and Eckel (1982) listed their own debilitating work conditions, which included
of extra effort with minimal rewards
for suggestions on improving morale
of mutual participation in decision making
and/or unexplained policy changes
expectations for workers
that playfulness is unprofessional
'isms" (sexism, ageism, etc.)
on positive feedback
More recently, the American Institute for Preventive Medicine (2001) cited several categories of debilitating workplace conditions that result in increased stress on site:
the nature of the job, including poor working conditions, low pay, and physical demands
work relationships, including with supervisors and co-workers
organizational role, including unclear job descriptions, conflicting work demands, and too much responsibility
career development, including lack of job security and lack of recognition for job accomplishments
organizational structure and atmosphere, including office politics, little control over decision-making, and discouragement of personal expression
non-work factors, including family issues or health status, money problems, or life satisfaction issues
In general, jobs that involve high performance demands (a large workload that must be attended to quickly) yet allow for very little decision-making autonomy on the part of the worker are among the most stressful (Karasek, 1988). Cashiers and cooks fit these criteria.
Other good resources on work stress, if you would like to explore further, include the following: American Institute of Stress, 2013; Humphrey & Humphrey, 1986; Pelletier, 1984; Perrewe', 1991; Veninga & Spradley, 1981).
Finally, the work of McLean (1979) and others is an important reminder of the importance of a balance of not too much or not too little of a variety of work variables which must be dealt with by you at work. The basic premise is that if there is too much to cope with, you risk being overwhelmed, but if there is too little going on, you may face the risk of boredom (OK, we realize that most of you would like to give the latter a try, even for a short period of time).
The graph below is another way to look at the importance of balance. The horizontal axis refers to the amount of stress at work, with the extremes being "too little stress" and "too much stress." The curved line graphs work satisfaction (high to low), which is highest when there is neither too little nor too much stress to contend with.
The point is that a certain amount of stress is motivating, challenging, even exciting, and that for each of us this level may vary. And each of us will probably have a somewhat different "comfort zone" related to these variables, and which will have an impact on how satisfied we are with our experience at work.