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Work Stress Can Enhance Performance, While Workload and Leadership Style Have Minimal Impact

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A recent study delves into the interplay between work stress, workload, and authoritarian leadership styles, providing valuable insights into their effects on employee performance.

The research was conducted over a three-month period, targeting employees of a mid-sized company. The study employed quantitative descriptive research methods, utilising interviews, observations, and questionnaires to gather data from a total sample of 34 participants.

The findings were published in the Dinasti Journal of Digital Business and Management.

Contrary to common perceptions that view stress exclusively as detrimental, the study highlights a complex scenario where work stress significantly enhances employee performance. The findings reveal that employees under moderate stress levels perform tasks more efficiently, showcasing an uptick in productivity as a reaction to stress-induced motivation. This phenomenon underscores the importance of understanding stress not merely as a hindrance but as a potential enhancer of workplace productivity under controlled conditions.

In examining the effects of workload and leadership styles, the research indicates that neither factor significantly influences employee performance. Despite assumptions that a high workload would deteriorate performance due to burnout and fatigue, the study shows no direct correlation between workload intensity and performance metrics. Similarly, authoritarian leadership, characterised by rigid control and minimal subordinate input, does not significantly affect performance, suggesting that other factors may play more critical roles in influencing employee output.

Through qualitative data, the study paints a detailed picture of the employee experience under different management styles. Interviews reveal that while authoritarian leadership does not directly decrease performance, it may contribute to a workplace atmosphere that could hinder long-term employee satisfaction and retention. Employees express a preference for leadership that balances authority with empathy and engagement, indicating a shift towards more inclusive and supportive management practices.

These findings carry profound implications for organisational leadership and HR management. Companies might reconsider how they structure workloads and manage stress within the workplace. Instead of reducing stress and workload outright, managers could focus on optimizing these elements to enhance productivity while ensuring they do not exceed thresholds that lead to negative health outcomes.

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