|Stress is “silent” but the consequences at the business and individual level are stronger than you think.|
Understanding Workplace Stress
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. Based on an annual survey from the American Psychological Association (APA), 60 percent of people in the United States consider their job a major source of stress. In fact, job stress ranked higher than the economy, family responsibilities and even personal health concerns. Other studies report similar findings: A quarter of surveyed employees view their job as the No. 1 stressor in their lives. Job stress should not be confused with challenge, which motivates the employee to learn and master new skills. Challenge is an important aspect of productive work. Some stress is OK. But when it occurs rapidly and in large amounts, mental and physical health can be negatively affected.
What causes workplace stress?
There is no one cause of stress in the workplace. Every worker is an individual with their professional and personal lives bringing different factors that may influence their reactions to conditions in the workplace.
There are factors within workplaces that have been shown to influence feelings of stress in the workplace.
- Workload/Adequate time to complete a task
- Lack of appreciation/little recognition for good job performance
- Shift/hours of work
- Skills / abilities do not match job demands
- Role conflict (conflicting job demands, too many roles)
- Uncertain job expectations/role ambiguity
- Lack of systems in workplace available to respond to concerns
- Not engaging employees when undergoing organizational change
Stress can have an impact on your overall health.
- Anguish and irritability
- Inability to concentrate.
- Difficult to focus.
- A complication to make decisions.
- Feel withdrawn or isolated from others
- Constant tiredness, depression, and restlessness.
- Heart disease.
- Digestive disorders.
- Increased blood pressure.
We provided our employees with STRESS HARD HATS to have at their desk for those hair pulling moments.
Why is workplace stress awareness important?
Some employers and employees assume that high levels of workplace stress are normal, or that pressure to perform is the only way to stay productive and profitable. However, research tends to challenge these assumptions. The CDC points to studies that show “stressful working conditions are actually associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, and intentions by workers to quit their jobs.