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Stress in the Workplace

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 6 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
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In this age of modern technology and fast moving businesses our lives are moving faster and faster. So much so that as a nation of highly motivated and highly competitive employees we are finding ourselves more and more the sufferers of stress.

Stress in the work place is one of the most common reasons for absence and one of the most costly as well.Of course none of us can help falling ill but what we can do is try to prevent our stress levels from reaching dangerous proportions.

Causes of Stress at Work

Many of us are responsible for the safety of others in the workplace and indeed many of us are responsible for the well-being of others as we work in hospitals, prisons, schools and the like. With our attention fixed firmly on the safety and well being of others we so often forget about the well being of ourselves, so it is wise to think of the following during the course of the working day.
  • Have I eaten today?
  • Have I taken a break today?
  • Did I have enough sleep?
  • Did I feel refreshed and revitalised when I came to work?
  • Did I feel lethargic?
  • Was I unhappy about the prospect of coming to work today?
If you can answer at least three of the aforementioned questions with a No answer then the likelihood is that you are suffering from stress in the workplace.You may not think you are and indeed you may not have even considered the possibility but stress is something that can sneak up on any one of us without giving us any warning whatsoever.

Impact of Stress at Work

Many people consider unhappiness at work to do with lack of job satisfaction but that is not always the case. Job satisfaction is something that we all want but if we are stressed or under pressure it is one of the last things we will get in the workplace. And likewise many people who feel they are unhappy in the workplace do so because of the high levels of stress they feel day in and day out.

Stress in the workplace may not necessarily be caused by the nature of your job. You may work with people who clash with your personality or vice versa. How many of us have gone to work and found ourselves working along side someone that we have had differences with be they personal or work related?

How to Resolve Stress at Work

Many organisations and businesses now offer the services of an occupational therapist – more commonly a psychologist – that we can call upon and speak to on a one to one level about issues relating, not just to the workplace, but in our lives in general.

Employers are now attuning themselves to the idea that a happy workforce is a productive workforce and if stress is ever present in the workforce then productivity will decrease and as a knock on effect the workforce will start to take time off work suffering from a whole variety of illnesses.

At the end of each working day – if you can – re-evaluate day’s events; make time to spend with your family, the wife/husband and children, even taking the family dog for a work. Make time for yourself and above all try and relax.

Most sufferers of stress find it difficult to switch off when they come home from work so if you can make it a rule to have two or three nights of the week when you don’t bring work home with you. Just because you are at home with your work it does not preclude you from the stress of work.

And again, perhaps most importantly, if you feel you are suffering the effects of stress in the workplace there are two people you should make a point of speaking to: one of them is your employer – do not feel afraid to make mention of your hefty workload or inability to manage all the tasks you are given. Your boss will think more of you for doing so and should be able to help you find other ways of achieving your work goals.

And the second person to speak with is your doctor; consult him if you are feeling tired on a constant basis, if you are having difficulty sleeping or eating, or if you are feeling you suffer from physical illnesses on a too frequent a basis.

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