Workplace Stressors: Which Are The Most Common
In order to detect problems within their own company, HR should be aware of the most common sources of workplace stress.; According to the World Health Organization , the most stressful workplaces share these traits.
- Employees face excessive demands
- Expectations do not meet workers skillsets
- Employees lack choice and control
- Team members are unsupportive
Although some of these workplace stressors are tied to lofty expectations, having the bar set high isnt always a bad thing.; In fact, it can often motivate and push talent to reach new heights.; The problem comes into play when elevated ambitions become inaccessible.; Above all, productive teams should set realistic goals.
As stated by the WHO, lack of team support can also add to employee stress levels.; Besides this, unsupportive teams can create toxic work environments that foster microaggressions and workplace bullying.; In order to avoid these problems, HR should take a stance against unacceptable behavior and make efforts to promote inclusivity and team building.
How To Reduce Stress And Increase Joy
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Last week, when I found myself overcommitted with meetings and things I had to do, I stopped most of the things I enjoy doing. Activities which give me feeling of control.;
;I dropped my morning hour of wrestling with a research paper I’m writing. My one-hour piano practice on the keyboard gone. All this in order meet other people’s expectations.
;You may wonder why I’m being such a cry baby. On your side, maybe that is your norm. You have long forgotten doing what you really want to do. You live everyday under pressure to deliver on responsibilities.
Life is not about fulfilling responsibilities all the time. You ought to set aside time to do things you enjoy doing. Things which put a smile on your face and joy in your heart. In fact this is consistent with happiness formula.
Happiness = Biology + Life Conditions + Voluntary Activities
;Last week my life was missing the third factor of the happiness formulae. After enduring another day with no respite, I stopped and reflected. If I couldn’t do all these things I “have to do” through illness or passing, will it matter anymore? Will anyone remember my efforts? Sadly from experience, life will continue for everyone, more or less the same.
How To Reduce Workplace Stress In 2021
In times like these, reducing stress levels of employees might not seem like the easiest thing in the world, but there are some practical steps that employers can take to support their staff. Remember, its all about supporting employee resilience:
Want to see how a simple habit-forming employee check-in can help improve employee wellbeing? Check out a quick intro to Weekly10
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What Is Workplace Stress
According to the CDC, job stress is the harmful physical and emotional responses that happen when a role’s requirements don’t match the worker’s capabilities, needs, or resources.
When your workers are forced to operate under these conditions, it doesn’t only hurt your business: it can lead to poor health and possibly even injury.
Let’s review how you can identify the signs of work-related stress and prevent both.
Allow For Flexible Hours And Remote Working
You hired your employees because you have confidence in their ability to do their jobs well and in a timely mannerso let them prove it. Your office shouldnt feel like a cell, but rather a place that facilitates getting a job done. Let your employees know that their job is defined by the quality and timeliness of their work, not when they punch the clock.
Allow your employees to work remotely, and give flexibility for start and end times. This freedom is great for office morale, and the policy shows employees that you trust them enough not to babysit. ;
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Making Work Less Stressful And More Engaging For Your Employees
Today, the ideal job candidate is an innovative, forward-thinking worker who can do more in less time . But, eventually, this kind of culture leads to serious productivity loss and burnout. To battle burnout and successfully lead teams, managers need to rethink their approach. First, they need to focus on reducing stress in the workplace by increasing psychological safety, setting boundaries around time outside of work, and looking into flexible work policies. Next, they need to build employee engagement by making sure people are in the right roles, giving their teams autonomy, and creating a culture of recognition.
We all know that excessive stress is a health hazard.;What is less talked about are the effects of burnout on business performance. Stress makes people nearly three times as likely to leave their jobs, temporarily impairs strategic thinking, and dulls creative abilities. Burnout, then, is a threat to your bottom line, one that costs the U.S. more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal, and insurance costs.
Employees Should Be Encouraged To Take Breaks During The Day To Help Manage Stress
Short breaks throughout the day allow employees to recharge and refocus. Regular breaks help employees work more effectively.
Do This: Encourage employees to take regular mini-breaks. If leaders take breaks and invite others to join, they likely will. This will help set the acceptable length and type of a break.; Walk for five minutes, stretch, get some fresh air, meditate, listen to music, or even just get a glass of water. Also suggest that employees get away from their desks during the lunch hour.
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Introduce Workplace Wellness Schemes
It has been said time and time again, but exercise and a healthy lifestyle is extremely important when it comes to combating workplace related stress. Employee wellness schemes, such as arranging for a discount at local gyms for your employees or simply organising a lunchtime running club is a good way to help employees unwind and feel better about themselves.
