Overcome the Top 10 Causes of Workplace Stress

It is almost inevitable that at some point in our life we will experience stress at the workplace. The average person will spend upwards of 5 years working full time and 2 decades of their lives in a profession. This means our job can play a major factor in our happiness. If you are an individual who experiences stress when they go to work, there are many things you can do to fight this feeling and prevent it from coming back.

               A large percentage of Americans indicate that their workplace is the number one cause of daily stress. While not all workplaces bring about feelings of anxiety and unease, most people admit that the factors contributing to this stress cannot be helped by traditional methods such as vacation or breaks from work. Many of the most common workplace stressors are an inevitable part of the job.

                To this end, it is best to know some of the main reasons for workplace stress and learn how to overcome them. There are many ways that you can reduce your feelings of stress at work by taking proactive measures rather than just letting your current situation get the better of you. By making concerted efforts to remedy stressful situations at work, employees will be able to get past their issues at work without sacrificing their health or well-being.

                The following list of tips can help you in overcoming workplace stressors and improve your overall workday experience. These suggestions cover all the major causes of workplace stress so that everyone in any profession can benefit from them. Implementing these ideas will also help you to create a better balance between the time at your job, home life, health, and other aspects crucial to feeling good about yourself. Your goal should be finding this equilibrium where none of these factors overshadows one another or consumes too much of your time which could be spent elsewhere.

1) Relationships with Other Employees

                If your workplace is causing you significant amounts of stress because of conflicts with other employees it might be time to examine how you can improve your relationships with them. The easiest way to do this is to proactively reach out and connect with other people in the company for the sake of teamwork (and not trying to talk about anything personal). Exchanging greetings, discussing work topics, or simply acknowledging one another in the hallway are all easy ways of improving your interpersonal skills which will spill over into your working life.

                If there are people at work who you cannot stand, try not to let them get under your skin so much that it affects everything else you do during the day. For some, this might mean choosing a different route through the parking lot so as not to have regular contact with a certain person while others might choose to go out of their way to say hello and good morning when in close proximity. There is no one specific solution that will work for everyone, but with enough experimentation, you can find a way that works for your personality and the personalities of the people you need to interact with regularly.

2) Unacceptable Workloads/Time Constraints

                If your workload is too high or time constraints are too short, it might be best to talk about this situation with your supervisor. It is possible that they did not realize what was going on and will agree to let you take on less responsibility so as to avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety. However, if talking about the problem fails and your boss does not seem willing or able to help reduce your workload then it is time to look for other solutions. If the nature of your work allows you to do so, begin delegating some tasks to other employees in exchange for their help with things you are being asked to complete. This will help alleviate some of your workloads while at the same time earning you a better standing with the people who take on part of your responsibility.

3) Too Much Micromanagement

                Micromanagement can be annoying for many people, but some are able to handle it far better than others. No matter how skilled or talented you are though, micromanagement can still cause feelings of frustration and resentment which eat away at your motivation to do good work. If you find yourself having difficulty dealing with too much micromanagement then there are steps that you can take to improve the situation even if drastic changes cannot be made by your boss or company immediately.

4) Feeling Unappreciated

                When people spend all day working hard only to receive harsh criticism from those above them, they will quickly lose interest in putting forth all of the effort required by their job description. However, if you lack a basic understanding of what your boss expects from you and why it becomes difficult to know when you are doing a good job or when things need improvement. Make an effort to sit down with your manager at least once every few months and ask them about their vision for the company/department/team along with their expectations regarding individual employee performance. Discuss not only how to meet these goals but also what should be done in the event that these objectives are not being met or if additional resources are required in order to accomplish them efficiently.

5) Poor Management

                One person alone cannot cause all of the issues which lead to stress on a daily basis so bad management is often something that goes overlooked as a potential issue by employees. However, if your boss is unable or unwilling to do their job then you should not expect things to improve. The best way to identify a bad manager is by looking for one who humiliates employees instead of coaching them, does not give credit where it is due and rather than taking responsibility for mistakes made under their watch tends to blame others, refuses to communicate goals or changes course frequently without warning. If you find yourself dealing with a bad manager then try talking with them about the situation in a polite manner while also offering specific examples of what they could do better. If this still fails to produce results then it might be time once again to look for another job that better suits your needs and work ethic.

6) Company/Department Politics

  Politics exist in every company/department and can include everything from cliques to gossip. If you find yourself on the outside looking in regarding important information, unable to get along with coworkers or unable to advance due to a lack of mentors, then it might be time to move on at least until things change.

7) Unpleasant Coworkers

                Negative people who constantly complain about their job and even spread lies can have a major impact on workplace stress levels for everyone within earshot so it is best not to ignore this issue. If you cannot resolve the problem amongst yourselves then set up an anonymous poll asking your coworkers if they prefer that you listen quietly or come directly to them with any complaints as opposed to discussing it with everyone. If the issue continues to exist then talk to your boss about it once again without revealing any names.

8) Unrealistic Deadlines/Pressure

                One of the main causes of workplace stress is having too much work and not enough time in which to do it. When deadlines are unreasonable they can cause both employees and their managers a significant amount of unnecessary stress. Although it is common for new projects or initiatives to start off slowly, if this becomes an ongoing problem then you should discuss your concerns with your manager in a professional manner while also pointing out that meeting deadlines will only be possible if more resources (people, money, equipment, etc.) become available.

9) No Growth Opportunities/No Training

                People tend to either enjoy or dislike their jobs for one of two major reasons, the actual work they are doing is interesting and challenging or they do not feel as though they are growing. When employees feel as though there is no room to advance within their company then it can quickly lead to a lack of fulfilment along with a lot of stress. If your company refuses to provide training despite being asked for it by numerous employees then you should consider looking elsewhere for employment instead of wasting your time at a place that does not see you as an investment.

10) Inadequate Resources/Equipment

                Many people spend up to half of their day dealing with issues such as slow computers, printers that don’t print, software that crashes or broken fax machines. Although much of this might be considered to be part of the job, if you are constantly dealing with problems instead of getting work done then it is time to start looking for other employment.

It is almost inevitable that at some point in our life we will experience stress at the workplace. The average person will spend upwards of 5 years working full time and 2 decades of their lives in a profession. This means our job can play a major factor in our happiness. If you are an…