Workplace stress growing concern in cities

Work place stress is a growing concern in the city that masquerades as other problems, state health professionals, even as they warn of severe consequence of uncontrolled stress.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) characterises stress depending on content of work and its context.

Psycho-social hazards

The psycho-social hazards related to working conditions concern the first group while hazards in the organization’s work relations are categorized as contextual work stress. In its recent report titled ‘Workplace Stress A Collective Challenge’ ILO warns that workplace stress is now a global problem.

“About 1 in 3 people complaining about workplace stress show signs including sleep impairment and a noticeable dip in performance,” said Dr. Praveen Kumar, a city-based psychiatrist consulting with Apollo Hospitals.

According to Dr. Kumar, the in-house support systems like the popular Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in reputed multinational organizations which promise anonymous help are not trusted by employees as they fear it can reflect on their assessment. Stressed employees are thus forced to seek external help.

In most cases, those presenting signs of stress cannot understand the connection to work.

 “They have higher readings of blood pressure and known diabetes have higher blood sugar levels.

There are sleep problems and domestic issues. After some digging, work is identified as the cause,” says Dr. Srirang Abkari, an Internal Medicine expert at Global Hospitals.

The ILO report featured an expert opinion survey that revealed work overload and time pressure was of greatest concern.

Poor work-life balance and poor organizational cultures were other concerns. Most of the experts surveyed also mentioned physical violence, intimidation and harassment as concerns.


Improved protection of workers through better legislation, inclusion of stress on the list of occupational diseases and promotion of healthy work practises at work that protect mental health were some of the suggestions made by the experts.

Credits The Hindu

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