Work is supposed to be rewarding but it can also cause immeasurable stress (Photo: iStock)

The modern workplace has evolved to accommodate more remote productivity. However, there are growing concerns about work-related stress on mental health. It is associated with physical illness, substance abuse, insomnia, nervousness, and increased incidence of accidents.

Ordinarily, work is supposed to be rewarding. However, it causes immeasurable stress when work denies people the chance to obtain rewards and utilise their creativity.

Occupational stress can be viewed from three dimensions: Acute, post-traumatic and chronic stress.

Acute stress has sudden onset involving a response to an abrupt and easily identified cause. This type of stress easily responds to intervention and a majority of the people affected are normally expected to return to 'normal life' after a short period.

Post-traumatic stress results from life-threatening events at the workplace. It is a type normally experienced in military personnel, security officers, and workers involved in armed robberies or terrorism attacks.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from a delayed response to a catastrophic event and is sometimes diagnosed through anxiety, depressive episodes, and super high sensitivity to stimuli.

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Chronic stress is cumulative and results from a build-up of stressors over a long time. It manifests through symptoms such as hypertension, sleep disturbances, coronary heart disease, depression, and poor concentration.

Online challenges

Online platforms have gained much popularity in creating gainful employment for young women. The virtual area is a sensitive area that has unique challenges. While a physical office may easily create an avenue for noticing the tell-tale signs where mental health issues are concerned, navigating the online platforms may mask visible symptoms. This incubates mental health issues to the point of a meltdown if left unattended.

Stress also results from having high expectations from fans with whom you have very little control. It is unfortunate that when the stress becomes too high or long-term with limited coping resources, the workplace becomes a platform that houses grumpy and stressed individuals.

Whether it is increased workload, job insecurity, harassment, racism, unpredictable disciplinary measures by a supervisor, relocation or not getting rewards for the effort and quality of product we achieve, our bodies attempt to adapt to work challenges day in and day out.

Since the workplace is where many of us spend our wake hours and energy, it also measures our self-worth.

Therefore, it is highly stressful when work is unfulfilling. Job stress can lead to low self-esteem and has an impact on self-image, which in turn affects relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. This means that the effects of job stress do not end immediately after we leave the office.

You may find yourself unable to maintain the work/life balance. You carry work problems home and vice versa. It can get pretty overwhelming. In a household occupied by two wage earners, the impact of work stress at home becomes magnified when they are both affected by tension from work.

Long, uncertain, or unsocial hours and financial worries adversely affect family responsibilities and leisure activities. With time, the home becomes a place of resentment with both partners under constant work pressure to juggle work demands, starting and raising a family.

It is easy to fall into the trap of substance abuse when you seem not to have a companion to vent to.