The causes of workplace stress are varied, but even if your job is miserable now, you can do quite a lot to improve your work environment.
Workplace stress is on the rise and costing employers a lot of money. But, equally important, workplace stress affects employees, every day of the week, and every hour of the work day!
Prolonged chronic stress causes burnout and it will eventually hurt your health and well-being. Serious stress related illnesses can develop over time.
Top 10 Causes of Workplace Stress
Here are the Top 10 reasons that employees are feel overworked and stressed at work:
1. Time Pressure
Have you ever heard that “time is money”? The concept of time always seems to put pressure on us. The need to achieve and do more in a day puts pressure on us.
From early childhood, we’ve watched our parents commit to time constraints as they head out to work exactly at 7:10 am or say to us “hurry up, we’re running out of time”.
As an occupational therapist, I learned that we all need a balance in our lives of work, rest, play, and sleep. Most of us are neglecting at least one of these important areas!
Our work, career, family responsibilities, household duties and studies naturally consume more of our time than our social life, hobbies, relaxation or down time.
You can get your life into better balance by using better time management. You’ll find that you have more time for the people and things that you love.
One of the causes of workplace stress can be the pressure of a deadline.
You have only so much time to complete your tasks and present the final copy to your boss. Tension and stress build as the deadline nears.
Some people prefer to work with deadlines because it motivates them. It all depends on how you perceive deadlines, how much time you have to get the job done, and how large a work load you carry.
If you seem to have trouble meeting deadlines, this can help.
Too much or too little of a workload can increase your stress levels.
We feel motivated when we feel competent with an optimal level of challenge, to satisfy our needs.
Being over challenged in the workplace puts pressure on us and produces frustration and stress. But being under challenged makes us feel unworthy, unneeded and, begin to not care about our work.
We loose motivation and suffer from stress when we feel as though we have no control over our actions.
We desire choice and decision-making options in our workplace. When we perceive as though we have a choice about decisions we feel good.
When this freedom is taken away from us by a controlling boss or upper management then we start to become frustrated and ‘stressed out’ in the workplace.
If this is a problem for you, perhaps you need to work on having more confidence when dealing with your boss.
How do you delegate responsibilities and workload in your workplace? Stress levels increase if your workload is too much and there is no one to help.
Also, you must be willing to ask for help if you have too many jobs to complete. You have the responsibility to balance out your responsibilities!
You can feel overwhelmed when you do not take time to relax and unwind.
Workplace stress is often caused by poor communication and office politics.
Management must have clear policies that employees understand.
But, lack of communication between employees can also cause strife when completing jobs and working toward deadlines.
In addition, employees and employers who know how to “read body language” or have an understanding of office politics have an advantage over those who don’t.
Learn the art of non verbal communication and how to decode your co-workers, employees and even Your boss’s body language.
7. Job Insecurity
In recent years, quite a few companies have cut back on their work force. That left a lot of people wondering if they would still have a job in the months to come.
If you are uncertain about whether your job is secure, it causes a lot of stress both in the workplace and at home.
Job ambiguity brings a feeling of being out of control, unworthiness and helplessness. Worries and anxiety can build if you are also pressured by upholding financial responsibilities.
If worrying about losing your job is interfering with your job performance and your family life at home, this program can help you regain control.
8. Being Too Ambitious
Being ambitious is usually a good thing. But too much ambition and not enough time for relaxation can cause detrimental effects on your health and body. Don’t set your ambitions too high.
Take small, repetitious steps towards your goals. Be more specific about your goals and set easy to reach targets that will eventually lead to your success.
If you are a workaholic, you can burn yourself out – you may never get there!
Feedback is a positive type of extrinsic motivation. It gives us guidelines and positive incentives to perform goal-directed behaviors.
Feedback, as positive criticism, motivates us to correct our actions in order to improve in our work environment.
Lack of feedback and direction is one of the causes of workplace stress and can make us feel lost and confused and increase our levels of stress at work.
Some people require more direct feedback than others to keep them motivated. Some people particularly seek out feedback to find out their levels of progress.
10. Employee Conflict
It’s very unusual to get along with every single person in your workplace. Let’s face it. You don’t choose the people that you work with!
A clash of personalities at work is definitely one of the causes of workplace stress.
Bad attitudes, mistrust, unfairness, bullying and harassment are definite stressors that should be dealt with. Build trust with your employer and fellow employees.
As you’ve seen, there are many causes of workplace stress. But you can control quite of few of these situations by changing your own attitude, self-talk and interactions with your co-workers.