Employees Need A Pleasant And Safe Working Environment To Reduce Workplace Stress
Often, employees do not have control over their working environment. Hazards, distractions and annoyances can be stressful, especially if the employee can do nothing to change it.
Such stressors may include chemical agents like toxins, physical agents such as heat, radiation, cold, poor air quality, poor lighting, and other safety hazards. Employees may also be experiencing repetitive work and awkward work positions, especially those caused by computers, and heavy lifting.
Although individual opinions may differ, certain working conditions are stressful to almost everyone and should be addressed. A harsh and uninviting workplace can be a deterrent to the productivity and mental health of those working in it.
Do This: Talk to employees about their work environment.; Give them the opportunity to voice concerns or frustrations about aspects that are harmful or irritating. Make appropriate changes or suggest ways for them to work around such disturbances.
Treat their concerns with respect and attention doing what you can to help them feel comfortable in their workspace.
You may want to assign a certain employee or group of employees to the task of making the workplace safe, comfortable, and ergonomically correct. They can collect grievances and find solutions to valid complaints.
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Listen To Music On The Drive Home
Listening to music offers many benefits;and can be an effective way to relieve stress before, during, and after work. Playing an uplifting song while you make breakfast can help you start the day off feeling better prepared to interact with the people in your life. Likewise, combating the stress of a long day with your favorite music on the drive home can help you wind down and feel less stressed when you get there.
Can You Claim For Stress At Work
The bad news: stress, on its own, is not an illness, so stress cannot be claimed for.
The good news: stress is often a symptom of mental illness, which can be claimed for.
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 defines health as both physical and psychological.
Usually, the process includes calculating where you should be if it were not for your work stress-related illness, in money terms, and where you are now.
Different countries will have different processes have a look for any government or corporate bodies overseeing workplace safety.
For example, Australia has Insurance And Care , State InState Insurance Regulatory Authority , and SafeWorkNSW.
SafeWork NSW is the organisation responsible for overseeing workers compensation claims in New South Wales, although their help can often be applied elsewhere. SafeWork NSW assesses the situation, but is not responsible for maximising compensation, so you may want additional legal help.
You can claim psychological injury with enough medical evidence preferably a solid diagnosis.
You can look through the official Workers Compensation guidelines at
This is a great link for resources and info:
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Put Your Tech To The Test And To Rest
Are the software and hardware platforms your employees are using working to an acceptable standard? Has everyone got the training and skills they need to use these platforms successfully and start using new software you introduce? Technology issues can be a significant cause of stress in the workplace. It’s worth investing in the best solutions and your staff’s skills to ensure everything is smooth sailing.
When it comes to technology and stress, there’s another important angle to consider: how reliance on and even addiction to technology is causing stress for employees. As a form of presenteeism, technology is making it increasingly difficult for employees to switch off properly when they’re outside of work. Discouraging employees from responding to emails and other work communications in their downtime can be a way to tackle this.
Train Managers To Become Better Leaders
Don’t overlook your management teams. One of the stressors employees complain about is poor managers. Make sure your leaders maintain open communication, give positive feedback, and promote healthy relationships with employees.
Also, make it so workers can vote on the quality of your leadership to ensure managers are kept in check.
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Employees Need A Say In How Assigned Tasks Are Performed
When employers have control over every aspect of their employees work it can cause employees to feel powerless. This is a major source of stress. Employees need some control regarding their responsibilities and a way to alter their tasks as necessary.
Do This:; Give your employees the opportunity to adjust their jobs as needed. Allow them to make decisions that affect their productivity and give them control over a portion of their work.
Employees can even be put in teams that make decisions together on how to perform given tasks. Employees know their own strengths and weaknesses better than management.; As teams regularly meet, review and evaluate performance, they can decide what is necessary to achieve the outcomes you desire.
Consider Having Flexible Schedules
Being overworked is one of the leading complaints stressed employees have. Sure, certain roles are more demanding than others and may require overtime here and there. But you want to ensure you’re not overdoing it. And you want to grant workers the opportunity to choose work hours and days.
It’s also a good idea to consider remote work for positions that don’t require being on-site. The more flexibility you offer, the more in control your workers will feel. In turn, they may perform better and engage more.
