Having a job is great. It makes it possible for you to make new friends, enhances your lifestyle, boosts your self-esteem, and provides you with a sense of purpose and identity. It allows you to feel content and satisfied with your life.
However, a lot of people experience such high levels of stress at work that it surpasses any potential advantages and even endangers their health.
And hence, the stage is set for tension and anxiety which is tough to cope with stress.
Workplace stress is the harmful physical and emotional response that occurs when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers experience work-related stress at their jobs and this compromises their performance and health. According to a recent survey by Northwestern National Life, 40% of employees said their jobs were extremely stressful. Another survey conducted by Yale University found that 29% of workers felt extremely stressed out because of their jobs.
We start taking our work so seriously that we end up forgetting that jobs are meant to make our lives better and not stressful.
If you think your job is stressing you out a little too much, mentioned below are some of the major signs of workplace stress and the best tips to cope up with it.
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What are the signs of stress at work?
1. Long hours of working
Have you suddenly started staying late for work or started coming earlier to complete your tasks? This is a sign that you’re stressed and can’t keep up with your workload. Although many employees choose to stay out late or arrive early on a regular basis, but if you’re doing that to manage your work, it is a matter of concern and you must not take it lightly.
2. Tired and irritable
It is common to feel tired after work, but if you consistently feel irritable and exhausted, it may be an indication of stress. It may contribute to an increase in twitchiness and anxiousness as well. Continual fidgeting, exaggerated responses to normal workplace comments, or employees withdrawing within themselves could also be signs of this.
3. Visibly nervous
When people are stressed, they don’t want any attention on them. They like to avoid being in the spotlight or any sort of social activities. Although some employees are naturally more introverted than others, it may be cause for concern if an employee who is often outgoing and chatty starts to isolate themselves.
4. Not taking leaves
Reluctance to use paid time off may indicate that an employee is stressed about being behind on their work. In contrast, persons who start arriving late frequently or taking more time off than normal may avoid their jobs to avoid the stressful feelings they experience there.
5. Not taking breaks
People who start coming early, stay till late, and start utilizing their breaks to catch up on work may be stressed about their workload.
6. Decline in work performance
Anyone who is under stress at work finds it very challenging to work at their best. Having trouble focusing, making decisions, and finishing tasks are all warning signs of workplace stress.
7. Overly sensitive
A person who is under stress at work is prone to become more sensitive and emotional, especially when discussing job-related topics. When someone is under stress, passing remarks or jokes about their performance that ordinarily wouldn’t bother them could truly offend them.
8. No or less energy
Stress can damage both the mind and body. If you’re usually full of energy but suddenly find yourself constantly fatigued and ill, it may be because stress has a negative impact on your physical health.
Can you relate with the above-mentioned signs? If yes, there are chances that you’re stressed because of your work.
Simple ways to cope with stress at work
Every job is stressful and it is extremely difficult to find a low-stress job now. Adopting efficient coping mechanisms to lessen stress at your existing job is a more practical course of action.
If you are having trouble managing your stress at work, you can try some of the stress-reduction tactics listed below.
Some simple stress management techniques you can try to cope with stress at work.
1. Be clear on requirements
Uncertain requirements for workers are one major issue that is known to contribute to work stress. You may experience significant stress if you don’t know exactly what is expected of you or if the demands of your position keep changing abruptly.
Talking to your team members may be helpful if you frequently question whether what you are doing is sufficient. You can spend some time going over expectations, clearly defining roles or responsibilities, setting clear goals and talking about ways to meet them.
2. Stay organized
Planning ahead to keep organized will significantly reduce your stress at work, even if you are a naturally disorganized person. Being well-organized with your schedule results in less hurrying to get ready in the morning and less hustle to leave at the end of the day.
Keeping all your stuff and information well organized in one place will help you stay productive at work and avoid the drawbacks of clutter.
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3. Do not multitask
The ability to multitask was formerly considered as a great method to make the most of one’s time and do more in a day. However, people rapidly realized that carrying two tasks at one time not just disturbed their sanity but also their speed and accuracy.
The majority of people find that splitting their attention doesn’t work effectively since it leaves them feeling exhausted. Try prioritizing your tasks and go one by one to keep on top of your duties and avoid multitasking as it will make you more productive.
4. Listen to music
There are many advantages to listening to music, and it can be a powerful stress reliever before, during, and after work.
You can start the day off feeling more prepared to interact with the people in your life by playing a motivational song.
The same goes for the trip home, where listening to your favorite music can help you decompress and feel less anxious after a hard day.
5. Don’t take your work home
If a project is not progressing the way you want it to, there are very high chances that you’re going to think about it and stress over it even in your free time or your weekends. You must understand that you need a break from thinking about it so that you can work better with a fresh mind when you get back. Do not take your work home and don’t give it a thought after your work hours.
Find a pastime that will divert your attention and allow you to relax, whether it be binge-watching all episodes of Friends, painting, or taking your pet out on a walk.
