Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

Effect of Occupational Stress on Personal and Professional Life of Bank Employees in Bangladesh: Do Coping Strategies Matter

Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

Effect of Occupational Stress on Personal and Professional Life of Bank Employees in Bangladesh: Do Coping Strategies Matter

Article excerpt


Occupational stress is extensively evidenced as one of the significant problems for the workers all over the world (Imtiaz & Ahmed, 2009). It has revolved into a key concern that contributes adversely to organizations in terms of productivity, employee performance and turnover, customer and employee satisfaction, and organizational reputation (Bakker et al., 2012; Health and Safety Executive, 2007; Shah & Hasnu, 2013). Stress is the second most frequently described occupational health problem in Europe, which affected 22% of total workers in 27 members of the EU in 2005 (Milczarek et al., 2009). The levels of stress are also rocketing among workers in other parts of the globe. Amble (2006) reported that the level of stress increased by 45% in the USA and 48% in Australia and Canada in 2005, where as Asians have been found being more stressed than people in those parts of the world.

The increasing trend of job-related stress causes greater costs for the organizations and countries in relation to absenteeism, health, and lower performance of the employees (ILO, 2015; McKee, 1996). BBC reports that employees enjoyed an average 5.3 days off work in 2012 in the United Kingdom due to depression, anxiety, and stress (Wall, 2014). Costs of jobrelated stress to UK and EU economy stands at euro100-150 and euro617 billion a year, respectively (Coulthard, 2014; EU-OSHA, 2014). Organizations globally altogether suffer from costs of occupational stress amounting to 200 to 300 billion US dollars every year as a result of increased workers' health and compensation claims, decreased productivity, and high employee turnover (Wojcik, 1999).

Stress though is not a disease, it is the preliminary symptom of problems that can cause various physical problems like long-term damage to organs and systems, contribute to hypertensions, memory loss, and heart and inflammatory bowel disease (Farrington, 1995; ILO, 2015). Stress also instigates various behavioral and psychological difficulties (Humphrey, 1998). People are getting affected by stress regardless of gender, age, profession, financial, or social status (Ozkan & Ozdevecioglu, 2012). Not only employees (Siu, 2003) but also businessmen (Amble, 2006), teachers (Mahan, 2010), nurses (Gibbens, 2007), lawyers (Hasnain, 2010), working-women (Braun & Hollandar, 1988), and even children (Kusz, 2009) suffer from stress. Employees in particular professions such as call-center or intensive care attendants, or accountants who require extra care, attention and mental preparation; are at bigger risk of getting overstressed (Bakker et al., 2012; Ozkan & Ozdevecioglu, 2012).

Banking also requires sheer concentration, mental preparation and extra care that contribute stimulating stress among employees in this profession. Bank employees have been found being stressful due to work overload, unfavorable working condition, poor relations with colleagues, fear of discharge, unrealistic target and emotional intelligence (Belias et al., 2013; Blaug et al., 2007; Davis & Newstrom, 1988; Li et al., 2015; Mortlock, 2015; Niharika & Kiran, 2014). Apart from this, banking has turned into one of the major and competitive sectors that have profound contribution to the economy of Bangladesh. Another rationale of choosing bank employees for this study is thought to be the increasing demands of this profession in Bangladesh.

Literature review

Experts are in different views about occupational stress. They viewed occupational stress as either a response (Colligan & Higgins, 2005; Jex & Britt, 2008; Quick & Quick, 1984; Selye, 1974), or a stimulus (Jex & Britt, 2008; Lazarus & Launier, 1978; Steffy & Laker, 1991), or a response-stimulus (Jex & Britt, 2008). Researchers also upturn substantial debates about whether occupational stress should be defined in terms of the individual or the environment (Caplan et al., 1975) or the transactional relationship between individuals and environment (Cooper, 1998; Cooper & Cartwright, 1997; Cotton, 1995; Lazarus, 1991; Quick et al. …

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