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Help Them Think Concretely
Often people are stressed at work because they dont have a good metric by which to evaluate the situation. For example, one week a person might feel anxious about their work, but they arent sure why. Or maybe they can pick out a certain factor, but theyre not sure whether it matters, whether its normal, or what can be done. If this describes your friend, it could be helpful for them to think in more concrete terms to consider the specifics of the situation, instead of floundering in a nebulous sea of anxiety.
Helping someone externalise their concerns will go a long way towards helping with stress.
If youre a colleague of the stressed person, sit down with them and chat about what theyre finding stressful. On a piece of paper, draw four columns worry, why, significance, and fix.
- In the worry column, write everything the person thinks might be an issue.
- In the why column, write all possible reasons behind issues.
- In the significance column, spend time thinking about whether its actually an issue. Maybe the boss is disappointed when some KPIs arent met despite the best efforts of the team. That might not actually be significant; it may worry you, but it isnt significant, because theres nothing you can do.
- In the fix column, write down whether the friend can fix it, and how.
This is a good way to start clarifying categories if your friend isnt sure what to do.
How To Deal With Stress At Work
Lets dive into possible strategies for managing stress in the workplace.
These strategies will range from external to internal: There are things a person can change about themselves to become more resilient in the face of workplace stress, and there are things that may need to change about the workplace.
There are appropriate and non-appropriate strategies. For instance, a heart surgeon should not pause what theyre doing to meditate for 30 minutes. A firefighter cannot stop and do yoga. Sometimes the appropriate strategy means carrying out the responsibility, channelling that stressful emotion into energy, and then appropriately managing stress outside of the task itself.
The first steps are to figure out exactly whats going on for you.
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Communicate With Your Employees
Open communication is critical in leadership – keeping employees up to date regarding changes, expectations and their own performance not only keeps them on track but also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety after all, there is nothing worse than being kept in the dark. As a manager be sure to keep your team abreast of the latest developments and departmental changes. Whats more, open communication is a two way street and the more you communicate with your employees, the more likely they are to share concerns, ideas and thoughts making for much stronger working relationships and a healthier overall company culture.
Accept Failure Keep Comments Constructive
Generally speaking, a large workplace stressor is the fear of failure.; Let employees know that everyone makes mistakes and help managers develop strategies to find logical solutions for problems. When too much time is spent playing the blame game, nothing gets done and those who have slipped up feel hesitant to participate in the future.
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Provide Onsite Or Distance Counseling
Many companies have also begun providing counseling as a way for employees to help deal with stress; in a recent study, almost half of workers felt they needed help in learning how to handle the stresses of their jobs. This strategyin or out of the office, in group settings or individuallycan help employees prepare for what stress will come their way.
Employees Need Realistic Opportunities To Grow Advance And Be Promoted
Employees need opportunities to advance and grow. If employees do not see these opportunities, their morale and performance may suffer.
Do This: Recognize and reward employees appropriately when they perform well. When there is an organized system for recognition and advancement, employees will see that their efforts will be noticed. Provide opportunities for career advancement and employees will rise to the challenge.
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Create A Pleasant Working Environment
No one wants to spend his or her days working in a space that is dirty, cluttered, noisy, and unpleasant. In fact, studies show that excess clutter actually contributes to stress and anxiety, and makes it more difficult to get work done.
You might not be able to do much about the physical environment of your office space in terms of layout or décor, but you can encourage employees to keep the place clean and the noise levels low. Bring in a plant or fresh flowers, hang attractive art on the walls, and make the overall environment as pleasant as possible to help reduce stress.
How Stress Problems Impact Your Business
A company is like a large organism. And just like it affects people, the consequences of unchecked stress can also impact businesses, sometimes severely. So, the next step in understanding how to reduce workplace stress in 2021 is knowing the threat that it poses to your bottom line.
Stressed out employees are less engaged: While its not the only factor, stress is a major blocker to employee engagement, whether it stems from work or their personal lives. And lost engagement can be more costly than you might think, considering that businesses with high engagement generate 2.5 times the revenue of businesses with low engagement scores.
Unchecked stress drives turnover: When employees are stressed to the point of burnout, it becomes very difficult for them to stay in their current workplace, or even that whole sector. The problem is, turnover can get ridiculously expensive very quickly, costing as much as £30,000 per employee.
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Why People Succumb To Workplace Stress
There are many causes of work-related stress, but the three most common ones are poor organization and management from managers. While some people thrive in these situations with looming deadlines, others find them very stressful. It’s essential to identify what makes you feel stressed at your job so that we can learn how best to manage our own emotions when faced with similar challenges as they arise again!