Work Stress in the Food Chain Industry

Shahmir Hamza Ahmed, Hasan Shahzad, Muhammad Nouman Azmat, Shahzeb Afridi

Abstract


Stress is experienced by employees at work when they perceive that they may not able to or are struggling to fulfill the expectations of their employer. The purpose of this study was to find the causes of occupational stress, its effects on employees and their health, and the different methods used by employees to counter it in the food-chain industry. Work-related stress is a major part of an employee’s professional life, and when it comes down to the intensely competitive food-chain industry this stress magnifies to a newer level. The food-chain industry is expanding very rapidly and as new competitors are entering the market regularly, employees need to put in extra effort to satisfy customers which of course creates immense stress and requires a lot of stress management skills.

Questionnaires and interviews were used as the primary source of data collection for this research and the respondents were chosen randomly from 18 successful restaurants of Islamabad. The respondents were all adult males and had an educational background of at least matric. The findings illustrated various reasons for the stress employees faced at their jobs with the major ones being transport issues, long duty shifts, management changes, adhering to quality expectations and meeting targets assigned to them by the higher management. Qualitative management was the factor that caused most stress as the top-level management in the food-chain industry is primarily concerned with providing customers satisfaction. It was also found out that stress is a major health hazard for people of every age group and has both short term and long term effects on employees.

Stress can be handled both positively and negatively depending upon the situation, the control of the victim over the stressful conditions and how threatening he perceives it to be. It can permanently change the personality of an individual and the way he goes about things in his family as well as social life. However, it is in the benefit of the individual and the society as a whole to find ways to positively deal with occupational stress. The higher management can aid employees in reducing their stress by offering them flexible timings, some degree of relaxation as far as reporting to work on time is concerned on special occasions or when there is turmoil; and proper appreciation for the quality and consistency of their work.

Keywords: Work-related stress, Occupational stress, Restaurants of Islamabad, Food-chain industry and Qualitative management


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