Can Communication Help to Prevent Work-Related Stress?

Stress is a problem that occurs to individuals due to different causes related to different facets of their life. One of these facets is work. It should be noted that stress is a problem of vital importance for a work organization, as it has serious repercussions not only on individuals (illness, disability) but on different aspects of the company’s operation (absenteeism, poor performance).

The ideal approach to address stress in a work organization involves preventing the causes that give rise to the problem. The fight against stress must be focused on acting on certain working conditions, modifying certain organizational aspects and aiming to eliminate as many causes as possible, so that it can reduce existing stress, as well as prevent its appearance in the future.

One of the main organizational aspects that can be acted upon or intervened to prevent stress has to do with information and communication systems.

Given that the problems that can arise due to deficient information and communication are very important, it is necessary to alleviate these deficiencies, the development of information and communication systems that are truly effective and not only restricted to the productive efficiency but also respond to the needs of workers and facilitate their adjustment with the work organization.

The fact that what is expected of a worker is not clearly defined, that their role is confusing or that there is no fluid communication is one of the most important stressors, because the worker, not knowing exactly what they must do, in what way, what areas are their responsibility, translates into a feeling of uncertainty and threat. The problems that can arise due to poor information and communication, the ambiguity and the role conflict that arise from this, are some of the most powerful stressors. Furthermore, they constitute one of the factors that most affect efficiency in the company. A good information system must allow everyone to capture precisely what is expected of them (tasks or objectives to be met) and know the results of the work carried out.

For all these reasons, it is very necessary to review the company’s information systems, considering the following variables:

● Accuracy of information.

● Coherence between them.

● Coincidence (towards the same objective) of the decisions made based on the information.

● Language appropriate to the recipient.

● Frequency of communication adapted to needs.

● Appropriate procedures for collecting, processing, and transmitting information.

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