In this survey, the respondents consist of 38 male and 40 female who work in the construction site. Among the respondents, 40 people feel stress at work and only out of 38 has experienced symptoms of stress. This category of respondents is construction workers who have been working in a construction site for a long period of time.
On the other hand, respondents who did not experience work stress are commonly people who work in the site office and rarely work outdoor. Stressors included in this survey are the demand of the job, lack of control, work-life balance, relationship at work, change, conflicting roles and working environment. The questionnaire is designed on a Likert Scale which ranks from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The significant of stressor is valued by looking at the key activities which have the highest response to agreeing and strongly agree. Among the seven stressors, only six stressors are significant in this survey.
The demand for the job is ranked first to cause stress to workers. Key factors of job demand that lead to stress are long working hours, too much work, repetitive or monotonous work, insufficient time to do the job and insufficient rest breaks. 36 respondents strongly agree long working hours and insufficient rest break causes stress. This situation is due to the nature of construction work which requires full dedication to ensure work can be completed according to the inflexible work schedule in a short period of time.
Lingard, Brown, Bradley, Bailey and Townsend (2007) highlighted that construction site workers average work hours are higher than site office or headquarters based workers. The needs of performing repetitive and monotonous work have also created stress to construction workers health being and long term effect leading to permanent disability. In the survey carried out, 32 workers which work full time at the site have chosen job demand as the primary stressor whereas 8 workers who choose other stressor are workers which work in an office or seldom stay on site.
Second stressor is a working environment where more than half respondent stress level is affected by their work areas condition. Key factors causing stress are overcrowding, untidy or unclean working areas, poor facilities and poor design of equipment. Construction is constantly undergoing changes with temporary facilities and the need for its maintenance. The failure of maintenance can bring a huge impact on the well-being of the user. Therefore, it has the highest number of respondent among the other key factors with 38 people who agree on it as a source of stress. Besides that, poor facilities from the unhygienic condition can lead to health issues such as infection and poisoning. 36 respondents agreed that untidy and unclean working area can lead to stress.
This shows that the cleanliness of facilities is equally important to have good facilities on site. Overcrowding work areas and poor design of equipment have an equal number of respondents agreed that it is important. This is because overcrowding work areas create a hassle for workers to perform their work efficiently. Poor design of equipment can lead to ergonomic issue and resulting musculoskeletal disease on the user. The pain and discomfort generated from usage of the poorly designed equipment can be long lasting, affecting their body functionality to perform the daily task.
Third stressor is organizational changes which include uncertainty on future, lack of job security, the introduction of new management techniques, restructuring and lack of consultation over changes. However, respondent only chooses uncertainty on future and lack of job security as key factors causing stress in their organization.
Construction company often hire contracted staff to fulfill the project demand, therefore, the rate of manpower overturn is high. This can be seen from the survey where uncertainty on future and lack of job security has a higher number of respond compare to the other three key factors. According to hedges (2014), employees who experience job insecurity in an organization will only perform work just enough to get their salary at the end of the month and using the rest of their time to look for other job opportunity and plan their next move. This situation can affect the quality and productivity of the company as they are not getting the full dedication from employees despite investing in them.
The fourth stressor is work-life balance with three significant key factors such as failure to recognize achievement, skills not fully utilize and inflexible working hours. The failure of employers to recognize the achievement of employees is demotivating for employees to perform at work.
Employees level of happiness increases when they feel appreciation resulting in higher productivity (Cubukcu, 2017). Recognition of employees skills and fully utilize it for organization development is also important to secure employees job satisfaction. A big corporation often invests more in getting the right person and the right skills for their organization development. 32 out of 42 respondents choose inflexible working hours as one of the causes of stress in work-life balance. This is because inflexible working hours can lead to disorganize of personal life. Construction workers are often required to work overtime to ensure that work can be done according to work schedule which causes reduce in workers life quality such as spending time with family or getting enough rest.
The fifth stressor is a relationship at work focusing on lack of communication between employees and top management or colleagues and working alone. From this survey, it can be seen that discrimination and bullying are not significant in the organization. However, the lack of communication between the employees and top management is the main issue of stress with 28 out of 42 people who strongly agreed to it. Low-rank employees have less opportunity to engage with the top management and understand what their top management’s expectation for them.
This can lead to a stressful working environment where they are unable to perform up to the top management’s expectation. According to Walker (2018), a human is bound to the need of having a sense of belonging to motivate them to stay longer in an organization and associate their performance with the organization’s success. It increases the level of happiness and positively boosts the performance of employees at work while creating a stress-free workplace. Therefore, the respondent chooses a lack of communication between employees and working alone as a contributor to stress because it creates an unsupportive working environment.
Lastly, work control can also lead to stress with 38 respondents choosing the lack of control over work. This is due to the constant changes in construction decision and work where employees need to follow their team leader instruction to perform work. With the time constrict and low job control, it can lead to unhealthy behavior to cope with the stress such as smoking, drinking alcohol and misuse of the drug (Dotinga, 2016). This can lead to poor performance at work, absenteeism and health hazards.