Stress is an increasing point of focus for HR professionals, managers, and regular employees. Stress at work is rising and has some seriously negative consequences. Anxiety caused by one’s job seems to be going up around the world, and it is hurting the overall well-being of the people who experience it.
Workplace stress is also causing a downturn in productivity and general company morale in many organizations. The root cause of this problem depends on the company itself, the working environment being promoted, and many other external factors. Some common causes seem to contribute to an uptick in stress and an inability to cope while at work.
When the stress becomes too overwhelming, speak with a psychotherapist for professional help. You can also try to minimize your stressful experiences in the workplace. Here is how you can identify the factors that cause stress at work:
Reduce workplace pressure
Today’s job market, and society in general, is a competitive and winner takes all place. Whether we like it or not, there tends to be a persistent feeling that we could always be doing more, working harder, and accepting additional tasks proactively. On top of the long hours required in many positions, this can simply end up being too much for a person to deal with.
It can seem like the pressure is endless and that the future holds no relief. Sometimes the pressure is generated internally, or it might be coming in the form of a micromanaging boss. Regardless, it is difficult to focus on the task at hand and likely harms general productivity.
Adjust to constant change
Although monotony and redundancy can also cause problems (more on that below), a constantly fluctuating work environment can spell big issues for many workers. If an organization is experiencing a very high turnover rate, everyone is likely to remain in a heightened state of uncertainty. Anxiety grows when employees wait to see who they will be working with and how they will get along.
For the most part, human beings crave stability and routine. When the workplace isn’t conducive to building any form of regular schedule or expectations, tensions inevitably run high.
Minimize threats to job security
Speaking of high turnover, many workers report experiencing high stress due to fear of losing their job. Naturally, this worry is likely to increase if they see it happening to people around them. Worry will also increase if there is a constant flow of new policies or procedures that they are unsure about adapting.
This also makes it difficult for many people to manage other aspects of their lives. They are insecure about their future income. Plus, they are hesitant to make any plans or commitments that they may not fulfill financially.
Eliminate conflict between co-workers
Interpersonal conflicts make it difficult for people to perform well at work. Sometimes, it’s because they’ve been assigned to a project where they must work closely with someone they struggle to get along with. At other times, they feel unfairly targeted by a superior. Either way, it can make going to work each day a major source of anxiety.
These issues are also likely to be amplified if other factors are triggering significant stress at work. When people are already on edge, they are inclined to be sensitive to comments they perceive as directed at them or are more likely to lose their cool during team discussions.
Improve organization culture
Unfortunately, some company cultures allow negativity to flourish. This typically arises from poor management practices that lead to a lack of support for all employees and contribute to role conflict. This problem can also be particularly tricky to deal with. If the manager is causing the problems, they are unlikely to see it as such and will be resistant to criticism.
When an organization is run poorly, the lack of autonomy is also likely to contribute to workplace stress and have a negative impact on productivity. When a person is given little or no control over their role at work, it is only a matter of time before motivation fades and they become depressed or anxious.
Regardless of the task being performed, it is important for people that what they’re doing makes a difference. They should have some degree of control over how it is completed.
Provide adequate resources
In some cases, people will also find themselves in a position where they don’t have the tools or resources to do their job correctly. This can be incredibly stressful and frustrating, as they feel helpless and demotivated, unable to do anything to improve their situation.