Workplace stress is when someone becomes aware they are not able to cope with the demands and pressures associated with their work environment and they have a negative response to those demands/pressures.
Stress is present in many jobs, and aviation professionals have many potential stressors including turbulence, in-flight emergencies, noise, disturbed circadian rhythms, irregular night flying and quick turn-arounds.
Recreational flyers are just as likely to have workplace stress, and not necessarily of the aviation variety. There are more than we can list here, but you will know the ones that affect you already.
There are also aviation stressors that all aviators will feel at some time, such as deteriorating weather, aircraft defects, late or difficult passengers or short-term stressors like aerodrome arrivals.
Working shifts can make you feel socially isolated – you work while others have fun. It can take a heavy toll on family:
- you can become less involved in daily life,
- it can be harder to organise domestic chores,
- there could be difficulty arranging childcare, and
- there is a higher risk of divorce.
You work while friends and family are socialising. Friends may stop calling because they assume you’re not available.
It may be difficult for you to feel part of the community. You are less likely to be a member of a club, attend meetings or get involved in group activities such as sports.
Effect on family
Balancing family and work can be difficult. It can be frustrating to you and your family that you’re not available to participate. It can be a source of conflict, which may in turn lead to marital difficulties. Conflicts can worsen as the demands of work or family increase.