stress at work affects performance

80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help

I recently read an article on stress in the workplace that prompted me to delve deeper into this topic as more and more people are calling in sick, taking time off or needing a mental break. The statistics on workplace stress is real and it’s impact can be felt both emotionally, physically and mentally. Spotting the signs can sometimes be tricky to identify and then understanding how to combat the stress is not readily discussed. Today, we are going to explore both aspects of workplace stress.

The following diagram provides an excellent overview of how stress impacts us daily in the workplace.

Some of the most common factors attributing to your daily workplace stress include but aren’t limited too:

  • Continuous worry about projects, deadlines, and performance assessments.
  • Pressure to perform & low job satisfaction.
  • Grievances and frequent ego clashes with their bosses or colleagues.
  • Anxiety due to downsizing, layoffs & management changes.
  • The work hours have increased which reduces time to decompress and creates a constant and never-reducing stress factor.
  • Increased Workload – The list of things to do creates a feedback loop where the employee starts stressing about the number of things to be done, and in the process is unable to effectively perform his/her current tasks.
  • Flexibility to work from home does not necessary translate into better work-life balance, because the definition of end of workday gets blurred. All people get is flexibility, not reduced hours of work – all this contributing to increased stress, more than people can cope with.

Have you experienced any of the above? If so, chances are you’re suffering from workplace stress – but rest assured, there is help and it comes in spotting the signs. I did the research, and here are 7 common signs to watch out for when it comes your workplace stress:

  1. Gaining Weight
    Numerous studies have shown that an unhappy work life robs you of the energy you need to make good dietary choices and to exercise. After a long frustrating day at work, you are more likely to go for a tub of ice cream and less likely to go for a run.
  2. Feeling Stressed & Under Valued
    Workplace stress comes from being in a state of negative affect most of the time at work, i.e. from feeling bad. If you work really hard, but feel appreciated at work and see your efforts paying off, you’re not as likely to become stressed. On the other hand, if you’re being treated badly, or if nothing you do at work is ever recognized and you spend your work days in a more or less permanent state of frustration, worry and depression you can become stressed even if you only work 30 hours a week.
  3. Lagging Romantic Life
    One of the worst things about hating your job is that it doesn’t stop at the end of the work day. For many people it spills over and affects their whole life. One study showed that people who are unhappy and not rewarded at work have less satisfying romantic lives.
  4. Trouble Sleeping
    People who are miserable at work often find it harder to fall asleep or they don’t sleep as well. The frustrations of the work day tends to follow them home and worries keep going through their minds even when it’s time to sleep. This is bad for your health because sleep restores the body and strengthens the immune system.
  5. Calling In Sick
    Not having the energy or interest to face your workday or even getting of bed is big red flag. People experiencing job burnout are often late for work, frequently call in sick, and procrastinate on the job.
  6. You Overreact (A Lot)
    Do you easily get ticked off instead of just brushing things off? Display anger or worse cynicism and passive aggressive behavior? This type of behavior can quickly derail your career and your relationships both outside and inside the workplace. Unresolved anger can be dangerous for your emotional health and needs to be addressed.
  7. Lack Of Work Life Balance
    Research shows that people who are overly passionate about their work are at risk for quickly burning out. The study, which was published in the Harvard Business Review, followed a number of nurses for six months. The results? Those nurses who were “obsessively passionate” about their gigs were more likely to burn out and have conflicts in other areas of life. Job dedication is usually considered a good thing, but if you want to avoid exhaustion and emotional distress, it’s important to find a life-work balance.

If you are wondering how this impacts your company, here’s a small list of how it invades your workplace:

  • High absenteeism
  • High attrition
  • Poor performance and productivity
  • Low morale
  • Poor motivation
  • Increased ill-health, accidents and incidents reports

Final thoughts:
Stressful work situations are associated with health complaints than any other life stressor. Job stress costs companies more than $300 billion a year in health costs, absenteeism and poor performance & 40% of job turnover is due to stress. If stress is not addressed by management early on, team dynamics can erode, hurting the social and cultural norms alive in your organization. Take a look at this article if you are seeking ways to improve your stress.

The floor is yours:
How do you relieve your
workplace stress?

Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.

With leadership,

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