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Effects of Stress at Job Setting on Employee Performance

Stress in Job Setting

Stress refers to emotional or physical tension from any event or thought that makes an individual feel frustrated, nervous, and angry. Additionally, stress is the body’s reaction to a challenge or demand in normal daily activities. Thus stress can be positive as, in some cases, it helps avoid dangers or aid in meeting deadlines. However, when it prolongs, it can harm the health of individuals. There are various forms of stress, including acute stress, which is short-term stress that normally goes away quickly and characteristically occurs when an individual encounters a new or exciting ordeal. People have acute stress at one time or another (Li et al., 2021). Additionally, there is chronic stress which lasts for a long period. Individuals can become used to chronic stress they do not realize is a problem. Job stress can be denoted as the harmful physical and emotional response that happens when the needs of the job do not align with the worker’s resources, capabilities, or needs. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury. Job stress is frequently confused with challenge, but the two concepts are dissimilar as it energizes individuals physically and psychologically and motivates them to learn new capabilities, thus mastering their jobs. When they are met, individuals feel relaxed and gratified. There are various triggers of stress in job settings that may affect the performance of employees.

Triggers of Stress in Job Setting

One of the triggers of stress in a job setting is Job demands which refer to the workload, time pressure, and the level of accountability a worker is projected to handle on their part. When these demands become extreme, it can lead to substantial stress for workforces, reducing efficiency, physical and mental health problems, and in some cases, burnout. A high assignment is one of the most common job demands that lead to stress. This can be due to a deficiency in the workforce, a deficiency of resources, or unrealistic anticipations placed on the worker (Li et al., 2021). When workers have too much work, they may feel astounded and struggle to order tasks, reducing productivity and amplifying stress levels. Tight targets are another common job demand that can cause stress in the workstation. Workers who are given short targets may feel overstretched to rush their work, leading to errors and further stress. Moreover, the fear of not meeting targets can lead to continuous apprehension, which can negatively affect mental health. Conflicting demands from managers or colleagues can also lead to job demands and stress in the workplace. When workforces receive conflicting facts or needs, ordering tasks and completing work efficiently can be challenging, leading to stress and nervousness.

Additionally, organizational culture is an imperative facet of the job setting that can influence workers’ mental health and well-being. A negative organizational culture can lead to feelings of stress and displeasure, which can influence motivation and overall job gratification. One of the most substantial sources of stress associated with organizational culture is a deficiency of support from the administration (Irawanto et al., 2021). When workers do not feel support from their managers, they may feel unsupported and unappreciated, leading to amplified stress and reduced motivation. This deficiency of support can be noticeable in numerous ways, including a lack of feedback, little recognition for attainments, and a lack of support for professional growth. Moreover, the lack of communication and trust within the workplace can also lead to stress for workers. Workers who do not trust their colleagues or feel that communication is not transparent may feel secluded and detached from their team, leading to stress and apprehension.

A culture of overwork and perfectionism can also be a substantial source of stress in the workplace. When workers feel pushed to work longer hours and to continually strive for perfection, it can lead to a continuous feeling of stress and apprehension. Another factor associated with an organizational culture that can cause stress: is a lack of work-life balance (Rajamohan et al., 2019). When workforces feel that their work burdens are taking over their individual lives, it can lead to stress and displeasure with their job. This can embrace a lack of flexibility with work hours, a lack of support for childcare or other individual accountabilities, and an expectation to be accessible outside of work hours. To address these sources of the stress connected to organizational culture, companies can take steps to generate a positive work setting. This can comprise offering typical responses and recognition for worker accomplishments, promoting transparent communication and trust within teams, and reassuring a culture of work-life balance. Companies can also offer prospects for professional development and advancement to show workforces they are appreciated and supported.

Recently the world was brought to a standstill when the world was hit by COVID-19 hit the world. This created a new form of stress that workers were not used to previously. The COVID-19 pandemic substantially changed our daily lives, such as how individuals work (Irawanto et al., 2021). Remote work has become the new norm for many workers, and while it has its benefits, it has presented new trials and stress triggers. One of the remote workers’ most substantial trials is managing work-life boundaries. With the unclear boundaries between work and home life, many workers struggled to switch off from work and disengage from work-related stressors. Another challenge of remote work is dealing with technical subjects. As more and more workers work from home, technical matters such as slow internet connections, computer malfunctions, and software glitches become more frequent. These problems can be annoying and time-consuming, leading to stress and apprehension.

