Stress management techniques in the workplace

Authored by: Oi Ling Siu

The Routledge Companion to Wellbeing at Work

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138955943
eBook ISBN: 9781315665979
Adobe ISBN:


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Stress is a common problem that can affect anyone, anytime. It occurs when the pressure to succeed overtakes one’s ability to cope (Cooper & Palmer, 2000). Stress is dependent on individual confidence and experience, along with the ability to handle situations that may seem important or threatening. In contemporary society, workplace stress has progressively become more recognized and been taken more seriously as a risk factor for chronic disease, poor quality of life, and injury (Umanodan et al., 2009). Globalization, technology innovation, work intensification, and other factors have all contributed to increased work pressure and workplace stress. As advocated by Kalliath et al. (2014), there are three main reasons why occupational stress should be addressed: financial reasons, health and performance reasons, and social reasons. Employees’ workplace stress creates a significant burden for organizations through costs such as higher absenteeism, lower productivity, higher turnover rates, and health benefit costs (Walinga & Rowe, 2013). Employees experiencing work stress have been shown to develop negative health conditions such as diabetes, increased cholesterol levels, depression, and high blood pressure (Schulz et al., 2012). Furthermore, occupational stress is found to be related to workplace violence such as bullying and harassment. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to cope with workplace stress before more serious consequences arise. Apart from coping with stress at an individual level, stress management in the workplace has gained a lot of attention, since healthy employees are key to business success. This chapter will provide an overview of different stress management techniques and interventions at individual as well as organizational levels.

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