Stress is the feeling of anxiety or physical tension that happens when demands placed on an individual surpass his or her ability to handle them. It can be caused from a variety of things such as, exposure to countless work demands, time pressures and personal conflicts. Some stress can be considered constructive because it may stimulate creativity while other stress is considered destructive in that it takes a toll on an individual in a negative way (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn 406). The proper management of stress within an organization is vital to its success.
With the increase in computer use in many organizations, new stress related concerns have arisen that have an impact on an individual’s physical well being. Working on a computer can cause physical wear and tear on individuals who sit for long periods of time at a desk, repeating the same limited movements. This can lead to stiffness, pain, fatigue and even irritability. These physical signs of stress can lead to decreased creativity and productivity.

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One way that organizations can help with these problems is by implementing any one of a number of ergonomic software programs that are available today. These programs enable organizations to monitor how long individuals are working on the computer and set timers for break reminders. They offer simple stress relieving exercises and tips to help employees recharge. These programs also provide organizations with instruction on proper chair, desk and computer adjustments to increase comfort levels. These small measures can decrease some of the signs of physical stress and provide an environment that is more productive.
Another feature of many of these software programs is the ability for management to track worker stress levels by making available an anonymous review program for employees to offer input on their view of the company. Allowing the employees to voice their concerns anonymously and free from reprisal can alleviate both mental and emotional stress for the employee. This also provides management with the knowledge needed to make improvements by identifying the sources of stress. Moshe Mor, CEO of SPL Worldgroup uses this program as an “early warning system” (Ouellette). Al Brault of the University of Rochester found that getting this type of feedback was extremely important for his human resources department since this department does not typically have an outlet for its grievances (Ouellette).
Stress prevention is the best approach in stress management (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn 406). It is important for management to determine the stressors and work to alleviate stress whenever possible. Various approaches can be utilized in stress prevention such as, anonymous surveys to determine problem areas, management commitment to not setting unrealistic goals or workload demands that are impossible to keep and significant emphasis placed on maintaining employee personal wellness.
It is imperative that organizations provide a positive work environment with an emphasis on reducing stress whenever possible. Individuals must also personally take steps to reduce stress by budgeting time, being organized and pursuing a healthy lifestyle to include proper diet, exercise and rest. In today’s high-tech world individuals use computers, cellular phones, and pagers more than ever before. With all this modern technology, individuals may find themselves on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Too much work and not enough relaxation time can cause stress that can affect an individual mentally, physically and emotionally.
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