Additionally, the pandemic led to the introduction of stringent measures such as social distancing, which helped reduce the pandemic’s spread. Social isolation became another stress trigger during the pandemic (Irawanto et al., 2021). With workers working from home and social distancing measures in place, many people experienced loneliness and reduced social support. Social isolation leads to depression, apprehension, and other mental health matters, which can substantially impact overall well-being. Apprehensions about health and safety also created stress and nervousness for workers, especially those in high-risk jobs. Many workers had to continue working on-site during the pandemic, snowballing their risk of contact with the virus. This led to fears about contracting COVID-19 and transmitting it to loved ones. In addition, the continuous media coverage and messaging about the pandemic created a sense of helplessness and nervousness.

Effects of Stress in a Job Setting on Employee Performance

The triggers identified above show that stress is a normal occurrence in a job setting. Stress in a job setting can have a substantial effect on worker performance. The effects of stress can range from reduced productivity to amplified absenteeism, eventually leading to burnout and turnover. Stress can substantially affect employee engagement and motivation, which can lead to reduced productivity and performance in the workplace. When workers are stressed, they may experience a lack of attention, reduced energy, and an abridged capability to concentrate on their work (Rajamohan et al., 2019). As a result, they may need help to complete tasks on time, make errors, and experience a deterioration in the excellence of their work. This is predominantly concerning in assignments that require a high degree of attention to detail, such as engineering or medical. For instance, a doctor who is stressed and fatigued may be more likely to make errors during surgery or the prescription of the wrong medication, possibly resulting in harm to the patient.

Correspondingly, an engineer who is stressed and unfocussed may need help to avoid a critical flaw in a design, leading to expensive and hazardous mistakes down the line. Additionally, when workers are less motivated or disengaged from their work can impact a worker’s capability to think imaginatively and solve problems (Rajamohan et al., 2019). When a worker is stressed, their brain is often absorbed in survival mode, leading to a lack of inventiveness and ground-breaking thinking. This can be predominantly difficult in jobs that necessitate workers to think outside the box, such as in the advertising or technology industries. A stressed worker may need help to come up with new and innovative ideas, weakening the quality of their work and possibly losing business to competitors. In the current world, businesses are very competitive; thus, companies require employees to be in their best condition to decide.

Absenteeism and turnover are two of the most substantial indirect effects of stress in the workstation. High-stress levels can lead to amplified absenteeism, as workers may feel physically or emotionally incapable of coming to work. This can result in lost efficiency, missed goals, and reduced morale among other team members (Rajamohan et al., 2019). Absenteeism can be mainly austere in healthcare or emergency services, where staffing deficiencies can compromise patient care and safety. In addition to absenteeism, stress can also lead to turnover. When workers are stressed, they may feel burnt out, frustrated, or disillusioned with their work. This can lead to reduced loyalty to the company and a greater likelihood of seeking service elsewhere (Rajamohan et al., 2019). Turnover can be costly for employers, as it involves the cost of hiring and training new staff and the possible loss of valuable knowledge, abilities, and relations that departing workers take with them. High-stress levels can also lead to a toxic work environment, contributing to absenteeism and turnover. Stress can create a culture of unconstructive ness, distrust, and conflict when prevalent. Workers may feel unsupported, unappreciated, or underappreciated, leading to reduced job satisfaction and an amplified probability of leaving. Moreover, a toxic work environment can be contagious, with stress and negativity spreading from one worker to another, resulting in lower morale, engagement, and productivity.

