Thursday, September 21, 2023

What Causes Stress At Work

Have Good Sleep And Exercise Habits

Top 5 Triggers for stress in the workplace

Sleep and exercise are integral components to a healthy human life, however they are often ignored by many in favour of watching that TV show, or finishing that last project, or saving some time by catching a bus. Although most people need at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night, some people need up to ten, and thatâs ok! You can work out how much sleep your body needs by downloading sleep apps, noting whether you feel tired and fatigued throughout the morning, and trying out varying lengths of sleep. Healthy sleeping habits can be formed by maintaining a regular bedtime, a regular waking time, and a regular screen-free schedule before going to bed. Exercise is nearly as important it makes you feel good about you and your body, and means you have something to focus on other than work. Regular exercise after work can help you sweat the stress of the work-day away and arrive home prepared for your downtime.

Causes Of Stress In The Workplace

Stress at work can be fleeting, or it might be chronic, with no end in sight. Here are some things that can lead to stress in your daily work.

1. Overload

Taking on far too much, or being assigned an avalanche of work, can lead to burnout. Being overloaded with assignments, impossible deadlines, projects of immense magnitude or importance, and not having enough staff to help are nightmares.

2. Lack of Control

When you dont have much control over your work life or much input in decisions, you might begin to feel helpless. That lack of control can lead you to feel as though the work is too much to handle, like you are simply a cog in the wheel and dont have much worth to your supervisors.

3. Poor Work Relationships

When work relationships are good, things are wonderful. One bad relationship, however, can spoil the entire day. Dealing with those who are ‘out to get you’ or dont want to help you succeed or dont even want to pull their weight can drag you down with them.

4. No Sense of Job Security

It is one of the main causes of stress at work. When you feel as though your job is on the line and today might be the day you get fired, walking into the office becomes more of a struggle. Fearing the future job change, worrying about new management, and otherwise wondering how you will survive a downsizing can lead to serious stress and even depression.

5. Work-Life Imbalance

6. Lack of Resources

7. Low Pay and Benefits

8. Demanding Boss

9. No Appreciation

12. Other Causes

Physical Impact Of Stress

In response to stress, your body may increase blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and blood flow to your muscles. This stress response is intended to help your body react quickly and effectively to any high-pressure situation.

When you are constantly reacting to small or large stressful situations without making physical, mental, and emotional adjustments to counter their effect, you can experience chronic stress that can hurt your health and well-being long-term.

Stress can also be positive. Short periods of stress can make you more alert and improve your performance. The key to stress management is to determine the right amount of stress that will give you energy, ambition, and enthusiasm versus the wrong amount of stress which can harm your health, outlook, relationships, and well-being.

Read Also: How To Control Depression And Stress

Harassment In The Workplace

Workplace harassment occurs when one or more employees feel disrespected or threatened by a group of colleagues. Harassment is one of the six possible causes of stress at the workplace. In other words, unwanted physical or verbal behavior based on color, religion, race, gender, intellectual disability, or country of origin constitutes harassment at work. In addition, acts of insult, blasphemy, intimidation, obstruction of work, etc. also fall under workplace harassment.

Did you know that about 52% of women face inappropriate behavior in the workplace?

The most common examples of workplace harassment are groping dirty jokes and sexual assault. It is important to learn how to deal with toxic people at work.

According to experts, the main motive of harassers is to make victims feel uncomfortable and dangerous. Unfortunately, most incidents have not been reported and this is because the components of harassment in the workplace and their associated rights are unknown. Victims are not always afraid of consequences.

It is important to learn how to make someone feel comfortable at workplace and learn how to stop feeling left out at work. Bullying adversely affects a persons psychological well-being.

According to a workplace bullying survey conducted by the UK Trades Union Congress , 29% of people said that they are being bullied at work and 72% are being bullied by their bosses.

Tip : Beat Workplace Stress By Reaching Out

7 Causes of Stress at Work

Sometimes the best stress-reducer is simply sharing your stress with someone close to you. The act of talking it out and getting support and sympathyespecially face-to-facecan be a highly-effective way of blowing off steam and regaining your sense of calm. The other person doesnt have to fix your problems they just need to be a good listener.

Turn to co-workers for support. Having a solid support system at work can help buffer you from the negative effects of job stress. Just remember to listen to them and offer support when they are in need as well. If you dont have a close friend at work, you can take steps to be more social with your coworkers. When you take a break, for example, instead of directing your attention to your smartphone, try engaging your colleagues.

