Suggest one key strategy that managers may use to combat workplace stress productively in today’s work environment based on research you conducted this week. Provide support for your st
Suggest one key strategy that managers may use to combat workplace stress productively in today's work environment based on research you conducted this week. Provide support for your strategy.
Effect of Stress on the Productivity of Employees Working In IT Sector in Nagpur
Dr Dini Menon
In today’s, growing Information technological scenario a large number of IT employees are facing the problem of stress in their working area. There are various reasons for that such as inadequate incentive system, long working hours, work culture, lack of job autonomy etc., and behind all these problems the main reason is negligence of employees by management. The result of this, the employees face various health related and personal family problems such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, office related stress in house, etc. The high demand of job gives less time for employees, to spend with their family members. The main purpose of this study is to explore the causes of stress and to determine the factors that can reduce the job stress at workplace.
Keywords: Information Technology, Stress, Employees Workplace
Jobs in IT sector are knowledge driven and stress is existent in reality. The
reason can be pressure from seniors, target oriented approach, relationship
Journal of Commerce & Management Thought
Vol. 5-4, 2014, pp 594-603
DOI : 10.5958/0976-478X.2014.00006.8
with co-workers, lack of personal time, spouse stress, children stress and the
list goes on. This stress can create many mental and health weaknesses which
would affect the performance and productivity of the employee. The personal
weaknesses of the employees due to stress may lead to lack of time
management, poor relationships, low assertiveness, deviation from the goals,
lack of confidence etc. Employees can face many chronic health diseases.
Employees are assets and are considered to be the human capital of the
organization. All the jobs are knowledge based and is managed by such human
capital, so organizations have to take care of the employees. In this fast and
globalization era, helping employees to be healthy and productive is necessary
for the organization to achieve their objectives. After the advent of
globalization, the service sector, retail sector and IT &ITES sectors are in
boom and employee is a very important factor in these organizations. Hence,
organizations also started considering the Human factor of human resources at
work. In IT sector employees are involved in less physical work and more of
the psychological work. There are many challenges employees face like
competition, target oriented jobs, 24/7 work culture, dual career, organization
Stress is a universal element experienced by employees around the globe.
Stress has become major problem for employer particularly in developing
nations where the employer doesn’t realize the impact of stress on employee
performance. In their research work Giga and Hoel (2003), concluded that
high rates of mergers, acquisitions, increasing economic interdependence among
countries due to globalization, technological development, and restructuring have
changed the organizational work over the last few decades have resulted in
time pressure, excessive work demand, role conflicts, ergonomic
insufficiencies and problematic customer relationship are the causes of stress.
Stress is a complex phenomenon. It has been defined in many ways, but if
stated in simple terms, it is the wear and tear of everyday life. In every day’s
life people are subjected to a wide range of pressures. Similarly there are also
a wide range of resources and strategies for coping with pressure. Sometimes
people cope well and will not feel that the pressure is having any adverse effect
upon them. At other times they will have difficulty in dealing with the situation
and that is when we may use the term "stress".
Effect of Stress on the Productivity… 595
Stress should not be very high or too low. It must be within the range and
limits of employee's capacity to tolerate and his performance level. A
controlled stress which is within limits is always beneficial and productive
than an uncontrolled one. Management of every organization must always
consider their employees as assets of their firm and not work slaves. Efforts
should be made regularly to monitor and study stress levels in working
environment. Necessary adjustments and arrangements should be made to
control stress and its causes. Co-operation, kindness, respect, good manners
and discipline among members of an organization always create a stress free,
healthy, friendly and productive environment in a workplace.
Review of Literature
The workplace of the 21st century is a fast-paced, dynamic, highly
stimulating environment which brings a large number of benefits and
opportunities to those who work within it. The ever-changing demands of the
working world can increase levels of stress, especially for those who are
consistently working under pressure. By virtue of their demands, some jobs are
highly stressful, such as Professional in the IT sectors. Long hours of work,
night shifts, high work targets and loss of identity are some of the concerns of
the IT sector.
