Do you suffer narrow attention span as your mind is pre-occupied with other things during meetings and daily tasks?
Do you feel physically exhausted even when involved in routine office assignments? Have become arguing your second nature at work? Do you often have muscle tension and headaches?
You are experiencing stress at work.
According to the American Institute of Stress, a staggering 80% of workers rate their jobs as stressful.
Out of these, 25% say they have felt like shouting or screaming because of work-related stress.
Even more scaring, 14% of the respondents reported being tempted to smack a colleague hard at some point during work.
Go through this list and identify your causes of stress at work. This is the first step to give up work-related stress and transform your job and life!
Causes of Stress at Work
Managers who hurt from stress at work blame the nature of the workplace today. Everything is fast-paced and pressure-cooker like.
Let’s now look at the primary factors promoting work-related stress.
1. Bad Work Management
Work-related stress is, to an extent, a question of how we manage our duties, the office ambiance, and the people we work with.
Consequently, you may end up stressed on account of:
– Lack of delegation or bad control of delegated tasks: You become miserable from burnouts (and potentially stress) for failing to share tasks with your juniors or inappropriately supervising delegated tasks.
– Lack or bad control of job interruptions: A study shows that on average, 28% of our productivity is lost because of disruptions such as social media, text, and email notifications. In the long run, you fall behind deadlines resulting in stress at work.
– Lack or poor prioritization of tasks: Getting your priorities wrong can bring disagreements with your seniors, again possibly fostering stress at work.
2. Job Content and Demands
Sometimes your day job may become exceedingly taxing and you, therefore, develop stress at work. This is precipitated by events such as:
– Fearing that you lack the proper skills to excel in your job.
– Unclear roles/expectations…you don’t grasp what your line managers want.
– Being allocated responsibilities that are seemingly not sufficiently challenging.
– An increase in workload and new responsibilities without commensurate compensation.
– Increased working hours
– Changed (tighter) deadlines/shifts
– You feel that you are being over-supervised
– Conflicting demands: Your various seniors may set you different performance parameters.
– Absence of feedback: Lack of work feedback can take its toll due to increased anxiety.
3. Organization Culture
Culture refers to your organization’s way of doing things and includes all decisions and actions that your company takes in its day to day operations.
Now, some aspects of these customs could be stressors.
To illustrate, you will, almost certainly, become distressed if you are not provided with proper working tools/equipment since it will contribute to some poor results.
Similarly, you’re a prospective victim if your firm tends to:
– Pressurize you to keep breaking job records.
– Cut remuneration/bonuses without an explanation.
– Doggedly push you to unrealistic perfection levels.
– Introduce huge changes in operations without adequate consultations.
– Excludes you from decision-making related to your work.
Lastly, the condition may arise if your seniors normally block you from pursuing self-growth or career advancement opportunities thus stagnating your career.
4. Work Environment
A warm working environment is crucial in making you feel peaceful and keep you safe from stress at work.
This covers both the physical surroundings as well as the existing work procedures/processes.
For this reason, circumstances such as uncomfortable office facilities e.g. furniture, congestion, and workplace incidents such as deaths or armed hold-ups in the office can be traumatic.
You can also be upset by incidences of violence, sexual harassment, and bullying at your station of work.
5. Abandonment and Failing Relationships at Work
The feeling that senior management/colleagues/juniors have abandoned you, and worsening relationship with your top-level managers or fellow executives may also be disturbing.
Moreover, perceiving that you have been unfairly treated during assignments can be stressful.
6. Other Causes
Lastly, loneliness owing to your frequent official trips may also lead to stress.
Risk Factors for Stress at Work
You are more at risk if you also suffer from the following risk factors:
1. Poorly Managed Change
Organizations which are introducing reforms without preparing their staff psychologically usually destabilize and stresses up even the senior-most executives.
2. Hostile Working Relationships
Unfriendly policies at the workplace and unhealthy competition may create a situation where colleagues spend more time backbiting and politicking.
This is mentally tiring and magnifies your risk of falling to stress at work.
3. Conflicting Demands of Work and Home (Work-Life Balance)
Managers who sacrifice family and leisure/social time in favor of working overtime hours are at more risk of exhaustion and hence stress.
4. Personal Causes
Additionally, turmoil in your personal life, for example, because of losing a loved one can be painful as would fears that you will soon be laid off.
How to Beat Stress at Work
Defeating the problem needs you to follow a lifestyle that shields you from all the issues that are instrumental in bringing work-place stress.
You must also rein in on the sources of your stress. But how?
For instance, if your cause of stress at work is bad work management, this is what we recommend:
Work smarter, not harder.
Well, this means that you aim at being more efficient. Precisely, you will need to make decisions that save you time while yielding handsome results.
Some of the actions you can take immediately include:
– Be flexible in your schedule and observe work-life balance.
– Take regular breaks to freshen up.
– Prioritize tasks: Have a to-do list and commit to it.
– Delegate: Entrust your juniors with relevant tasks to enjoy free up more time and beat deadlines.
– Seek clarifications where instructions are hazy instead of groping in darkness.
– Resist perfectionism: Accept that you’re a normal human being and will err.
– Stop negative thoughts: Don’t crucify yourself because of criticism and negative feedback.
Benefits of Fighting Stress at the Workplace
Freeing from stress at work makes your job and even life engaging and fulfilling.
– You will be in a better state psychological and mentally.
– Your team will consistently register excellent performances and increased productivity.
– Stress-free living reduces sickness and absenteeism from work.
– You make the best use of available time.
– Your family life is transformed.
– You will be overflowing with creativity and problem-solving skills.
– When stress-free, your self-confidence is up there and you easily overcome lingering fears at work.
– It’s easier to cope with failures or occasional work challenges.
Don’t hesitate to try a few different coping mechanisms to manage stress at work and see what works best for you!