There are several factors causing traumatic stress and health risks at the workplace. Thesefactors causing traumatic stress at the workplace can be classified into two main categories. One category is composed of those factors that are related with the content of the actual work being done by the employee while the other category comprises of the factors related with social and organization context of the work. Those causes that are directly related to the work includes the number of working hours, time pressure, work overload, doing difficult or complex jobs, lack of variety, lack of breaks and poor physical working environment such as temperature, space and light (Michie, 2002).If an employee is working for long hours a day and has little time to rest, he or she will be straining a lot at work. The employee will develop stress which will end up affecting his or her health and this will have serious consequences to both the organization, family of the employee and the employee himself or herself. If an employee is also working under high pressure from the employers and time pressure, he or she will develop stress which continuously will affect his or her life. Work overload is another job related factor listed above that affects the
WORKPLACE TRAUMA 4normal competence of an employee. If an employee is overloaded in terms of work, he or she will be straining to do the extra work. The extra efforts put by the employee might end up causing stress to the employee. Doing difficult jobs can also affect the normal competence of an employee. The physical working environment should be conducive to favor the working employee. Factors such as temperature, light, space and hygiene should be well observed in an organization. Excess light and temperature creates discomfort to the employee. If the light and temperature are also extremely low, they will also affect the comfort of the employee. These factors thus need to be optimally regulated to create a conducive and enabling working environment (Thomas et al., 2002).One of the factors related to social and organizational context of work is unclear work or conflicting roles by different employees within the organization. According to Michie, (2002), lack of training, under promotion and job insecurity are some other factors that may cause stress on an employee. Organizational culture and relationships at work are other factors that fall under organizational context or work. Some organizations have managers who are critical, unsupportive and always demanding and who have a tendency of other their employees. Some managers create stress to employees. Some organizations have a bad culture of not paying for overtime or “presenteeism”. An organizational culture that does not favor consultation before making changes can also be a huge source of stress to employees. Changes like mergers, downsizing or relocation affects the employees greatly especially if they are not prepared.
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