6. Take a break
Prolonged workplace stress can lead to burnout which can negatively impact your performance. To get back to their pre-stress performance levels, everyone needs to take some time off to rest and rejuvenate.
You must completely shut off to recover properly. It is essential for your health that you take this time off from work and refrain from checking in on anything that may be happening at the office. You can recharge your brain by engaging in no work-related tasks.
You should take your paid time off to go out on vacation, meet your friends, and do things that you like the most (even if it includes taking a long nap). Take a break if you feel that the workload is becoming too much for you to bear and you need to refuel.
7. Make use of technology
Embracing technological innovations puts employees back in control of how they spend their time at work and greatly reduces the risks of stress and burnout. Workplace technology plays a critical role in keeping firms running smoothly, and makes way for a stress-free environment.
The majority of your work-related stress may be attributed to tedious manual labor and a lack of time to complete important tasks. Using a robust yet easy to use project management tool like ProofHub since helps you speed up and streamline your work processes seamlessly.
ProofHub delivers robust capabilities in a single, convenient location to assist you and your team in improving team collaboration, communication, and overall productivity.
Here are a few ways ProofHub helps you reduce stress at the workplace:
1. Organize and coordinate schedules
Being stressed out because you’re juggling numerous projects (and/or an entire team) at once makes it difficult to do them precisely and on time. Fortunately, ProofHub provides you all the tools you need to organize your processes and coordinate on schedules.
ProofHub’s Kanban boards help you streamline your workflow seamlessly. They allow you to divide your work across different stages and easily monitor task progress. It helps you identify any potential issues or concerns, and keep everyone on the same page.
The Calendar view lets you schedule your events, tasks, and milestones at one place so that you do not miss important information.
2. Track progress
If you’re not keeping a track of how you and your team are performing in keeping up with the plan as the project moves along, the results could be devastating and lead to stressful situations.
ProofHub’s reporting tool with detailed individual, custom, and project reports that help you analyze project progress and adjust plans accordingly.
The robust Gantt charts in ProofHub help you chart the critical path and give you a clear idea of tasks progress, dependencies, responsibilities, and deadlines.
The platform also provides you with a manual as well as an automatic time tracking feature that helps you keep track of your time and productivity.
3. Take control of your work
The more things a person has floating around in their mind, the more difficult it is for them to organize their thoughts. When employees have a lot to do and nowhere to organize their time, something will inevitably be forgotten.
ProofHub allows them to use it for everything from creating to-do lists, saving overwhelming information using Custom fields, sharing files, to finally delivering their projects on time.
The Notes and Stickies section in ProofHub allows you to take note of everything so that you spend less time stressing over remembering everything and take out more time getting things done. The Proofing tool helps you proof, edit, and review files by using markup tools, making your review and approval process less stressful.
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4. Common sources of work stress
Stress at work might stem from many different things or simply one particular facet of a worker’s duties. Workplace stress can have wide-ranging repercussions on both companies and employees.
Although the economy is currently improving, job security is still not always guaranteed. All industries and business types experience downsizing, layoffs, mergers, and bankruptcies; this results in a lot of stress among employees.
Even if people don’t lose their jobs there are various other things like higher output requirements, fewer benefits, salary cuts, and more to worry about. This generally results in a stressful atmosphere at work.
Some of the common causes of stress at work are:
- Management style
Management style plays a significant role when it comes to dealing with stress at work. It consists of various aspects like communication, priorities, and policies. Workers do not feel supported by their coworkers or bosses when there is poor communication at work and when they are not included in decision-making processes. In addition, a lack of good policies may also result in greater stress.
- Undefined responsibilities
Stress at work is greatly influenced by how tasks are assigned and completed. Heavy workloads, infrequent breaks, extended shifts and hours, pointless regular activities, disregard for employees’ skills, and more are examples of this. Employees believe they have too much responsibility and too many “hats to wear” when job responsibilities are undefined or inconsistent.
- Work environment
The majority of the aforementioned reasons for workplace stress are emotional, however, a toxic work environment can also produce physical stress. Work environment is crucial in reducing workplace stress, whether this is due to noise, a lack of privacy, poor climate management, or inadequate facilities.
- Excessive work pressure
This is one of the major reasons why individuals feel stressed at work. Every organization indeed has work pressure and challenges to deal with, and it is important for your overall growth and development. However, some employees find it difficult to cope up with the work pressure and end up being very stressed.
- Lack of assistance
If you (or your employees) don’t get adequate support from coworkers, managers, or supervisors, the work-related stress will get worse. The Workplace Health Report data shows that 26% of UK employees blame a lack of assistance for their stress at work.
High stress at work has become a very major problem now. Everyone needs to learn efficient stress management techniques.
It is super important for individuals to put themselves first and take necessary steps when they feel stressed at work.
Prioritizing yourself not just improves your well-being but it also improves performance and productivity.
Hope these tips will help you combat stress at work.