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Workload and Working Hours
Workload and working hours are among the primary risk factors causing occupational stress. Because sometimes employees experience overload and do not have an opportunity to find the right balance between work and personal life, it influences job satisfaction. Working overload refers to either excessive work or being forced to work outside of an individual’s job responsibilities (Qureshi et al., 2013).
As for working hours, this issue becomes disturbing only in the case of mismatches. That said, it leads to work-related stress only if the employers do not provide the employees with compensation for overtime (Holly & Mohnen, 2012). This issue should be investigated in order to identify the specificities determining higher levels of occupational stress and lower levels of job satisfaction so that it becomes possible to create a comfortable working environment. Moreover, the problem of workload and working hours should be addressed to avoid counterproductive policies damaging organizations and their performance.
Job Content and Tasks
Job content and tasks are also significant causes of occupational stress. When analyzing job content, it is vital to note that this concept has several dimensions. First, it might refer to working environment such as virtual or distant work, hazardous or safety working environment, individual work or cooperation with a team, etc. Another important determinant is exposal to various risk factors at work. The third dimension of work content is working conditions, i.e. whether there are any interventions in the working process or some protective equipment is needed.
Finally, the level of development of work measuring and progress tools is also considered as a part of work content (Martin et al., 2011). Speaking of work tasks, they can be viewed from different perspectives as well. That said, the criteria for analyzing tasks are their complexity, monotony, some special demands such as knowledge, skill or physical work as well as the time necessary for fulfilling them. Another critical gauge is whether an organization provides the employees with the resources necessary for carrying out job responsibilities (Tausig & Fenwick, 2011). Senior management and team leaders should be willing to pay closer attention to this issue avoiding double standards regarding the determination of job content and tasks and define them bearing in mind the specificities of the working environment in order to minimize the risks of organizational stress.
Career Development and Pay
Nowadays, career development has become a tool for an organization’s strategic development. It means that it is not an option, which can be chosen on an individual basis. Instead, organizations should provide employees with the resources and environment suitable for their further development. That said, there are two sources of occupational stress related to career development: either an organization does not offer an opportunity to develop or employees oppose them or are not willing to change (Merchant, 2008).
The most significant issue with career development is that senior management and team leaders should motivate the employees to develop new skills and obtain new knowledge as well as organize necessary trainings (Weinberg, Sutherland, & Cooper, 2010). Speaking of pay as the cause of organizational stress, it is related to various payments such as wages, sickness and maternity pays, those related to accidents, etc. The emphasis is made on their size and timeliness (Arezes, 2016). These issues should be addressed with the aim of establishing the motivating working environment because it will not only have a positive influence on occupational stress but also benefit an organization.
Arezes, P. M., Baptista, J. S., Barosso, M. P., Carneiro, P., Cordeiro, P., Costa, N., … Perestrelo, G. (2016). Ocupational safety and hygiene. London, UK: Taylor & Francis Group.
Holly, S., & Mohnen, A. (2012). Impact of working hours on work-life balance. Berlin, Germany: SOEP.
Martin, P. R., Cheung, F. M., Knowles, M. C., Kyrios, M., Littlefield, L., & Prieto, J. (2011). IAAP handbook of applied psychology. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons.
Merchant, R. C. (2008). The role of career development in improving organizational effectiveness and employee development.
Qureshi, M. I., Iftikhar, M., Abbas, S.G., Hassan, U., Khan, K., & Zaman, K. (2013). Relationship between job stress, workload, environment and employees turnover intentions: What we know, what we should know. World Applied Sciences Journal, 23(6), 764-770.
Tausig, M., & Fenwick, R. (2011). Work and Mental Health in Social Context. New York, NY: Springer.
Weinberg, A., Sutherland, V. J., & Cooper, C. (2010). Organizational stress management: A strategic approach. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.