In this age of cutthroat competition and technological outburst; doing job has been more and more critical and complicated as compared to olden days. Many people have a misconception that technology has made working easy. But, to our surprise this is not true. It is a true fact that technology has replaced manpower to some extent and improved the accuracy and the time span in which work is done.
Due to latest technologies like social networking; the availability of data is enormous. This vast data created a lot of stress and unrest in the employees. To scrutinize the relevant information from this vast data has become a more challenging task. The pay scales have gone up high and the demands of the employers like quality of work; cutting edge time deadlines to finish the projects; efficient use of time and resources; high communication skills; flexibility in learning different skills and achieving any sort of work, flexible working hours; good team working spirit and interpersonal skills etc have shot up. Moreover the fluctuations and fast change of technologies posed a question for job security in the employees. There is a shift from career oriented approach to job oriented approach.
Most of the employees in India on an average median work in offices from 10-12hrs; which means they are spending more than one third of their time in the office. For most of the people the core of their social life is the people with whom they are working. So, it became more essential for them to make workplace a happy one. The major problems the employees are facing in this type ofworking environment are confronting lot of stress and pressure, not able to manage time effectively and efficiently, not able to maintain work-life balance. All these things are creating lot of monotony and depression in the working people. Therefore, employees should make an effort to combat these factors which affect their productivity.
Let us see an instance of an employee: Some employee say Mr.X; is assigned by his boss; to make a report on some essential topic by the end of that day. This employee was also to give a presentation in a meeting; the next day morning 8a.m. Mr.X started working in the office from 9.30 am that morning. He did not start preparing the report till the lunch. Later, after the lunch he remembered about the report and hurriedly plunged into action, collecting information on the topic; comprehending it and making report in formatted manner. By the end of the day he managed to put the finished report on the table of his boss. His colleague started to remind him of the preparation for presentation, the next day. Mr.X gave a big nod and started to prepare for the presentation.
The Boss looked at the report and he was not satisfied with the one made by Mr.X and asked him to make another one and he stressed to complete the report and head home. Mr. X was disappointed and started to make the report once again. He was restless and tired and by the time he completed the report; it was almost 12 o’ clock in the night. Mr.X thought of preparing for the meeting early in the morning at 4 am. But, by the time he woke up it was already 7am. He quickly got ready and bounced to the meeting unprepared. So, his presentation did not go well and this gave a negative mark on his spotless past record.
Here Mr. X was very good at skills. But, what made him to fail was; he could not do time management properly. To manage the time properly one should know; How to prioritize the tasks to be handled (preferences) with respect to time in hand , importance of the task and the estimated risk in the task. On the basis of these parameters one has to deal with the work in a sequential and appropriate manner. It is always better to deal with the tasks; which are having less time in hand and more information. So, it is essential for all the employees to prioritize the things to be done before starting their work. It is always good to complete the work ahead of time and allow some time to check it thoroughly. Working in hurry and haste make us unproductive and we tend to make lot of mistakes. Unfinished work builds a lot of stress and pressure in our mind. You need not work round the clock in the office or put more hours on work; infact if you know how to manage time and prioritize things well; you can be more productive in less time.
Most of the employees are undergoing lot of stress and pressure in the current working environment. To overcome this stress and strain; employees have to practice meditation, Pranayam, Yoga and some sort of stress busting exercises on regular basis. All the employees should sleep at least 6-8 hrs a day. Maintaining a proper diet habits and eating in time also relieves stress. At the office the employees should not work continuously in the office hours. They have to take a break for every two and half to three hours. In the break they can relax, speak to their colleagues or do any thing in which they are interested in (like listening to music; reading books etc). This will relieve measurable amount of stress. Even the employers should take various steps to provide a stress free environment for the employees. Employers should take the employees on social gatherings (like picnics and get together) every now and then. They should provide some privileges to the employees; which crate a sort of belongingness to the organization (removing the feeling of job uncertainties etc). Removing negative feelings from the mind (you will not be selected for promotion, because the boss is partial or you may be fired or you may not get the hike etc) help to greater extent to bring down the level of stress.
In most of the employees the source of stress would often be dealing with work situations (which are critical and unknown to them) or working in an uncomfortable environment. Most of the people feel stress by faulty inter-personal relations on the job such as; unclear reporting structure, mismatch of thoughts between the team members which often cause conflicts and some people have fear or aversion for such conflicts. In few cases stress may be due to lack of cognitive skills. Sometimes even rumors become source of stress. Sometimes even behavior related passive forms of aggression like withholding resources, not responding to phone calls and memos, being late to the meetings etc and active forms of aggression like physical assault etc may be causes of stress. However, the sources of stress vary tremendously from person to person.
Whatever may be the source of stress; it gives ill effects both to the physical and mental health of a person. So, the source of stress should be identified and rooted out at the earliest. Help of a psychiatrist (by counseling) can also be taken to root out the stress, if needed.
Occupational stress is not related only to what goes on at the workplace. In fact
demands of the workplace and family life are highly conflicting; and this causes imbalance in work-life. The employees who are married and living with children below 18yrs experience severe work-life conflict, where as others report moderate level of conflict.
This work-life balance have to be maintained by the employee by balancing the time spend in the workplace and home activities. A person who does not have family conflicts can be more productive at workplace.
So, if a person knows the right coordination and balance between Time management, Stress management and Work-life balance; he would himself be happy and free from stress and make the workplace a pleasant one to work. He would make his employer happy by being more productive and his co-workers happy by maintaining good interpersonal relations.