Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stress: Task Demands

In the last byte, we looked categorized the sources of stress. In today's byte, we look at the first category of the source of work related stress - Task Demands.

We live in a world of change. Globalization has ushered in dramatic changes in the way we work (to know more about the drivers of the most recent wave of globalization read - World is Flat). With change comes a lot of uncertainty - which for an individual translates to the lack of predictability in the daily tasks and activities. Some manifestation of these changes in the work environment could be - job loss, or underemployment, monotony and boredom at work etc. These create stress in the individual who is facing these changed scenarios.

Technology (in a colloquial meaning - not the business classification we discussed about earlier) is an important driver of business, and this the change of these technologies only compound the problem further. The change in technology brings along with the fear of being outdated - while training, education and skill development are ways to address this to a certain extent; none the less the uncertainty associated would cause stress.

While working, there are certain critical factors that we feel are important to be controlled - lack of control could lead to the inability to influence the timing of tasks and activities (and other similar problems) - and create situations that are difficult and psychologically demanding - thus increasing the stress associated.

Invariably, everyone has a career aspiration and when one gets into a career gridlock (pretty common in the middle management level) it build us stress - this is further compounded by the time pressures one has to address to at work place.

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