When we think of workplace stress, images of high-pressure executive jobs or locations with fast-paced production processes come to mind. But the reality is that stress is a universal phenomenon, and it can strike just about anyone who works in an office, warehouse or any other kind of workplace.
Stress has been shown to negatively impact employee performance, and job satisfaction. As such, it’s prudent for employers to take measures to reduce stress in the workplace and increase employee wellness.
Read on to learn more about employee stress in the workplace, signs that you are experiencing it and strategies for reducing its impact on your employees.
While we tend to associate workplace stress with things like a heavy workload or poor communication with supervisors, job insecurity can also be a significant source of stress. This is especially true in industries such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and other sectors that feature regular economic fluctuations.
If your company has been hit by a shortage of work or a drop in the demand for your products, it may result in staff layoffs. Employees who don’t know if they will keep their jobs are likely to be stressed out.
A large workload can be extremely stressful. Even if you enjoy your job, you will likely find yourself overloaded at some point. This can happen during busy seasons, when customers place larger orders.
Although some amount of busyness is inevitable in most workplaces, excessive busyness can be a sign of poor management. You can avoid the negative impact of workloads on workplace stress by communicating with your manager or supervisor. If the situation is temporary, you can ask for help lightening your load.
If the situation is long-term, your superior may be able to shift some of your duties to other employees in order to lighten your load. If you work within a unionized workplace, you can also communicate with your union rep or the workplace committee.
Few Opportunities For Growth
If you are feeling frustrated because you are not being challenged in your job and don’t have opportunities for advancement, you are more likely to be experiencing workplace stress. This can be due to the nature of your job, the culture of your workplace or other factors.
For example, if you work in an office with a reputation for low morale, you may not have many opportunities to progress in your career. On the other hand, if you work in a manufacturing facility with a reputation for promoting from within, you may be able to advance faster by pursuing training and certifications.
Lack Of Social Support
There are times when you just need to vent or have a sympathetic ear to talk to. This can be especially important for people who deal with stress caused by discrimination, harassment or other social issues.
In many workplaces, especially larger ones, there are relatively few opportunities to forge close friendships. Lack of social support can be a significant source of stress.
Most offices have spaces for employees to gather and chat, but many of these are not well utilized. If you notice that there is a lack of social support in your workplace, you can take some initiative to change this.
While office ergonomics are important, some degree of physical discomfort is usually unavoidable in an office setting, especially in more physically demanding occupations such as manufacturing or construction.
As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable workplace. If you are aware that your employees are experiencing physical discomfort, you should take measures to fix the problem.
There are many things that you can do to reduce physical discomfort at work, such as installing proper ventilation, using ergonomic furniture, providing water and snacks, and encouraging breaks and movement.
High levels of disorganization at a work can negatively impact employee productivity and performance. Employees who are frustrated by disorganization at work may be less motivated and productive as a result.
Others may experience frustration, stress and anxiety from having to spend time and energy cleaning up after messy co-workers. If you think your workplace may be suffering from disorganisation, consider holding a clean up day where employees can organise their desks and co-workers can help each other out.
Establishing a consistent system for storing and retrieving items will go a long way toward reducing disorganization and improving productivity.
Lack Of Support
Research shows that employee stress and job satisfaction are inextricably linked. People who report feeling overworked and unsupported by their colleagues or management may be more likely to feel stressed out. If you feel unsupported at work, try taking the following steps to improve the situation:
Poor Relationships At Work
A poor relationship with your coworkers can be a sign of increased stress in the workplace. If you feel like you have no connection with your colleagues, you may be less likely to receive support when you need it most.
You may also be less likely to offer support to others, even if you have the capacity to do so. Create an open, positive environment. Be friendly and get to know your colleagues.
Ask for help when you need it, and offer it when you can. This will create a strong sense of community and greatly reduce the stress that comes from being alone at work.
Strategies To Reduce Workplace Stress
There are lots of ways to reduce workplace stress. Some of these include, scheduling downtime, taking regular breaks, being mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and communicating with your colleagues.
When you find yourself feeling stressed at work, take a step back and breathe. This can help you regain control of your emotions and thoughts and put you in a better position to make sound decisions.
There are also a few other ways that you can reduce stress at work. You can improve your office environment by getting a new chair, changing your desk location or adding plants to your space.
You could also try going for a walk outside or investing in a relaxation app. You can also try to reduce your work load by delegating tasks to your employees that they are capable of doing. You can also communicate with your boss about any projects that may be weighing you down.
Managers, Talk To Your People
When dealing with workplace stress, one of the best things managers can do is simply talk to their people. This can involve simply asking employees how they are doing on a regular basis.
It can also include actively listening when employees express frustrations. If you are a manager, it is important to understand that you are not expected to be an expert in every field.However, it is your job to know who is responsible for each part of the business and how to get in touch with them.
When you feel like something is wrong, talk to your superiors. If you feel like something is wrong but don’t know who to talk to, talk to your employees.
Create A Safe Environment
This may seem like common sense, but there are many ways that a business can be unsafe. Workplaces can be unsafe because of poor communication, high-pressure sales tactics and toxic cultures. If you find that your workplace is not safe, there are several steps you can take to improve this.
First, you can communicate with your superiors and ask them to take steps to improve the culture. Next, you can take steps within your own department. You can do this by modelling respectful communication, fostering an environment where open dialogue is acceptable and discouraging toxic behaviours.
Recognize Employees When They Do Well
When employees are doing well, they are more likely to stay motivated and less likely to experience workplace stress. However, many companies fail to recognize their employees achievements.
This can lead to employees feeling undervalued and burnt out. You can take steps to avoid this by setting up regular recognition programs. You can also recognize employees when they do something exceptional.
When an employee does something exceptional, you have a few options. You can give them a public shout-out, a monetary reward or You can give them extra days off.
Workplace stress is a serious issue that affects almost everyone in some way. It’s important for employers to be aware of the different signs that show an employee is in stressful situation.
These signs include feeling overwhelmed, experiencing high levels of anxiety, experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed, and having a sense of feeling trapped. While it is important to recognize and understand workplace stress, it is also important to know what can be done to reduce it.
Reducing work place stress can be done by creating healthy workspace, having open communication between employees and managers, and providing opportunities for growth and development within the company.