The deadly factors of stress in the workplace

Contrary to popular belief, stress in the workplace is not only suffered by people who do not like their jobs, even if you love your job and skip to work every morning, the demands and pressures of even the best job can take a toll on your health.

The first question on most people’s lips when talking about work related stress is what exactly is the cause of it? Recent statistics gathered by HSE (The Health and Safety Executive) show that the main work factors cited by employees as causing work related stress, depression or anxiety (LFS, 2009/10-2011/12) were workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.

Stress should not always be seen in a negative light, in the right amounts and situations the pressure associated with stress can assist in getting things done. However as with most things in the workplace, finding the correct balance can be the most difficult task.

One way to help combat stress in the workplace is to try and identify what exactly is in your power to change in the workplace, what is within your circle of control? Making a list of what stresses you at work and where it comes from is a good starting point. You can then look into what you can do to change or influence these issues and eliminate as much as possible from the beginning.

Once this has been done you can start logging where you spend your time and how that adds stress to your life. Is there a way to share these stressful duties? Can you delegate some of this work to others? If the stress stems from people issues, then it might be advisable for you to invest in outside help such as a career management coach or alternatively communicate to your managers any issues you having with other individuals and request mediation.

Another huge part of managing stress within the workplace is finding ways to relieve the stress and get away from it all temporarily. Whether it’s booking in for monthly massages, or making time to do something you really enjoy where you can be completely cut off from everything. Another common recommendation is exercise as this can often reduce stress levels. These things won’t remove stress completely of course, but finding a way to deal with the physical and mental stress you face in the workplace can go a long way to finding that all important balance.

It isn’t healthy to let stress make you feel trapped and helpless, Doing things to reduce stress and taking a proactive approach to making things better can have a considerable affect on your lifestyle. Stress won’t just get better on its own.

For more information on Stress at Work, visit our dedicated page.

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