Causes of Stress in the Workplace (and What to Do About Them)

Workplace stress is the leading cause of lost production time in businesses across all sectors and there are a number of things that trigger office-based anxiety. Here, we’ll look at a few of the most common causes of workplace stress, but first, it’s important to understand its effects.

The American Institute of Stress explains that the effects of emotional strain have negative consequences that go beyond the mind. People under chronic stress are more at risk of hypertension, immune disturbances, infection and heart attacks.

A few of the most common signs of stress in the workplace include:

  • Disorganisation
  • Accidents
  • Stuttering
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Covering up poor work
  • Excessive defensiveness
  • Withdrawal
  • Moodiness

For a more in-depth look at the effects of workplace stress, visit the Wellness Council of America online. Now, let’s take a more in-depth loo at some common causes of stress.

Causes of Workplace Stress

  • Not Enough Time

No one has more than 24 hours in a day. A typical workday consists of eight hours, but many people spend much more time in the office. While it can seem that there’s never enough time to get everything done, there are ways to reclaim productivity. One way to do this is to swap non-productive activities with those that you can check off of your to-do list. For example, instead of reading a book or watching TV you can spend some quality time catching up with friends and family. 

  • Can’t Find Balance Between Work and Home

Finding a work/life balance is perhaps the biggest cause of stress, especially for busy parents. But it is possible to even the scales and make time for those who matter most. Look at your to-do list and learn to let go of a few chores you don’t enjoy. Outsource someone to mow the yard or clean the house and you can use that time to bond with your spouse or children. And if your pooch needs a little more attention, consider hiring a dog walking service. If you run a home office, finding balance can be even more difficult as work always seems to be looming in the background. Make a point to plan work hours for specific times and leave the office behind when it’s time for dinner, family movie nights or other activities.

  • Worry of Losing Your Job

It’s an unfortunate reality, but people are expendable when it comes to a title. But the fear of losing your position can actually make it more difficult to be effective in your job, meaning your production lags behind and your fears have a better chance of becoming a reality. Mitigate some of this unease by being confident in your abilities or, if you think the fears justified, starting a part-time job or what Inc. calls a “hobby” career.

  • Unwelcoming or Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is one that subjects you to repeated sexual, verbal or physical harassment. The only way to truly relieve this kind of stress is to find a new job. If you insist on staying, however, the hostile behaviours used against you should be brought to the attention of management and taken higher if not stopped. Some harassment may warrant legal action.

Ways to Reduce Stress

According to Johns Hopkins, stress is a normal part of life that can promote intellectual and emotional growth. But too much stress can put a damper on every aspect of your day. The respected teaching hospital suggests identifying triggers, staying connected to family and friends, exercising and reframing your thought process when it comes to stress.

By learning to identify and manage stressful situations at work, you can become a more effective leader and create a working environment that reduces anxiety for everyone. Quit wasting your most productive hours and learn to overcome stress before it overcomes you.

Also make sure to check out Quest Recruitment’s previous article on this topic which includes 6 ways that you can reduce and manage workplace stress.

Author Bio

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals, like her past self, get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

Check out her website here.