However, individuals have different take when it comes to stress. From the above points, it can be concluded that stress harms individuals’ performance; some work well when they are stressed and pushed to do their work. This is because some individuals view stress as a motivator instead of an inhibitor of their performance. As stated, some workers may use stress to think creatively and devise ground-breaking solutions to problems. In some circumstances, a certain amount of stress can help motivate workers to think outside the box and find new ways to approach their work. This can be mainly beneficial in jobs that require quality decision-making. Additionally, moderate stress levels can also endorse pliability and development in workers. When faced with trials, workers may learn to cope with stress healthily, such as through meditation, exercise, or seeking social support. This can lead to amplified self-confidence and greater control over their work setting, which can eventually lead to enhanced job performance. Moreover, stress can also lead to amplified collaboration and teamwork. In times of stress, workers may be more likely to depend on one another for support and help, which can foster a sense of camaraderie and a shared commitment to accomplishing shared objectives (Li, et al., 2021). This can be mainly significant in jobs requiring a high degree of coordination or interdependence. Apart from archiving shared goals, workers can also achieve their set personal goals, thus reaching their full potential. This is because employees may take the pressure that comes with a job positively, thus pushing themselves to be better in their field, making them excel. This leads to a sense of accomplishment and pride in their assignment, which can further motivate them to strive to perform at the highest level. Stress can also lead to amplified motivation and a sense of drive. When faced with challenging situations and objectives, workers may be more likely to feel a sense of urgency and significance in their work, which can help to surge their motivation and drive. This can be predominantly significant in jobs that encompass working with others, such as education, social work, and even customer service.

Role of Managers in helping Workers Cope with Stress in Job Setting

As stated earlier, in the modern workplace, stress is an unavoidable part of the job. Consequently, managers play a critical part in helping employees cope with work pressures and maintain their mental well-being. This can be specifically who view stress as hurting their productivity, job satisfaction, and overall well-being. Therefore, it is indispensable for managers to distinguish the signs of stress in their team members and take active actions to address them (Li et al., 2021). To begin with, managers can assist their workers in coping with stress by generating a supportive and positive work atmosphere. This involves mounting an open-door policy, where workers can voice their apprehensions and ask for support without fear of retribution. Managers can also offer regular feedback, identify and acknowledge the hard work of their team members, and create prospects for social dealings and team building.

Additionally, managers can inspire their team members to practice self-care methods. This can encompass offering resources such as stress management workshops, mindfulness teaching, and access to counseling services. Managers can also inspire their workers to take ordered breaks, exercise, and arrange their workloads to avoid exhaustion that would lead to stress (Li et al., 2021). Moreover, managers can aid in relieving stress by promoting a healthy work-life balance. This can encompass flexible work arrangements such as remote work, part-time hours, or compressed workweeks. Managers can also find clear limits between work and personal life by inspiring workers to switch off from work outside of working hours. To end, managers can assist their workers in coping with stress by offering training and development prospects. This can encompass identifying skill gaps and providing training prospects to help workers cope with their workload. Offering prospects for career development and growth can also aid in decreasing stress levels by offering workers a nous of drive and fulfillment.

In conclusion, stress can be defined as emotional or physical tension from any event or thought that makes an individual feel frustrated, nervous, and angry. In a work setting, there are various triggers of stress. These triggers include a lack of a supportive environment, COVID-19 pandemic-related issues, and a negative organizational culture that can lead to stress and displeasure, which can influence motivation, overall job gratification, and even the level of workload that employees have. This can affect the employee’s performance in a job setting. However, it is worth noting that some employees view stress as a positive thing while others view it as a hindrance to their performance. Negative effects include increased absenteeism and turnover, and lack of work engagement. However, others use it positively to motivate them to reach their goals and objective, which, on the other hand, would lead to increased productivity in the organization.


Irawanto, D. W., Novianti, K. R., & Roz, K. (2021). Work from home: Measuring satisfaction between work–life balance and work stress during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Economies9(3), 96.

Li, J. Y., Sun, R., Tao, W., & Lee, Y. (2021). Employee coping with organizational change in the face of a pandemic: The role of transparent internal communication. Public Relations Review47(1), 101984.

Rajamohan, S., Porock, D., & Chang, Y. P. (2019). Understanding the relationship between staff and job satisfaction, stress, turnover, and staff outcomes in the person‐centered care nursing home arena. Journal of Nursing Scholarship51(5), 560–568.


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