Dayo Akintayo (2012), in his study found that working environment is
significantly related to workers morale and also working environment is
significantly correlated with perceived workers’productivity.
Journal of Commerce and Management Thought 5 – 4596
Dr. K. Chandrasekar (2011),in his study found that environmental factors
are conducive to work and he also found that factors that affect attitude of
employees to work are interpersonalrelationships control over environment,
shift, emotional actors, job assignment, overtime duty, extended work.
L.S. Kang and R.S. Sandhu (2011), in their article said that Stress is an
individual’s state of mind in an encounter of a demanding situation or any
constraint in the organization, which s/he feels harmful or threatening for
her/himself. Stress emerges from various energy seeping conditions in the
According to N Kathirvel (2009), Stress is the reaction that people take
due to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them. It arises
when they worry that they cannot cope. Stress is a demand made upon the
adaptive capacities of the mind and body.
Kulkarni (2006), in an article Burnout said that rapid change of the
modern working life is associated with increasing demands of learning new
skills, need to adopt to new types of work, pressure of higher productivity and
quality of work, time pressure and hectic jobs are increasing stress among the
In recent years, Nagpur has evolved itself and has undergone many
developmental changes to emerge as one of the fast developing cities in India.
This effort gives visibility to the developments, happenings & milestones
achieved in past few years in the IT industry at Nagpur. This development
invited big IT companies in the city. Large number of employees working in
various companies at different level, continuous growth is creating work
pressure on these employees, which is main cause of the stress.
Purpose of the study
The face of the workplace has drastically changed over the past decade.
An increasingly empowered and diverse workforce, technological
advancements, increased competition and globalization have created a new
workplace reality that is totally different from the past workplace. Helping
employees to take care of their health has become the moral and business need
Effect of Stress on the Productivity… 597
for the organization. The researcher herein having social responsibility towards
the society decided to take up this issue for the research. Thus the main purpose
of the research is to find out the causes of job stress in a workplace also find
out the effect of job stress on the performance of the employees. The study
further determines the effect of work activities on the work performance and
behavioral performance of employees of IT Sector.
It is hypothesized that ‘stress in workplace has the negative effect on the
productivity of the employees’.
This research is based on the descriptive method. Both primary and
secondary methods of data collection have been used for the research work. In
respect of primary data collection, the employees of IT companies were
interviewed using schedule method. While the secondary data was collected
through comprehensive review of existing literature i.e. books, journals,
magazines, newspapers, reports and internet.
The study investigated the relationship among work-induced stress, job
performance, psychological well-being and productivity of employees in IT
industry in Nagpur city. Total numbers of 100 respondents were selected from
IT companies. The major instrument used in the study was a questionnaire.
The method used for this research was a random sampling technique. The
samples were divided into following ways:
Journal of Commerce and Management Thought 5 – 4598
Limitations of the Study
The research tool had open-ended questions, which made the analysis of
the results lengthy and complicated. The delay in obtaining feedback was
attributed to the researcher’s lack of insight into the organizational dynamics,
which resulted in time wasted in bargaining for feedback.
Result and Discussion
Table 1: Distribution of respondents according to important causes of stress
It can be viewed from the data displayed in Table that more than 50%
respondents felt that work load was the highest cause of stress. 52 percent
respondents believed that change at work was moderately increasing the stress.
On the subject of shift work, 62 % respondents said that this factor sometime
causes the stress. In the next step 58.0 % respondents felt that sometimes lack
of supervision causes the stress. About 59.0 % respondents felt that inadequate
training was sometimes the cause for stress. With respect to working
environment, 68.0 % respondents alleged that working environment was the
cause of stress. Similar results were found by Mullins (2002) who found that
‘work load’, either under or over, was amongst one of the greatest cause of
stress and needed proper compensation or management to tackle this problem.