Lean on your friends and family members. As well as increasing social contact at work, having a strong network of supportive friends and family members is extremely important to managing stress in all areas of your life. On the flip side, the lonelier and more isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.

Read Also: How To Not Feel Stressed Out

I Have Heard Stress Can Be Both Good And Bad Is This True

Stress is the body’s response to real or perceived threats. Today most of our problems cannot be solved with a fight or flight response. We have to work through our problems and find constructive solutions.

Stress is about reactions people have to the situations they face. These reactions are not the same from person to person. Some stress is expected and can be a positive force in our lives. In fact, it is often what provides us with the energy and motivation to meet our daily challenges both at home and at the workplace. This type of stress response is what helps you âriseâ to a challenge and meet your goals such as deadlines, sales or production targets, or finding new clients. Some people would not consider this challenge a type of stress because, having met the challenge, we are satisfied and happy.

Feelings of negative stress usually increase when people believe the demands of a situation are greater than their ability to deal with it. Stress may prevent them from being productive. In some cases, people avoid dealing with a problem entirely, which may make the situation worse and increase stress to them and others around them.

When under a lot of stress, some may find it hard to concentrate, make decisions, and feel confident. Many people experience physical sensations like sweating, a racing heart, or tense muscles.

Tip : Break Bad Habits That Contribute To Workplace Stress

Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behavior. If you can turn these self-defeating habits around, youll find employer-imposed stress easier to handle.

Resist perfectionism. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, youre setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best no one can ask for more than that.

Flip your negative thinking. If you focus on the downside of every situation and interaction, youll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative co-workers, and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments, even if no one else does.

Dont try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control, such as the way you choose to react to problems.

Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress in the workplace. When you or those around you start taking work too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story.

Clean up your act. If your desk or work space is a mess, file and throw away the clutter just knowing where everything is can save time and cut stress.

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What Can Be Done About Job Stress

The examples of Theresa and David illustrate two different approaches for dealing with stress at work.

Stress Management. Theresas company is providing stress management training and an employee assistance program to improve the ability of workers to cope with difficult work situations. Nearly one-half of large companies in the United States provide some type of stress management training for their workforces. Stress management programs teach workers about the nature and sources of stress, the effects of stress on health, and personal skills to reduce stress-for example, time management or relaxation exercises. Stress management training may rapidly reduce stress symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disturbances it also has the advantage of being inexpensive and easy to implement. However, stress management programs have two major disadvantages:

  • The beneficial effects on stress symptoms are often short-lived.
  • They often ignore important root causes of stress because they focus on the worker and not the environment.

As a general rule, actions to reduce job stress should give top priority to organizational change to improve working conditions. But even the most conscientious efforts to improve working conditions are unlikely to eliminate stress completely for all workers. For this reason, a combination of organizational change and stress management is often the most useful approach for preventing stress at work.

Box : Principles Of Preventing Work Stress In Scandinavia

Managing stress – mental health in the workplace
  • Working conditions are adapted to people’s differing physical and mental aptitudes

  • Employee is given the opportunity to participate in the design of his/her own work situation, and in the processes of change and development affecting his/her work

  • Technology, work organisation, and job content are designed so that the employee is not exposed to physical or mental strains that may lead to illness or accidents. Forms of remuneration and the distribution of working hours are taken into account

  • Closely controlled or restricted work is avoided or limited

  • Work should provide opportunities for variety, social contact, and cooperation as well as coherence between different working operations

  • Working conditions should provide opportunities for personal and vocational development, as well as for self determination and professional responsibility

Assessing the risk of stress within the workplace must take into account:

  • the likelihood and the extent of ill health which could occur as a result of exposure to a particular hazard

  • the extent to which an individual is exposed to the hazard

  • the number of employees exposed to the hazard.

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What Affects Your Ability To Cope With Stress

During times of stress and uncertainty, you can anticipate some predictable issues, problems, and opportunities. For instance, during any organizational change at work, your colleagues may have:

  • Different ways of regarding the change. Some people have difficulty accepting and adjusting to change and uncertainty others will relish the changes and view them as great opportunities. Some people initiate change others prefer the status quo.
  • Different amounts of experience and practice in stress management and change management. Theoretically, people become better at managing stress and change with experience.
  • Varying ways of communicating about stress. Some people need to “talk it out.” Others suffer silently. Some find relief in complaining. Some talk and talk and talk, but are really supportive of the change.
  • Different amounts and types of support from others. This may include support from a spouse, significant other, friends, manager, and coworkers.

Coping With Stress At Work

Working hard should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health.

