83% of U.S workers suffered remote work related stress, with the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and widespread job loss, and it makes sense why so many people are feeling the pressure.
Managing work stress is so important in our lives. Stress can be a positive in our lives, spurring us into action to accomplish tasks. But often, stress is a negative, particularly when faced with continuous challenges we are not equipped to handle. Because we do not always want to admit we are stressed in the workplace, it can be a silent killer, as the symptoms are not always pronounced. Excessive stress is crippling, and you may not even know it is there.
There’s good stress and bad stress…
Good stress gets you up in the morning and allows you to deal with the challenges that help you learn and grow. But what about the bad, debilitating stress? Stress not only impacts you physically and emotionally, but also has a direct effect on how you perceive job security and workplace demands.
Identify the source of your workplace stress
Can you pinpoint exactly where your work stress is coming from? Here are 7 stress factors, do you recognize any of yours?
- Demand: Poorly designed jobs, excessive demands or poor job fit
- Efforts/Reward Balance: High output and effort met with minimal reward
- Control: High responsibility paired with low authority, and lack of control ORGANIZATION
- Change: Restructuring, poorly communicated policies and leadership changes
- Manager/Supervisor: Enormous pressure or challenges from your superior
- Social Support: Lack of support among peers and competitiveness
- Job Security: Fear of loss of job or threatened job status
The longer these issues go unchecked, the greater the possibility there is to experience burnout and heightened stress in these areas.
Stress manifests in different ways for different individuals. For some, it takes a physical toll, while for others, it may cause memory loss or distraction.
The four main signs of stress are:
Physical: Low energy, aches and pains, frequent illness
Emotional: Irritability, feeling overwhelmed, moodiness
Cognitive: Inability to concentrate, memory problems, poor judgment
Behavioral: Eating or sleeping issues, procrastination, nervous habits
Why Assess Stress?
As you look around your office, you may see people who are the picture of productivity. But looks can be deceiving. Your workplace may be a breeding ground for stress, which is slowly chipping away at the collective morale, and the individual spirit of your most valuable people. Often stress rises and spreads unbeknownst to even the most supportive leaders.
With the realities of COVID, most employees are working remotely, and we do not physically see people to view the visible signs of stress. Now more than ever it is critical that you check in with people to identify signs of burnout and where there might be flight risks.
Once you know where your stress is coming from, you can address the root causes — which might include lack of job fit, miscommunications or mismanagement.
Workplace stress can have a profound effect on productivity and engagement
When stress factors are coupled with potentially ineffective management, stress can become a problem that extends to the entire department or company. If you are a manager, it is critical that you understand whether the stress in your office is dramatically rising and hampering productivity, killing your culture or if it is staying within reasonable levels.
Leaders who proactively identify how stress affects the health, productivity and morale of the entire organization set themselves apart by doing so and show they genuinely care for their employees.
Identifying signs of stress is the first step in taking control and managing it.
- Would you like to know exactly what your stress factors are and their impact on you?
- Are you an organizational leader who would like to assess the stress levels in your department or team?
Take your customized Stress Quotient® assessment to find out what’s “stressing you out” the most.
Is there anyone in your organization that would benefit from this information? Please contact us to share with them.
Would you like to assess your organization or team?