Workplace Stress

The Summary of Law:

Stress occurs when your body responds to a negative action. These preprogrammed natural responses cause the nervous system and muscles to tense up to protect in a threatening situation and can be the result of home or work stress. The problem occurs when your body remains in a defense mode for long periods of time.

When an employee begins to feel that they are unable to perform their job to the best of their ability, it’s a good chance they will start displaying emotional and physical signs of workplace stress (also known as occupational stress). These symptoms can lead to health concerns or injuries and can be prompted by one or more of the following: job insecurity, too much responsibility, heavy workloads, poor communication amongst workers and supervisors, long work hours, changes in technology, poor management, infrequent breaks, poor social environment, hazardous work conditions, ergonomic problems, and a lack of support from management.

Relevance & Importance:

Workplace stress should be important to managers because of the physical effects it can have on their employees’ body, including heart attacks, strokes, ulcers, and certain gastrointestinal disorders. Frequent stress has been known to breakdown one’s immune system, resulting in colds, flu’s and other illnesses (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999). Stress can also lead to severe cases of depression, anxiety and panic attacks which affects the level of productivity in an organization and worker’s compensation cases filed yearly.  

Ethical Challenge(s):

One primary ethical concern associated with workplace stress is the magnitude of moral awareness managers in authority recognize when a moral issue exists in a situation. There are times when an employee might find themselves facing a deadline while dealing with other conflicting tasks assigned to them due to departmental downsizing. Stress can cause that employee to cut corners, abuse the use of...