Stress at work

The Borneo Post - Good English - - News -

STA­TIS­TICS show that more and more of us are suf­fer­ing from stress and that much of this is caused by our jobs. It ap­pears that many of us are work­ing too hard and this is tak­ing a toll on our health. There is, ex­perts tell us, sim­ply too much pres­sure put on many em­ploy­ees these days. In many jobs, in sales or pro­duc­tion de­part­ments, for ex­am­ple, un­re­al­is­tic tar­gets are set for the work­force. Peo­ple are, in fact, try­ing to do the im­pos­si­ble and mak­ing them­selves ill by do­ing so. In many coun­tries, more and more peo­ple are work­ing longer hours. Some work­ers have to do this to cope with their work­load, while oth­ers think that stay­ing late will im­press the boss so much that he will pro­mote them. This ex­tended pres­ence in the work­place is known as pre­sen­teeism. Such over­work of­ten re­sults in ex­treme fa­tigue, or even ex­haus­tion, with many peo­ple also suf­fer­ing from in­som­nia. When the work­ers get home, in­stead of rest­ing or en­joy­ing a leisure pur­suit, they sim­ply can­not switch off. Their minds are still full of work wor­ries. Most peo­ple used to able to leave be­hind the ten­sion and anx­i­ety to the work­place when they went on hol­i­day. Un­for­tu­nately, mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, such as mo­bile phones and email, have made this a thing of the past. We find it al­most im­pos­si­ble to leave our work be­hind. Nei­ther the body nor the mind can go on do­ing too much in­def­i­nitely. Work­ers reach a point be­yond which they can­not cope, and have to take time off. Some may ex­pe­ri­ence burn-out and some may be­come men­tally ill. Mean­while, a study by some Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties has shown that stress can weaken the im­mune sys­tem. The fact that stress or work leads to ill­ness is sup­ported by find­ings by the Bri­tish Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive. These in­di­cate that 60 per cent of ab­sent from work is a re­sult of stress. It is time for us all to take stress se­ri­ously and to re­con­sider the ethos of mod­ern work­ing con­di­tions. Work­ing hard is im­por­tant but ev­ery­one must re­alise that even pro­duc­tiv­ity is less im­por­tant than our health.

