I found on the internet that about one third of all employees in the Netherlands undergo Afbeeldingsresultaat voor work stressa lot of stress and pressure at work. That is way too much. Stress and pressure at work is a very serious problem. Too much, or too little work pressure can lead to serious mental and physical health complaints.

Work pressure occurs when the balance between the work load and the load capacity of the employee is disturbed. There are a few things that cause this. For example, not being able to finish your work in time or not satisfying the demands of your superiors anymore. This can lead to overworking and that can lead to even more stress.

Work pressure can not only cause health problems for the employee, it can also have consequences for the organisation. Because the employee is collapsing under the amounts of pressure put in him, his quality of work strongly decreases. This can also lead to sickness and that causes absence, and that is very bad for the organisation. If one third of all of its employees was undergoing a lot of stress and would therefore not come to work, that would cost the organisation some serious money.

I chose to talk about this problem because I went through it this year. Well, actually not me, but my father went through it. He had a very busy period at work and there was also a chance that after he finished the project he was working on he would have to stop working there, which he didn’t want to.  I noticed that my dad started to become more and more irritable, and he and my mom started fighting a lot. One night I overheard my mom screaming to my dad that he was burnt out and that he needed to go to a doctor or psychologist for help. But my dad didn’t want to because he had always been sceptical of psychologists. I came downstairs and I looked up some symptoms of a burn out:

  • Problems with sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Having difficulties relaxing
  • Apathy
  • Small concentration span
  • Forgetfulness

A lot of the symptoms I found overlapped with what by father was doing. Luckily I was able to convince my dad to go to the doctor, and he did. He got some medication that would help him to sleep better, and was advised to go to a psychologist. The latter he still hasn’t done, but he has gotten a lot better and is not on the brink of burning out anymore.

This proves that work stress is easy to stop by just seeking help, but al lot of people, especially men, struggle with that a lot. Showing your feelings is not masculine enough. But that is a whole other problem.

My opinion on the matter is that companies and organisations should put more effort in keeping their employees, not stress free but at normal levels of stress. If the authorities of an organisation start to notice some employees are slacking off, instead of getting mad and ordering the employee to work even harder. They should ask him how he’s doing and if he has any problems, maybe advise him to see a doctor. Just communication with each other could help a lot of people and prevent the organisation form going bankrupt.

Stress at work is a big problem, but it can easily be prevented. So don’t stress about it.

Renske Pouwels