Education Fitness

Work problems and health: stress, mobbing, and burnout

Transformations in the workplace

The social transformations that have occurred in the world in recent decades have remarkably affected society. Especially in the field of work. Changes in various environments such as the economy, technology, culture, and politics have modified traditional relationships in the workplace. These new conditions determine the appearance of problems in the workplace such as stress, mobbing, and burnout.

Work, society, and the individual

Work has always existed. However, the work of hunter-gatherer societies is far from the concept of work that we currently use. At the beginning of life in society, work was the effort that allowed us to survive on a day-to-day basis. Now, on the contrary, work is a more complex concept in which purely material aspects but also social and symbolic aspects are combined.

In this sense, through work, the person does not only carry out productive activities. It also develops on a psychosocial level. Work is a phenomenon of social construction. It is the result of complex interactions and exchanges between humans. Thus, work also and everything associated with it has a meaning for the people who do it. The value they give you, the results you get, or the status you deserve in society are important. So much so that in today’s societies work configures personal identity. Work affects the situation and the stratification and classification of people in society. Similarly, it affects people’s self-perception and self-esteem.

During the Industrial Revolution, work appeared in its modern sense. Since then, there have been numerous advances in the quality of life of the population. The concept of work that we know today is the source to produce greater wealth. But, there are many doubts about the type of wealth that is created and its ability to make us happier.

Labor problems

The main labor problem in modern societies is unemployment. However, there are other conflicts generated in man’s relationship with work. These are not problems that have appeared for the first time in our society, but they are increasing.

In this sense, the worker today faces the stress posed by the precariousness of jobs. Poor working conditions, emotional exhaustion, and lack of personal fulfillment can culminate in the feeling of ” being burned out ” or burnout.

Similarly, stress is also present in relationships between members of organizations in which rivalry and competitiveness prevail. All this favors the occurrence of mobbing or workplace bullying. In these cases, the health of workers can be seriously altered.

Stress in the workplace

Stress has been identified as one of the most important emerging risks in the job picture. In the European Community, work-related stress affects almost one in three workers. In USA, the data on working conditions point in the same direction. The growing precariousness of employment is a factor that favors the appearance of stress cases in the workplace.

Mobbing or workplace harassment

Harassment is a serious problem that affects not only the direct victims. Its negative consequences extend to their colleagues, family, and their immediate environment. It also affects society as a whole, since it generates high healthcare costs.

The psychological consequences de l mobbing are associated with the appearance of one stress disorder post-traumatic.  Its main characteristics are somatization, emotional problems, depression, and anxiety.

Mobbing and depression

The mobbing causes loss of self-esteem and feelings of guilt. If it is prolonged in time, it can trigger a severe depressive picture.

Mobbing and anxiety

Victims of mobbing can develop a generalized anxiety disorder. This is characterized by fear and avoidance behaviors that can, in severe cases, lead to suicide.

Physical consequences of mobbing

Continued harassment causes problems at the physical level ( gastrointestinal disorders, disorders of sleep, mismatches the nervous system autonomy, etc.).

In the family environment, workplace bullying can cause problems in relationships and negatively affect the psychological development of children.

People who have suffered mobbing can develop socially maladaptive behaviors, which can range from isolation to aggressiveness.

After losing their job due to workplace harassment, many victims of mobbing find it difficult to return to work as normal.