Stress may come with the job, but when a quarter of the nation’s workers describe feeling the need to scream or shout because of stress, as stated by the American Institute of Stress, that’s not okay. According to a recent survey of 2,843 professionals by LinkedIn, half of workers today report feeling stressed in their jobs. Which half are you?
Sources of on-the-job pressure and anxiety
For starters, every job—teacher, health care worker, sales person, etc.—has a distinct set of stress factors. Plus, the source of stress is unique for each person. For example, certain police officers say that completing paperwork is actually more stressful than high-speed car chases.
Some overall common drivers of workplace stress include work-life balance, workload, colleagues and work politics, access to tools and training, job security and sense of purpose and direction.
Stress is a lose-lose situation
Stress has negative effects for both the employee and the employer.
The strain of ongoing stress can actually lead employees to develop diabetes or high-blood pressure or experience headaches, back aches or even heart attacks.
Employers suffer the effects of stress in the workplace as well including poor performance, reduced productivity, low morale, employee turnover, personal and team conflict, damage to customer relations, absenteeism and accidents.
Finding the calm at work
Being aware that stress is an issue is the first step toward a more relaxed and productive work experience.
To manage workplace stress, the American Psychological Association recommends the following:
• Accept the fact that you can’t control everything
• Exercise daily or as often as possible
• Take slow, deep breaths throughout the day
• Take short breaks throughout the day to help restore clarity and focus.
Many employers, such as Pathway to Living, offer Employee Assistance Programs, known as EAPs, that are a resource for private emotional and psychological support and many even provide discounts for fun activities to take advantage of outside of work to help decrease stress and recharge your batteries.
Pathway to Living’s Human Resources Director, Lisa Rogers, also suggests keeping the lines of communication open. “Talk to your supervisor or human resources representative about the stress you are experiencing to find a solution. There will always be deadlines and challenges, but that doesn’t mean they need to threaten your health and well-being,” Rogers said.