performed by them is clerical as well as executive and managerial level. .The job timings are 7 hours with one hour lunch break in between.

The job experience of majority of women is 15- 20 years. They have different types of leaves such as Casual Leave, Sick Leave, Privileged Leave, Maternity Leave, etc. * As far as factors causing stress are concerned, majority of women said ‘too heavy workload’, followed by ‘too much of responsibility’. However, only one woman said that ‘experiencing job insecurity’ is the factor causing her stress at workplace. * As far as effect of stress is concerned, 60% women said that they are mentally affected by stress and 40% are physically affected by stress. When asked about how they recognize that they are stressed out; majority of working women said that “they feel miserable and dull” and “they have less energy than usual”. Only two working women said that they sweat, have headache and feel feverish. This indicates that the effect of stress is more on the mental health of working women. * As far as reference to doctor for stress is concerned, 75% women said that they do not refer to doctor for stress. This shows that, they try to manage their stress themselves without taking the help of the doctor. When asked about the effect of stress on their performance at home or workplace, 55% of working women said “yes”. This shows that performance of working women at home as well as at workplace is affected when they are under stress. * As far as strategy adopted by them to comfort themselves when they are stressed out is concerned, majority women said that “they seek excitement by doing reckless things” and “they think a lot”. Only one woman said that “she runs away from stress”. This shows that the working women face the stress. They do not run away from stress.

They try to adopt different strategies to comfort themselves when they are stressed out. * When asked whether they found themselves over reactive to mild things, 73% said “NO”. * When asked whether they find it difficult to make even the simplest decision, 82% said “NO”. * When asked whether they always seem to be tired, 75% said “NO”. * When asked whether they tend to ignore the problems in the hope that they will go away, 87% said “NO”. * When asked whether they delay facing an issue, 82% said “NO”. SUGGESTIONS: FOR ORGANIZATIONS/ EMPLOYER: The Organizations can adopt following methods:

Stress Management Programs and training for employees. Organizational changes that improve working conditions. Thus, Organizations should also help out the effected person to overcome the stress through more rational designing of jobs and through training and skills for their career advancement. FOR EMPLOYEES: Stand Up for Yourself that is Get a job description Change your job Get Support Get a new job Eliminating Self- Defecting Behaviors Resist perfectionism Clean up your act Flip your negative thinking. *******************************************************************.

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