Work-related stress is a rising issue all over the world, affecting not only the health and well-being of workers, but also the productivity of businesses. Job-related stress occurs when different sorts and combinations of work demands surpass a person’s capacity and competence to cope. After musculoskeletal ailments, work-related stress is the second most prevalent compensated illness or injury in the world.
Work-related stress can be induced by a variety of factors. For example, if the obligations of their employment (such as hours or duties) are higher than they can easily handle, they may feel under pressure. Conflict with coworkers or superiors, frequent change, and dangers to job security, such as possible redundancy, are all causes of work-related stress.
What one individual perceives as stressful, another perceives as just hard, or even nothing at all to worry about. The degree to which a person suffers work-related stress is determined by the job, psychological makeup, and other circumstances (such as personal life and general health). So what is it in your work that might be causing you stress? Read on to find out more.
Symptoms Of Work-Related Stress
Work-related stress can manifest as physical, psychological, or behavioral problems. Among the physical symptoms are:
- Tension in the muscles
- Heart palpitations
- Sleeping problems, such as insomnia
- Discomforts in the gastrointestinal tract, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Dermatological conditions.
Among the psychological symptoms are:
- Feelings of pessimism
- Cognitive issues, such as difficulty concentrating or making judgments
- Feelings of being overburdened and unable to cope
Among the behavioral signs are:
- A rise in the number of sick days or absence
- Reduced inventiveness and initiative
- A decrease in job performance
- Interpersonal connection issues
- Irritability and mood swings
- Reduced tolerance for annoyance and impatience
What could cause all of this?
Overtime work is perhaps the most common source of job stress. While working a little extra now and then might result in projects being completed sooner and beneficial consequences for your team (and income), working overtime regularly is likely to result in overwhelming sensations of exhaustion and fatigue, which ultimately generates stress.
If you find you are working a lot more overtime than you would normally do, it’s time to step back and think. Yes, the money is going to be extremely useful, and perhaps you need to buy a specific item, but are you doing too much? If you are extremely tired, angry, or starting to feel depressed about what you’re doing, then it’s just not worth the hassle; it would be better to find an easier second job or perhaps a side hustle that you can build up.
Unrealistic deadlines for projects or duties outsourced to those who simply cannot accomplish them on time are a primary cause of extra labor and hence job-related stress. Unrealistic timelines force team members to fear repercussions from management if they don’t finish assignments on time, which often leads to extra work having to be done and a great deal of stress. As a result, even if the project is done by the unreasonable date, it may not be accomplished to a high quality and most likely will not have been reviewed.
Is your employer expecting too much of you? It might be that they don’t realize you are having troubles. Perhaps you didn’t have so much work to do the first time they gave you a tight deadline, and you were happy to do the work – and it went well. So they kept asking, only it has become harder and harder to keep up. Your boss will never know that you’re struggling with the work they are giving you if you don’t say something. Speak up; if they know they can do something about it. If they know and don’t change anything, then it’s time to seek employment elsewhere, as nothing is going to change, and you are being asked to do too much. Your health is just not worth it.
Pressure To Be The Best
Everyone needs a break from time to time, even if it means suspending work for a short period of time. While most people have a genuine desire to perform at their best most of the time, the pressure to work at this ideal level all of the time causes people to question themselves when they don’t and to worry about the quality of their work, both of which contribute to stress.
There are a few methods to counteract this, the simplest being to apply for vacation days when you know you are starting to feel stressed and overwhelmed. You should have vacation days as part of your contract, although you will want to ensure there is enough left for your summer vacation and the festive period if you want to use it then. There should be no reason why your employer doesn’t allow you to take time off when needed, and they shouldn’t even need to know why you want a day at home either.
Another way to combat this kind of stress is to work from home. Many businesses are now allowing this to happen, and it means that employees can enjoy their own spaces, decorated in the way they want, with all the latest tech and gadgets to make them happy. For example, you might choose to have a coffee machine, and if that’s the case, then take a look at this post on espresso machines. People who work from home are often less stressed, happier, and more able to work at their best a lot more of the time.
A Stressful Environment
Your work environment has a significant impact on how you feel. You may be surrounded by lazy employees who do nothing all day and constantly distract you (and before you know it, you could be one of them), or you could be surrounded by boring followers who slave away to the boss’s instructions all day, sapping your own drive and willpower.
A stressful atmosphere can be one in which you must fulfill particular deadlines virtually every day and where there is no escape; even when you are ‘relaxing’ at home, a request to do an urgent assignment by midnight is just an email or phone call away.
Even if the setting in which you work is inherently stressful, there are methods to reduce this; for example, consider adding some greenery to your office space (even a little amount helps you connect with nature), or take a brief stroll outdoors during your break periods. You might also divide your day’s phases into time blocks, making the day (and project) seem a lot more doable. Above all, remember to schedule some relaxation time into your day. Again, working from home might help you achieve all of this.
The great majority of employees and professionals place a high value on interpersonal communication. Unfortunately, almost every business has some team members who are inherently bad communicators. This might be particularly aggravating if these individuals are supervisors or work directly with you. Poor communication can cause project objectives and phases to get muddled, requiring more effort to get back on track, and more work produces – you guessed it – more stress.
It’s ideal to communicate directly with everyone you’re working with and to ensure that you are all on the same page in terms of daily, weekly, and monthly objectives and duties. Constant contact and checking in on one other will also make team members feel that assistance is available when they need it, ensuring that no one is left behind.
Finally, if one team member seems to be a particularly poor communicator, it might pay to allocate them responsibilities that have little influence on other activities or people. In this way, you can still complete the work with minimum confusion and stress.