Why employees in India are stressed at Workplaces?

Why employees in India are stressed at Workplaces?

One-and-a-half-years ago, 31-year-old Niraj Manek had all that it took to be considered a high flyer—a management degree from a renowned institute in London, a high profile job with a leading Mumbai-based private bank’s wealth management team and a hefty paycheck of Rs 15 lakh. Yet, he decided to draw the curtains on his lucrative career to settle for a relatively quieter job with a consultancy firm.

The reason…?

Stress, the silent killer accused of claiming several lives!

Triggering a meltdown
Manek is one of the many employees in India who have experienced stress linked to work at some stage in their careers.

According to a study conducted by Towers Watson in May last year, close to half of the respondents (employees) in India reported excessive pressure at work. Around one-third of them pinned the blame on “overwhelming” productivity demands from employers.

After reading his story and many stories that are caught in the Indian workplaces one thing is for sure- “Underperformance is not the prime cause of heightened stress”.


More to it than workload

It’s not just workload that creates pressure. The Towers Watson survey identified unclear or conflicting job expectations (37% of respondents), poor team working environment (30%) and low pay (30%) as contributing factors.
A stifling work culture and environment can drive employees up the wall. Hyderabad-based Alokparna Sengupta and Najma Hussain, a school teacher in Pune, felt suffocated by stringent regulations at their former workplaces.Hussain recalls being instructed not to talk to fellow teachers when she was working with a leading international chain of schools, where she taught physics and mathematics. “It was seen as not being serious about work,” she says.


Ecosystem’s role

Whether employees take the tough call to walk out or not, stress-induced low morale can affect the employer’s productivity as well as reputation. Therefore, organisations have a stake in promoting employee well-being, including preparing them to manage stress. While organisations do seem to realise the importance of helping employees cope with stress, their strategies to counter it leave a lot to be desired.
“As the first step, they (employers and HR managers) need to listen to employees to understand the sources of stress rather than concluding on their own,” says Sriram. Next, they can put in place a mechanism to help employees cope with stress. The key is to get immediate superiors to listen to concerns and engage to resolve the issues. Involvement of the midlevel management is critical to the success of a stress management strategy. This apart, the organisation could encourage them to take up physical activities in office.

Finally, it is up to family and friends to act as support systems.


It can make the difference, literally, between life and death.

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