Stress is basically a buildup of emotional or mental conflict within an individual. When that conflict is unresolved, it turns our emotional state into one of frustration or exhaustion.
Our bodies are naturally designed to deal with stress, which generates a few symptoms. The responses vary, but can produce an undesirable effect upon the body which can cause diseases. Most notably it can lead to coronary heart diseases.
In fact, most cases of CHD do occur because of elevated stress levels, especially at the workplace.
While stress can be caused from numerous scenarios, we’re going to reveal the most commons causes of workplace stress.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Workplace Stresses & How To Avoid Them
#5. Role in the organization
Ambiguity is enough to hamper the motivation level of any employee, regardless of his skill or potential. Psychologists agree that ambiguity in a job role can often have damaging results because the employee will often have no idea of what to do on a particular task.
The level of expectation from that employee would still be present, even though the employee would probably have not understood his own responsibility or even the task that he has to accomplish. All of this leads to indecisiveness, fatigue and frustration, which all builds up the stress within an individual.
This is what most workers have to say about stress on the job.
#4. Career Development
For many people, the importance of their work or their importance to the organization is crucial. Self-esteem has a big role to play in the buildup of our morale and as mental health goes, a good morale helps in warding off stress.
In the economically recessed reality of today’s world, morale is not easy to come by. And this is for people who do manage to find a company to fit in. For many of them, the cause of stress is that they do not feel valued by the company. Again, this can be due to lack of appreciation for their efforts or simply keeping them in a static position. In both cases, the scenario breeds a sense of inferiority which can lead to elevated levels of frustration or anger.
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#3. Organizational Structure
Sometimes your role is clear and the job offers plenty of room for growth and improvement, but the place you are working at can offer itself to be a drawback. This can be in the form of poor working facilities, lax standards of health or safety, improper working timings etc. This can also be in the form of the way the management approaches its employees, that is involving them in the decision making, consulting them for important changes and listening to their concerns regarding the organization.
Employees have a stake in most of these issues and not placing faith in them can lead to levels of dissatisfaction within the organization. In most cases, if the individual feels that their concerns regarding a prevalent issue are not being addressed, then their frustration and anxiety levels increase.
#2. Work-Life Balance
In our recessed economy, finding the job fit that lets you give equal priority to work and family is a tough ask. Putting it simply, a person needs a fulfilling work life to ward off laziness and lethargy, but a person also equally needs their family life to relax and fend off fatigue (mental and physical).
In most countries, the working timings are becoming more irregular which is leading to a lot of people staying late at the office. Naturally, this is disrupting their family life and is upsetting their balance. Increased levels of fatigue, dizziness, and depression have become common and all of these symptoms point towards an increasingly over stressed workforce.
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#1. Interpersonal Relations
This is, without the shadow of a doubt, the leading cause of stress in the workplace today. An employee’s well being primarily rests upon how he interacts with others in the organization. Humans are social animals so the need to interact will always be there. In the working hours, it can be particularly important as it can set the tone for how the employee works, leaves or grows within the organization.
An encouraging manager, alongside friendly and helpful colleagues, sets the base for a healthy interaction which eases and motivates an individual. Conversely, an impolite boss and aggressive colleagues can instantly demotivate an individual. Paranoia, insecurity and fear are all natural to develop in such an environment which can all give room for growth of serious mental health issues.
In each case the body can exhibit a series of physical, cognitive or behavioral signs which can point to a person suffering from stress. In terms of its physical responses, the body has a few actions such as:
- Increased cholesterol and fatty acids in blood for energy production systems
- Localized inflammation
- Faster blood clotting
- Increased production of blood sugar for energy
- Increased stomach acids leading to even bladder diseases
The cognitive and behavioral indicators can range from forgetfulness, distraction and decreased attention to loss of appetite, increased dependence upon alcohol and isolation from other people.
The most damaging result is often the isolation that stress causes which further hampers the effect any treatment can have. Many experts insist upon the need of communication between managers and employees so that they can improve their own interpersonal relations. Many larger organizations now also employ the use of HR tactics such as energizers, and seminars to introduce practices and activities which can help reduce stress within their workforce.
The most indicative practice is interaction between employees. Doctors and psychiatrists both speak about the benefits of having a workforce that has “bonded” together. Such a workforce not only performs more efficiently via teamwork, but also is more relaxed and open around each other which helps relieve stress amongst individuals.
As it is, the workplace can be the biggest contributor to stress in many countries. While changing the root condition behind the recessions is still a must, there are ways in which we can combat stress as an ailment and help ourselves and others around our office live in a more fulfilling and healthy manner.
Be sure to check out the 11 tips to eliminate work stress for good!