Does the job that you once loved, make you sick? Do you feel like you're becoming lazy? There's a high likelihood that you're suffering from the effects of workplace stress.
This article will help you identify the tell-tale signs of job stress. Early detection can help you deal with the problem before it turns into chronic stress.
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For starters, what is workplace stress?
The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) defines workplace stress as the reaction to a situation in which an employee feels like they have no control over job demands.
CCOHS points out that occupational stress doesn't come from a single source, and can be a combination of different factors. It's crucial to note that both employers and employees can suffer from stressful work situations.
Stress associated with the workplace is more prevalent than we think, and the statistics are alarming. With pressure to perform and cope, most people may not know that they have a problem until it's too late.
According to an infographic by Safe Work Australia, workplace-related mental health compensations amount to about 92%. Of these statistics, 58% of the compensations come from women, while men come in second at 42%.
In a study by the American Institute of Stress, workplace environments are the leading cause of stress in American adults. The problem has progressively grown over the years. Most employees feel like their jobs place too many demands on them, yet give them little control.
Here's a breakdown of major causes of stress in the workplace
In another study, more people around the globe are reporting experiencing the adverse effects of burnout associated with their jobs. The research included a total of 23 countries, 19 of which have now officially recognised burnout as an occupational disease.
As a result of the research, the participating countries now have a plan in place to deal with workplace stress.
Common signs that your workplace is stressful
Loss of directionHave you started losing your clarity and ability to focus? This problem can occur when you work in a stressful environment.
Tasks that you once did with ease might start to appear foreign. Your goals may also start losing meaning because of an overpowering feeling that you have no sense of purpose.
Do you feel like you're not in the driver's seat anymore? If you're suddenly feeling overwhelmed and powerless over your job, then you could be more stressed than you realise.
Failure to keep commitments
A good example here is when you keep committing to deliver projects within certain deadlines. Instead of working hard to meet the deadlines you might keep procrastinating until time elapse. Please note that this isn't a case of limited time or lack of resources. You might have everything in place but still, fail to deliver, if you're stressed out.
Committing much more than you can handle
Overcommitting happens in cases where employees feel like they have no job security. The aim here could be to impress the bosses and avoid layoffs or make them more suitable candidates for a promotion.
However, the pressure to perform in these cases rarely end well. The employees often start feeling overwhelmed because they have to prove their capabilities. The result is enormous stress that negatively affects productivity.
Self- Doubt Self-doubt is yet another workplace stress indicator. This problem is common in cases where a boss constantly berates employees.
Never underestimate the power of feeling like you're not good enough. The problem may make you incapable of delivering on tasks that you'd otherwise perform with ease, in the right setting.
Preferring to keep to self A healthy work environment is one in which employees freely interact with each other in a friendly manner. If your workplace is full of unsavoury characters, you might feel the need to want to keep to yourself at all times.
Please, note that while staying away from a bad worker might work in the short-term, the issue can snowball into a bigger issue in the long-run. A toxic co-worker's constant annoying habits may give you chronic stress in the long run, which can greatly hinder your productivity.
Absenteeism Have you ever called in sick just because you dint feel like going to work? Avoiding your toxic workplace shows that it's contributing a lot to your stress.
Some level of stress is necessary and healthy. In small and manageable doses, challenges at work can motivate you to achieve goals or sharpen your concentration. However, when the stress starts getting out of hand, it can interfere with your productivity or even worse, your health.
Feeling powerless, losing control, not honouring your commitments, intentionally overworking or having an overwhelming sense of uncertainty, then there's a big problem. Start evaluating the cause of your workplace stress to see how to best deal with the issue.
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Acknowledgement: Eve Carrie Writer