Table 2: Distribution of Respondents according to the Socio Economic
Factors and Stress
Effect of Stress on the Productivity… 599
The above table shows that 54.0 % respondents said that sometimes there
was link between age and stress, while only 6 % respondents said that there
was no link between age and stress. In the same way 90.0 % respondents said
that there was always or sometimes link between stress and qualification and
only 10.0 % respondents said that there was no link between stress and
qualification. About 73.0 % respondents said that sometime there was link
between gender and stress. Some 70.0 % respondents said that sometimes there
was link between marital status and stress and 22.0 % respondents said that
there was always link between marital status and stress and only 8.0 %
respondents said that there was no link between marital status and stress and
more importantly 53 % respondents said that sometimes there was link
between income and stress. In this index of socio-economic factors,
qualifications have been identified as a major linking force. The same has been
proved by previous study that qualifications make one over ambitious and
entice him to strive for more and more. Majority of the people felt stress in
their jobs and they were neither satisfied with their jobs nor able to fulfill their
needs and thus, these factors are creating stress. Stress is perhaps playing
positive role in accelerating their performance. Qualifications have been
identified as a major linking force. Work load’, either under or over, was
amongst the one of greatest causes of stress or needed proper compensation or
management to tackle this problem.
Table 3: Distribution of Respondents according to the Dissatisfaction in
A majority of the respondents wish better job opportunities as shown in
the above table. This desire was quite obvious reason for stressed mind. It is
apparentthat the urge of getting better job opportunities puts one on continuous
stress. However, almost 44% of the respondents were also found in state of
Journal of Commerce and Management Thought 5 – 4600
stress either due to un-fulfillment of basic requirements or just not getting the
job according to their qualification. According to Frederick (1982) over
ambitiousness is a type of stress dual in nature i.e., either constructive or
destructive. The data also revealed that a majority (90.0 %) of the respondents
felt stress in their jobs while 10.0 % respondents did not feel stress in their
Table 4: Distribution of Respondents according to the Workplace
Above table shows that, the workplace environment factors plays a vital
role in the productivity of the respondents at work place. The relation of
employees with his superiors at workplace makes positive or negative impact
on the work. A supervisor support is crucial for employees to complete the
job. Furthermore, interpersonal role of the supervisor is important to encourage
positive relations and increase self-confidence of the employee. 86% of
respondents expressed that relation with superior always affect their
production. A common and thinking of to be treated fairly is important for all
employees at workplace. Fair treatment motivates all employees to do and
develop their tasks with full of interest. The above table shows that 84% of
respondents always feel that fair treatment plays a crucial role in motivation.
Communication plays an important role in the work place. Communication
promotes trust and loyalty among the employees. It encourages better team
work and relationship which shows communication system at the
workplace.90% of respondents says that the communication is very crucial
factor at the workplace.
Suggestions & Recommendations
The study on work stress has revealed that the respondents feel that they
want certain changes in the environment where they are working. The
Company can go for some relaxation activity program for the employees in
Effect of Stress on the Productivity… 601
order to reduce the tension of the employees. The company can also focus on
training the employees how to make decision in pathetic situation. Similarly
it should provide program for improving a person attitude and development
process. Counseling session can be held for the employees showing the
symptom of stress. Organization should offer wellness program. Deep
relaxation should be provided for the employees for 10 to 20 minutes. Physical
exercise increases heart capacity, provide a mental diversion for work pressure
and let off stream. Leisure time can be provided to the employees and may
feel relaxed and work. Organization can focus on creating awareness program
about the negative impact on the consuming alcohol and cigarette.
Organization can often go with the brain storming games that keep employee
active participants in each and every matter which help in increase in
concentration. Organization can have a focus on providing yoga to the
Scope for Further Studies
Area of present study can be increased from district level to state level,
national level, as well as international level; Sample size can be increased;
other demographic details can be added for the future research and various
other statistical tests can be used for comprehensive analysis & findings.
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Dr. Dini Menon is Assistant Professor in the Department of Commerce, Hislop
Email: [email protected] • Received on: 10, Jul.2014
Effect of Stress on the Productivity… 603
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