How to Successfully Deal with 7 Most Common Workplace Stressors


According to an annual survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, sixty percent of the people in the United States consider their jobs as a source of stress. Job stress ranked higher than family responsibilities, personal health, and economic concerns. Other studies have found that employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. The same survey also found that forty percent of employeesOpens in a new tab. report their work to be very stressful. Most employees also believe that they have more job stress than the previous generation.

So, you are wondering how to successfully deal with the 7 most common stressors in the workplace? Coping in any job position always requires the optimal amount of control, with the contribution of quality communication and constant self-care. Good coping automatically builds a sense of satisfaction and security in the workplace. Define expectations in the workplace and think about all the ways you can improve your work, socialize and spend more time with people you like. What is even more important is that you should always maintain a positive outlook and take care of your physical and mental health. If the situation doesn’t improve, plan an exit.

It’s quite clear that work-related stress is seriously affecting workers everywhere. But why? It’s all about social change. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nature of work is changing rapidly. 

Employers expect their employees to work longer for less pay. This has resulted in fear, uncertainty, and stress. Stress is caused by physical, emotional, social, and economic factors. Workplace stress can be defined as harmful responses that occur when the requirements of the job don’t go hand in hand with the resources, capabilities, and needs of an employee.

Job stress shouldn’t be confused with challenging work. Challenging work motivates an employee to learn and develop essential skills. Challenge is an essential ingredient of productive work. Minimal stress is okay. 

However, if it occurs in large amounts, it can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Your ability to deal with job stress will determine your success or failure in your role. As more research studies are conducted, employers and employees will have a clear understanding of job stress and how it can be prevented.

Causes of job stress
 

According to assignment writing servicesOpens in a new tab., job stress can be caused by a lot of things or come from a single aspect of the responsibilities of a worker. And it negatively affects the productivity and performance of employees. At the moment, the economy is on the upswing. However, job security has always been uncertain over the years. 

All industries have to deal with layoffs, downsizing, bankruptcies, and mergers. And these result in big changes for employees. Even if job loss doesn’t occur, employees might face high production demands, increased responsibility, pay cuts, and fewer benefits to name a few. This creates a stressful environment around the office. According to APA and CDC, some of the causes of job stress include:

• Low morale: When morale is low, most employees feel drained and powerless. This leads to complacency and productivity declines. Some of the most stressful jobs include police officer, waiter, editor, and middle manager. All these jobs are marked by the nature of responsibilities. These professionals must respond to the timelines and demands of other interested parties with little or no control over events. These careers have also been linked to unfair labor practices, little authority, and vague job descriptions.

• Style of management: Another factor that causes stress in the workplace is management style. When managers communicate poorly with their employees or employees aren’t included in making decisions, they will not feel supported. Also, the lack of family-friendly policies can increase stress levels and affect work-life balance.

• Job responsibilities: How managers assign tasks and have them executed is one of the major contributors to stress in the workplace. As thesis writing serviceOpens in a new tab. reports, infrequent breaks, heavy workload, long shifts and hours, ignoring employee strengths and unnecessary routines can create stress in the workplace. When job expectations are conflicting and uncertain, employees will feel like they have too much responsibility.

• Career concerns: Another major factor that causes stress in the workplace is job insecurity and lack of opportunities to advance. Rapid changes with no learning curve can lead to serious problems in the long run.

• Traumatic events: While it’s not always the case, some jobs are more dangerous than others. First responders, criminal justice professionals, military personnel, and firefighters can experience stressful situations due to personal risk. This can make ordinary responsibilities extremely difficult.

• Work environment: Stress in the workplace is usually caused by emotional factors. However, a poor working environment can lead to physical stress. Whether it’s a lack of privacy, inadequate facilities, or poor temperature control, the work environment can increase workplace stress.

Symptoms of work stress

While it’s easy to point out the causes of stress in the workplace, narrowing down the effects is not as easy as it sounds. Understanding stress and how it negatively affects both the physical and mental health of employees is critical. 

As CDC reports, stress prepares the body to fight against the stressor in the environment. It puts the nervous system on alert and releases hormones that increase pulse, sharpen senses, tenses muscles, and deepens inspiration. This is usually referred to as the flight or fight response. It is an in-built mechanism, meaning humans have little control over it. 

When stressful situations are unresolved, this response is constantly awakened. And it leads to wear and tear of multiple systems in the body. Eventually, fatigue and burnout occur and the immune system becomes weak. This increases the risk of injury and disease.

