Workplace Stress

Discover workplace stress relief ideas

Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is an increasingly common problem in today's busy and demanding business world. Technologies like Smartphones and VPNs have blurred the lines between work life and home life, which can be a major cause of stress for workers, both in the office and at home. The increasing demand to be faster, better and more productive also causes employees to carry the burden of workplace stress.

Fortunately, stress in the workplace doesn't have to be a permanent issue. Identifying the factors that cause stress and taking steps to reduce them can help you get back on track in balancing a happy and healthy work and home life.

Causes of Stress in the Workplace

There are too many causes of workplace stress to list, but some of the most common triggers include the following:

  • Too much or too little work. Employees who don't feel challenged in their job or who feel they are overworked and feel pressured to complete their work at home will often come to feel stressed in their job.
  • Frequent interruptions. Interruptions like e-mails, phone calls and coworkers stopping by to chat can interrupt the workflow, which causes people feel stressed and pressured to make up the time.
  • Office politics. Cases of "he said, she said," situations of backstabbing and other workplace politics can cause extreme stress to employees.
  • Poor communication. Lack of feedback from managers and strategic direction from executives can cause employees to feel insecure in their jobs, which can lead to stress.
  • Job dissatisfaction. Many people who aren't happy in their careers begin to experience stress while on the job.

Workplace Stress Relief

Reducing stress in the workplace can often be as easy as identifying particular triggers and either eliminating or ignoring them:

  • Leave work at work. Try turning off your work PDA after 5:00 p.m. (unless you're on call) and don't allow yourself to work from home in the evening or fret over what didn't get accomplished that day. Instead, use your home time to clear your head and get plenty of rest so you can be productive the following day.
  • Talk to your manager. Airing your concerns with your manager can help cut down on the amount of stress you feel at work. Chances are, he or she is not even aware of your concerns and will likely be open to working on them.
  • Limit distractions. Set your e-mail to refresh only once every half hour to cut down on e-mail interruptions and be polite but firm with coworkers who drop in. If your company allows it, wear headphones and listen to music when you need to focus on a project—it's a sure hint for chatty coworkers to stay away.
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