Do you sometimes have fantasies about walking off and never coming back to your workplace? Statistically, you’ll probably spend a third of your adult life at work. Prolonged workplace stressors cause heart disease, low libido, high blood pressure, and psychological disorders like anxiety and panic attacks. In other words – work can kill you.
Make sure it doesn’t!
We have three essential tips for dealing with workplace stressors for you. And you’re going to like them. But first thing is first.
Let’s cover the basics.
What is a job stressor?
Workplace stressors or job stressors are harmful ways your body reacts on different work challenges, tasks, occurrences or environments. We’re talking about all situations when job requirements or the overall environment do not match capabilities, resources or needs of the worker.
Workload, unrealistic demands, too much multi-tasking, a boss that’s riding you, lack of recognition, bad relationships between colleges and harassment are just some of the common workplace stressors.
Let’s get into that.
Workplace stressor No. 1 – Deadlines!
Unrealistic deadlines are panic inducers! When a fresh pile of workload is dropped at your desk, or in your inbox, it’s normal your body reacts in a negative way. There’s work to be done, you need to apply yourself, start thinking hard, communicating, planning, or whatever it is you do. But when that work needs to be done by next week, or some date that really cuts it close, your body starts to object.
Just to be clear, every person with a job will most likely have a deadline or two to meet from time to time. But deadlines become workplace stressors when they have to be met often, sometimes even daily.
Even bigger problems emerge if the deadline is unrealistic. You are left with no real choices. Either you deliver a half-baked project or have a delayed one.
If you somehow manage to pull it off, you know there will be another workload incoming and the process starts again. That’s not fun. Not fun at all.
Workplace stressor No. 2 – Unrealistic demands!
Is your workload too big? Maybe you don’t really have the hours to finish everything in time.
Or are you faced with unrealistic demands?
Every time demands exceed personal and social resources worker is able to mobilize, we’re talking about unrealistic demands. And those are major stress inducers.
Whenever you’re stuck with demands that you know are unrealistic, your mind starts working around the clock to beat frustration or even anger and to figure out how to do the job.
Continuous unrealistic demands can lead you to develop acute frustration or even work anxiety and depression. Those are some of the major signs of work related stress.
It’s useful to remember – all you can do is give it your best and communicate with your boss using facts. Also, setting Boundaries With Your Boss and your colleges at work is very important.
Workplace stressor No. 3 – Lack of recognition
If you don’t feel that your work is valued enough, you’re probably getting frustrated. If your work lacks quality, you probably know it and don’t feel so bad. On the other hand, if you know you’re delivering and the management doesn’t see it or simply takes it for granted, we have a major source of frustration, stress and anxiety.
As humans, we have a natural need to be recognized for our work. Especially if we’re doing it right. Lack of recognition can make us feel bad on the long run and affect our self-esteem.
How to resolve this one? Either you talk to your boss and communicate your results in a better way, either congratulate yourself and move on. Your opinion matters the most.
Workplace stressor No. 4 – Multi-tasking too much, too often
Do you have too many open folders?
Multi-tasking is one thing, but working on several projects at the same time can be very stressful. Natural inclination of every human being is to accomplish things and do them well. If we’re swamped with too many tasks, that natural inclination works against us. Stress levels can go through the roof when juggling too much work.
One thing at the time is ideal. Two can get challenging. More can become a problem. And if that problem continues for a long time, it’s no longer only work-related. Stress can take its toll on your health.
Workplace stressor No. 5 – Lack of Career options or direction
A career is a path you follow to get where you want to be professionally. If you can’t see where the path may take you on your current workplace, that can be a problem.
Not having enough job certainty, career plan, realistic promotion options or a specific direction where your career is heading are factors that can cause a lot of stress. You can feel like you’re trapped, stagnating, or even worse.
Real or perceived lack of career options is a major workplace stressor and can imply badly defined job roles.
Workplace stressor No. 6 – Poor interpersonal relationships
If you can’t stand your colleges and they can’t stand you, things can get uncomfortable, no matter how kind you are to each other face to face. If you have difficulty getting along with your coworkers, in spite of efforts to find common ground, your stress levels are likely to go wild more easily.
Sometimes we have no choice but to work with someone we don’t like or find not interesting, boring or dull. Sometimes it is our boss and that complicates things further.
Workplace stressor No. 7 – Workplace bullying and harassment
Workplace bullying is a very serious issue that can cause a lot of stress, anxiety and depression for the victim. It doesn’t hurt just the ones being bullied. It also brings down the productivity and the overall morale at the workplace.
Bullying has to be stamped out, preferably before it starts. But if you feel like you’re being bullied at work – take steps to protect yourself. Document the situation, share it with the appropriate person in your company or get outside help.
We will stop here, because the list of workplace stressors is too long to fit in one article.
Now it’s time to talk about dealing with them.
Dealing with Workplace Stressors – three essential tips!
There are many strategies for managing stress in the workplace. This time we’ll skip self-help books, meditations and mantras.
We’ll keep it really simple.
Just remember these 3 things:
Work is just Work!
#1 Remember that Work is just Work! You do it for the money. Most likely you’re not changing the world or making life and death decisions. You can change your job; you shouldn’t let your job change you.
You do it for the money, get it over with the best you can and get the hell out!
Get back to your life. You are not your job!
There is no universal justice!
#2 Remember that You don’t have to be the best in order to make it. Hardest workers are not rewarded in accordance to their efforts. Just do your part and relax.
In 10 years, will you care?
#3 Remember to think of the big picture. In 10 years – will you care? Will you even remember the stress? No! Life comes first.