MEAN­INGS

anx­i­ety the state of be­ing wor­ried and ner­vous about some­thing that is go­ing to hap­pen or about some­thing that is go­ing to hap­pen or about some­thing that might hap­pen: Jean’s in a state of anx­i­ety be­cause she is wait­ing for her exam re­sults to ar­rive. burn-out a state of ex­treme phys­i­cal and men­tal tired­ness caused by over­work: If you don’t get enough rest you’ll end up suf­fer­ing from burn-out. • burn-out to be­come ex­tremely tired be­cause of over­work­ing over a pe­riod of time: Pam is go­ing to burn her­self out if she keeps study­ing un­til the early hours of the morn­ing. email (short for elec­tronic mail) a method of send­ing mes­sages or in­for­ma­tion from one per­son or com­pany to an­other by means of com­put­ers us­ing a tele­phone ser­vice and a mo­dem; a mes­sage sent in this way: I re­ceived an email from my cousin in Aus­tralia telling me that she is go­ing to visit me. • email to send a mes­sage by email: Fred emailed us all to ask us to his party in­stead of post­ing in­vi­ta­tions. ethos the be­liefs, ideas and at­ti­tudes as­so­ci­ated with a par­tic­u­lar group, pe­riod of time, etc: The ethos of Bri­tain pub­lic schools is de­scribed very well in the novel. ex­haus­tion a state of ex­treme tired­ness: The run­ner col­lapsed with ex­haus­tion at the end of the race. • ex­hausted ex­tremely tired: The ex­hausted chil­dren sat down to rest. fa­tigue a state of gread tired­ness, of­ten be­cause of hard work or ex­er­cise: We walked many miles that day and were all suf­fer­ing from fa­tigue at the end of it. im­mune sys­tem the sys­tem in the body, con­sist­ing of cells, tis­sues, etc, which fights against in­fec­tion: The child keeps get­ting in­fec­tions and doc­tors think that there may be a fault in his im­mune sys­tem. in­som­nia the in­abil­ity to fall asleep or to stay asleep long enough to get enough rest, es­pe­cially when this hap­pens over a pe­riod of time: Bill of­ten watches tele­vi­sion in the mid­dle of the night, as he suf­fers from in­som­nia. • in­som­niac a per­son who suf­fers from in­som­nia: Pat is an in­som­niac and of­ten feels very tired dur­ing the day. leisure pur­suit some­thing which you do when you are not at work and can en­joy your­self, a hobby, a pas­time: Mary’s favourite leisure pur­suit is hill walk­ing. Sue works such long hours that she has lit­tle time for leisure pur­suits. pre­sen­teeism the act of stay­ing in your work­place for far longer than you are sup­posed to, and of­ten for far longer than you ac­tu­ally need to: Pre­sen­teeism among the work­place is not good for the com­pany, as many work­ers do not get enough rest to be able to work prop­erly pres­sure 1. the force which is pro­duced when you press some­thing the ap­ply­ing of a firm weight or force against some­thing: Po­lice put up bar­ri­ers but the pres­sure of the large crowd knocked them over. 2. the things which a per­son has to do in the course of work etc and which of­ten cause worry and anx­i­ety; the worry and anx­i­ety caused in this way: He hated the pres­sure of hav­ing to meet sales tar­gets and re­signed from the job. Pro­duc­tiv­ity the rate at which a com­pany pro­duces goods or pro­vides ser­vices, usu­ally con­sid­ered in re­la­tion to the num­ber of peo­ple the com­pany em­ploys and the amount of ma­te­ri­als which it uses: The boss said that if pro­duc­tiv­ity did not im­prove then he would have to make some peo­ple re­dun­dant. • pro­duc­tive pro­duc­ing a great deal: This fac­tory’s work­place is the most pro­duc­tive in the whole com­pany. pro­mote 1. to move some­one to a more se­nior job or po­si­tion in a firm or or­gan­i­sa­tion: Anna was only with the com­pany a year when she was pro­moted to of­fice man­ager. 2. to ad­ver­tise or give pub­lic­ity to some­thing statis­tic a piece of in­for­ma­tion from a col­lec­tion of data, shown in num­bers: An alarm­ing statis­tic is that the num­ber of ac­ci­dents on that road has in­creased by 30 per cent in the past two years. • sta­tis­tics a col­lec­tion of data shown in num­bers and based on the num­ber of times some­thing hap­pens: I don’t know the ex­act sta­tis­tics, but women still live longer than men. stress 1. worry and anx­i­ety caused by over­work or some other dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion: Sara was ad­vised to take more phys­i­cal ex­er­cise to try to get rid of her stress. switch off to stop think­ing about some­thing: to stop pay­ing at­ten­tion: It’s not fair to worry about work prob­lems when you get home; do try to switch off. tar­get a re­sult or goal which you are try­ing to achieve: The bomb failed to hit its tar­get. 2. an ob­ject which is aimed at in shoot­ing prac­tice, darts, etc, of­ten a round board with cir­cles on it: Mike is hope­less at darts shoot­ing; he didn’t hit the tar­get once. ten­sion a feel­ing of anx­i­ety and worry that makes it very dif­fi­cult to re­lax: You can imag­ine the ten­sion which the pupils are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing as they wait for their exam re­sults. take its toll on to have a very bad ef­fect on some­one: Bill looks a lot older quite sud­denly; the dif­fi­cul­ties at work have taken their toll on him. work­load the amount of work some­one has to do: Sue is com­plain­ing that she was a very heavy work­load and is ask­ing for an as­sis­tant. work­force (with sin­gu­lar or plu­ral verb) all the peo­ple who work for a par­tic­u­lar com­pany or in­dus­try; all of the peo­ple in a coun­try who are em­ployed or avail a be for work: Many of the work­force in the tex­tile fac­tory are women. work­place the place where you work, an of­fice, fac­tory, etc: Paul is mov­ing house in or­der to be nearer to his work­place.

Ex­er­cise

Read the pas­sage and def­i­ni­tions care­fully and an­swer the fol­low­ing ques­tions. 1. Re­write the fol­low­ing sen­tence, re­plac­ing the words in bold with a noun: Meg is al­ways very tired; she has been suf­fer­ing from an in­abil­ity to fall asleep for some months. 2. Write down a word which is op­po­site in mean­ing to ab­sen­teeism. 3. Re­write the fol­low­ing sen­tence, in­sert­ing the miss­ing word: Sally suf­fers from con­stant back pain and it is tak­ing its .................... on her. 4. Re­write the fol­low­ing sen­tence, in­sert­ing the miss­ing ad­jec­tive: The talks be­tween man­age­ment and unions were not very ................... and both sides felt that they had been a waste of time. 5. Give a phrasal verb for the words in bold in the fol­low­ing sen­tence: Jenny tried to for­get about her money wor­ries and en­joyed the film, but she just could not for­get it. 6. What is the name given to the process in the body which fights against in­fec­tion? 7. Re­write the fol­low­ing sen­tence, in­sert­ing the miss­ing word: Two peo­ple have left the of­fice and not been re­placed with the re­sult that the work­ers who are left have an in­creased ................... 8. Write down two nouns from the pas­sage which are re­lated to tired­ness and are very close in mean­ing. 9. Re­write the fol­low­ing sen­tence, re­plac­ing the words in bold with an ad­jec­tive. Jean had said she would be home my mid­night and, when she didn’t ar­rive, her par­ents be­come very wor­ried and ner­vous. 10. Write down a word from the pas­sage which also means the em­pha­sis which is placed on a syl­la­ble in pro­nun­ci­a­tion.

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