Stress may be a normal part of working life, but too much can lead to employees burning out, disengaging and becoming less productive – as well as affecting wellness and job satisfaction. According to the American Institute of Stress, constant stress can also contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. So, what are the most important sources of stress that businesses need to deal with to help staff lead healthier, more productive lives?
The Most Common Sources of Stress in the Workplace
According to research by CareerCast.com, the top 4 sources of workplace stress were:
Unpredictability – A lack of workplace routine, lack of schedule or routine tasks and deliverables each month. Inconsistency in daily routines where the workflow is constantly changing makes for a stressful workday where you can never seem to get ahead or settle in.
Workplace environment – This refers to workplace relationships between an employee and co-workers, clients, customers, superiors and leadership. Workplace conflicts, constant pressure to perform delivered in every conversation, incomplete information and poor interpersonal/communication skills all lead to increased stress.
Deadlines – Constant, overwhelming or short/demanding deadlines are an immediate trigger for stress.
Safety of others – This is significant in roles where people are responsible for the physical or mental safety of others, for example, as doctors and healthcare professionals or firefighters and police officers.
As you can see, stress factors can be linked to the role or industry, but there are many common triggers for stress that any workplace can try to minimize as far as possible. Combatting stress by improving communication, encouraging a more open and supportive workplace culture and even by redesigning your workplace to be more peaceful, healthy and welcoming can all help employees fight stress effectively and optimize their productivity.
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