Coping with stress at work.

Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelmingand harmful to both physical and emotional health.

Unfortunately, such long-term stress is all too common. In fact, has consistently found that work is cited as a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans. You cant always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.

Read Also: How To Deal With Too Much Stress

The Top 10 Causes Of Stress At Work

Megan Thompson · April 15, 2021

Stress is talked about more than any other workplace topic and its not hard to see why there are enough reasons to makea list of the top 10 causes of stress at work! A study by Perkbox in 2020 found a staggering 79% of UK employees experience stress at work.

Yet, solving stress at work is one of the most elusive pieces of the productivity puzzle. Ensuring employees get the right amount of stress to keep them motivated, but not so much it saps engagement, is one of the biggest workplace conundrums of our time.

So much has been written type stress in the workplace or top 10 causes of stress at work into your search engine and youll be reading articles, blogs and snippets for days, or even weeks.

Covid-19 hasnt improved matters. Research by health insurer AXA, which polled 5,800 workers from across the UK and Europe, found that work-related stress has increased during the pandemic. And many now say workplace stress is reaching a critical phase.

Before it can be tackled, business leaders and managers must truly understand the causes.

What Are The Causes Of Job Stress

Causes Work Stress Stock Vector 331774463

Nearly everyone agrees that job stress results from the interaction of the worker and the conditions of work. Views differ, however, on the importance of worker characteristics versus working conditions as the primary cause of job stress. These differing viewpoints are important because they suggest different ways to prevent stress at work.

According to one school of thought, differences in individual characteristics such as personality and coping style are most important in predicting whether certain job conditions will result in stress-in other words, what is stressful for one person may not be a problem for someone else. This viewpoint leads to prevention strategies that focus on workers and ways to help them cope with demanding job conditions.

Although the importance of individual differences cannot be ignored, scientific evidence suggests that certain working conditions are stressful to most people. The excessive workload demands and conflicting expectations described in Davids and Theresas stories are good examples. Such evidence argues for a greater emphasis on working conditions as the key source of job stress, and for job redesign as a primary prevention strategy.

-1995 Workers Compensation Yearbook

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Negative Effects At The Company Level

While stress can be harmful to the employee, it also has the potential to damage the company due to increased staff absence due to sickness, poor productivity, high turnover, low morale, poor motivation, and increased employee complaints .

The American Institute of Stress estimates the cost of stress to U.S. industry to be over $300 billion annually.

Be Proactive About Your Job And Your Workplace Duties

When we feel uncertain, helpless, or out of control, our stress levels are the highest. Here are some things you can do to regain a sense of control over your job and career.

Talk to your employer about workplace stressors. Healthy and happy employees are more productive, so your employer has an incentive to tackle workplace stress whenever possible. Rather than rattling off a list of complaints, let your employer know about specific conditions that are impacting your work performance.

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What Do We Mean By ‘workplace Stress’

Workplace stress can occur when there is a mismatch between the requirements of the role, your capabilities and resources and supports available.

Everyone knows what stress feels like and we’ve probably all experienced it at some stage at home, school or work, or while getting outside our comfort zone, but while this stress is normal, if it is ongoing, it can become a problem.

There are common stressors in most roles but also specific stressors for certain roles.

Find out more about specific stressors for these specific roles:

Niosh Approach To Job Stress

Causes of Stress

On the basis of experience and research, NIOSH favors the view that working conditions play a primary role in causing job stress. However, the role of individual factors is not ignored. According to the NIOSH view, exposure to stressful working conditions can have a direct influence on worker safety and health. But as shown below, individual and other situational factors can intervene to strengthen or weaken this influence. Theresas need to care for her ill mother is an increasingly common example of an individual or situational factor that may intensify the effects of stressful working conditions. Examples of individual and situational factors that can help to reduce the effects of stressful working conditions include the following:

  • Balance between work and family or personal life
  • A support network of friends and coworkers
  • A relaxed and positive outlook
NIOSH Model of Job Stress
Job Conditions That May Lead to Stress

The Design of Tasks. Heavy workload, infrequent rest breaks, long work hours and shiftwork hectic and routine tasks that have little inherent meaning, do not utilize workers skills, and provide little sense of control.

Example: David works to the point of exhaustion. Theresa is tied to the computer, allowing little room for flexibility, self-initiative, or rest.

Management Style. Lack of participation by workers in decision- making, poor communication in the organization, lack of family-friendly policies.

Example: David is exposed to constant noise at work.

Also Check: What Are The Effects Of Chronic Stress

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