In recent years, researchers have been studying the link between job stress and physical illness. Some of the common examples include stomach upset, sleep disturbances, headaches, and poor relationships with loved ones. Other work stress symptoms include:

• High blood pressure

• Insomnia

• Procrastination

• Poor job performance

• Depression

• Irritability

• Short attention span

• Increased use of drugs and alcohol

• Headaches

These signs can be recognized easily. However, the effects of stress on chronic diseases are usually not obvious because these ailments are caused by a wide range of factors and develop over time. Data shows that stress plays an essential role in most health problems. Health care costs are higher by fifty percent for workers who experience high levels of stress.

Some of the common long-term negative effects of stress include psychological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, workplace injuries, suicide, and weakened immune system.

Managing workplace stressors

We spend most of our adult life at work. You shouldn’t be surprised by its effects on physical and mental health. To mitigate its effects, here are a few great tips that will help you handle the common workplace stressors.

1. Workload

According to custom essay papersOpens in a new tab., heavy workload and long hours can lead to tired and stressed out employees. If you have a heavy workload, you’ll need to create a schedule and prioritize. Look at all your tasks and projects together with their deadlines. Figure out what you need to stop doing or do more effectively. 

Communicate with your manager about conflicting deadlines, overload, and responsibilities. Tell them how you plan to handle tasks and projects. And ask for help when you are stuck or having prioritization issues.

2. Unrealistic events

Unrealistic demands can lead to anger and frustration. If you are stuck with demands that you cannot meet, take a break and figure out how to make the demand realistic and possible. Perhaps you’ll need to prioritize your existing projects. Or you need more time to work on the project. 

Communicate the issues that you are currently facing with management plus several suggestions of how you intend to meet your goals. If you can’t change the demands, do your best. Don’t be too hard on yourself for failing to meet unrealistic demands. If you’ll need to justify yourself, focus on facts, not emotions.

3. Organizational change

Organizational change cannot be avoided. However, moving people frequently and changing the management structure and job descriptions can lead to an uncertain and stressful environment. The need for certainty is a fundamental need that rewards the brain. If an organizational change has affected you, you need to take time to understand the change as much as you can. 

Focus on what the change means at your level within the organization. If the line of management has changed, spend some time with the new manager. And figure out how to share your situation and skills with your boss. Ask him or her about their expectations and style of management. Also, keep your mind open. Always remember that there is something positive about change. Look for new opportunities instead of focusing on the weaknesses and threats in your environment.

4. Job ambiguity

Uncertainty can be created by a lack of direction in your career.  Having a career plan will make all the difference in your career and life. Take your time to think about what you want to achieve. Create a career vision and define it. 

Figure out the skills you need to develop and create a learning plan. Focus on building a professional network and maintaining it. Uncertainty can be caused by poorly defined roles. If you feel like your job role is not defined clearly, reach out to management and ask for clarification. Be prepared with proactive recommendations.

5. Lack of recognition

Employees who don’t feel valued and appreciated can become unmotivated. If you are starting to feel like your work is not valued and appreciated, start by looking at the quality of your work. Is there anything you can do to improve the quality of work? Also, consider how others think of the quality of your work. 

You may need to improve your communication skills or how you highlight your work. If the issue is not visibility or quality of work, it could be the management style. Does the management focus on positive or negative? It’s always important to share the best practice outcomes with your peers. Remember to congratulate yourself when you achieve your goals.

6. Poor relationships in the workplace

Poor relationships at work can make the environment uncomfortable. Poor relationships can be caused by a wide range of issues. Having to work with someone who we actively dislike can affect you in many ways. Instead of fighting the other person, finding common ground can help in creating a connection. 

Take time to know the other person and focus on the things that you share. If you are having difficulty getting along with one colleague, take your time, and consider how others perceive you. Are you genuinely interested in others? Do you think negatively most of the time? If you are too emotional, how can you manage your emotions better?

7. Harassment

The negative effects of bullying and sexual harassment has been documented widely for years. Sexual harassment and bullying are seriously affecting employees in the workplace. If you are being harassed or bullied, you need to take measures to protect yourself. If you can’t communicate with the appropriate person, communicate with your loved ones for help and moral support.

Conclusion

Dealing with the common workplace stressors has been made easy with these tips. Always maintain a positive outlook. Take care of your physical and mental health. If the situation doesn’t improve, plan your exit.

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