Stress by definition is; any circumstance that places special physical and/or psychological demands on a person such that an unusual or out-of-the-ordinary response occurs. No one is immune to job related stress, making its existence a serious problem for employers and employees alike. Stressful jobs span an organizations ladder from the bottom rung to the very top.
Since starting with UPS, I have seen many symptoms of work related stress. The symptoms can range from a silent but all telling glazed over look, to extreme ranting and raving associated with the need to just vent. These symptoms seem to affect employees at all levels of my department, including my immediate peers as well as my superiors.
Under the right circumstances, mild, short-term stress can be a good thing. For example, stress can serve as a motivator when a deadline draws near and there is still much to do. But constant stress over the long run can and will lead to getting burned out in ones job. Extended periods of burnout can lead to emotional and physical exhaustion, lack of motivation, decreased productivity and generally just being unhappy and dissatisfied with ones job.
When burnout does occurs not only does the employees suffer but so do others around them. Customers receive poor service, relationships with coworkers suffer, and job involvement decreases to the extent that complaints may be made.
Acknowledging that job-related stress causes multiple problems for those who directly and indirectly experience the effects of stress, it should be recognized that money and time could be saved if individuals and companies attempted to prevent stress from disabling parts of the work force.
As a company, UPS does offer some help in managing and reducing stress. Some departments offer options for part-time or flex hours, working from home for employees that need to balance home and work schedules, as well as conducting classes for managing stress in the workplace. But I think that ultimately it is up the individual to recognize when their stress level is getting too high and take appropriate steps to learn what is the best way for them to manage it.