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Stress and Its Effects at the Workplace and Home


Research has shown that, both organizational and home stresses are great threats to reputation because it causes a lot of anxiety. Such kind of stress will have effects equally on both employees as well as employers. (Eaker, 2000 p66) argued that, “The anxieties generated at place of work are often carried home and those that are generated at home are carried to place of work and therefore both institutions are equally affected”. A research that was done at Washington University in 1995 on 36 working accountants indicated that, the accountants identified job stressors as causing high threat to their reputation. Most employers are admitting the fact that, possibility of attracting and retaining a highly competent and delivering workforce largely depend on ability of an employer to create work condition that reduces work interference. This ensures that, any possible stress if it arises is not transferred to home as this would only serve to complicate the existing problem.

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Stress is natural

Research has shown that, every person experiences both high or low stress at different time in life and that, people deal with stress differently. This means that, there is no single method that can be used to identify when an individual is overburdened with stress. Contrary to believe held by many people that stress always leads to negative consequence, it also has indirect benefits. While it is true that the side effects of stress are always more than the benefits, studies have shown that stress is beneficial in little bits if it is experienced for a short period. Stress has a capacity to push many people in enhancing their focus on task at hand and handle several activities at the same time in a better way. This creates self confidence in the person because he/she feels that, much has effectively been accomplished. However, when stress is experienced for too long, the lasting effects begin to be manifest on the body and emotions. (Eaker, 2000)

Sources of stress

Stress arises from problems in finances, conflict with friends and family members and pressure from work. It also occurs when a person has a negative image about himself/herself. Type-A people will harbor very small things until they eventually build up along with other major stressful events. This causes a significant problem such as poor work performance, poor health condition like colds and chronic ailments which may eventually lead to death. Studies have shown that, the effects of stress on a person may be instant if the stress is acute and may also take a long time if it a chronic stress. Acute stress is an instant response of the body to anything that seems dangerous. The level of stress depends on the period it lasts, intensity and how one is able to cope with it. Human body has the ability to recover from stress within a short time but problems arise if stress occurs too often or if a person’s body is not given enough chance to recuperate. Long-term stress arises from stressful situations that persist over a long period such as a difficulty with a job or when one suffers a chronic disease. (John, 2004)

Common symptoms of stress

According to (Karasek, 1990), for people who have heart problems, their heart is known to beat fast while generally people experience headache when they are stressed. This accompanied by a stiff neck and shoulders. A person suffers back pains and breathing becomes fast. The victim may experience sweating especially around the palms. At advanced levels, the person with stress may experience an upset stomach and frequent nausea accompanied by diarrhea.

When stress becomes persistent, it affects ones immune system the individual often falls sick and if a person has a chronic disease such as AIDS, the symptoms worsen. (Sanchez, 2000P87) said that, “For newly married couples, stress is a great disadvantage because it affects their reproductive organs causing low fertility, painful menstruation and erection problems in men”. This may cause delay in child bearing thus increasing the level of stress. It also affects the skin by causing acne and for people who already have skin problems such as psoriasis, the situation worsens.

Effects of stress on body, at home and at work place

Research has shown that, stress disorient one’s thought and affect emotion leading to poor relationship with other members in the same institution. It is therefore possible for one to diagnose stress through the way he/she thinks, acts and reacts as well as through one’s feelings. For example, a staff at work may be suffering from stress if he/she is not able to deal with very small problems and occasionally feels cranky. A stressed person will be frustrated and often lose temper causing him/her to yell at others for no good reason. This creates disharmony and breaks teamwork in a work place or at home as the rest of the members mat not understand the person. A stressed person will feel tired most of the time especially in the morning even when he/she has not done much work. It becomes hard for such a person to focus on both simple and major task leading to poor quality work even when the person is academically competent. Stress causes a lot of worry in the victim about minor things where a person feels that, things are going wrong because he/she cannot act quickly and even imagine bad things being likely to happen or are already happening. With such kind of feelings, one therefore cannot concentrate on his/her work as well as family affairs and therefore the work outcome is greatly reduced. (Sanchez, 2000)

Factors that determines the impact of stress on work and at home

(Triplet, 1999) indicated that, it is the personality of an individual that determines whether he/she gets stressed and whether stress affects delivery of task at home or at work place. Effective Stress management also depends on what a person has learnt from the family background regarding the response required as well as what a person thinks about how to handle stress. The victim of stress must adopt effective copping strategies in addition to receiving adequate family support.

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From the studies, stress affects delivery of services both at home and at place of work and the effects of stress do not matter from which institution it started as it can always spill into the other. Concentration on daily activities is greatly reduced due to the resultant fatigue and loss of self esteem. A person suffering from stress feels worthless and lacks hope with his/her future because he/she always have a feeling of guilt. Stress results to poor decision making and withdrawal from colleagues and family members as well as tasks that one used to enjoy most in his/her work. It is therefore evident that, in order to ensure maximum performance at home and at work place, one must adopt the right strategies for stress management. This should focus on reducing stress to healthy levels. (Triplet, 1999)


Eaker L. (2000): Living with stress: Penguin pp65-68

John T. (2004): Work and leisure, New York: Basic books pp27-30

Karasek R. (1990): Healthy work: stress production, productivity and reconstruction of working life: Basic books pp36-38

Sanchez J. (2000): the role of social support in the process of work stress: Elsevier pp87-90

Triplet R. (1999): Examining the effect of work-home conflict of work related stress: Elsevier: pp17-19

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