Danger in the Workplace – The Damaging Effect of Stress

A couple of weeks ago someone loved our article on time taking article. After a short discussion we decided to take it one step forward.
We invited this article, since some of our students overwork and suffer from stress. The writers are brand-new non-profit organization improvedu and their support group. We do not usually do this sort of cooperations, so please tell us if you like it or hate it.

It causes millions of working hours each year and costs billions of dollars, and stress in the workplace can also be harmful to the business in lost profits and reduced efficiency, as well as being damaging to the health of the employees affected in this way.

Calling in sick

It will probably not surprise you to learn that stress at work is one of the leading causes of absenteeism in the workplace.
Many of us experience stress at some point in our working lives and this is not really surprising when you consider the pace of modern life and the demands that many of us work under to meet deadlines and quotas.

Stress affects people in different ways and at varying levels, so while some of us might even think that we thrive under pressure, there really is no such thing as positive stress, so even if you think it helps to raise your performance and concentration levels, it will be taking its toll in some way or another.
You need to understand that when stress becomes a significant enough issue to impact on your ability to carry out work or regular daily chores, it then becomes more like a disability and just like any other mental health condition.

Achieving good mental health at work

There are plenty of positive aspects about being in full-time employment and more many of us, having a job means more than just earning a wage.
Working and being paid regularly provides you with a great sense of structure and order in your life and allows you to pay your way in the world and work towards various goals that you want to attain. In contrast, unemployment can often be a cause of poor physical and mental health, as well as poverty, so it is not a surprise that many of us choose work when given the chance.
The question is what mental and physical pressures are you experiencing as a result of your work and the environment you spend so many hours a week in?

Working together

In many developed countries around the world there is a level of recognition about the impact of workplace stress and there are a number of legal responsibilities that employers have to comply with in terms of recognizing and dealing with stress in the workplace.

Signs of stress in the workplace are varied and can differ between individuals and the type of work you are doing.

There are some general indications that stress has affected you and these can include suffering from poor decision-making and a general increase in the number of mistakes you are making, which unfortunately can often escalate into greater levels of stress when these mistakes are highlighted and you feel under even more pressure to get things right.

Another strong indicator of workplace stress is an increased level of sickness and absence and a lack of good communication or relationship between other work colleagues and management.
Companies who experience constantly high levels of staff turnover are often managing to highlight an issue with stress that they have not successfully dealt with, causing many employees to leave for another job on a regular basis.

Short-term behavioral changes

You would not be alone if you decided to head off for a beer or a glass of wine after a stressful week at work and there is nothing wrong with unwinding after a long week, but it is when you demonstrate short-term behavioral changes in responses to stress, that a problem could develop.

Stressed individuals will often tend to indulge in behavior, which they believe will help to relieve stress and allow them to cope with a situation more easily.

Alcohol, drugs, smoking and excessive eating are all familiar coping strategies and they may have an immediate effect of reducing your feelings of anxiety, but the reality is that these short-term strategies that you devise to make you feel better, are almost certainly going to help create a problem further down the road.
In just the same way that overworking in order to try and catch up with your work schedule is only going to increase the physiological symptoms associated with stress, of tension and depleted physical energy levels, overdoing indulgences like smoking and drinking are not really addressing the root cause of your stress.

Feeling powerless?

A fundamental and universal cause of workplace stress is when you experience an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness.

It should be recognized that if you are experiencing a feeling of powerlessness at work, there is every chance that you will also develop unwanted companion feelings associated with that initial feeling, such as helplessness and a sense that there is little hope.

Many of us have jobs that are important in society but have specific demands and timetables attached to them that have the capacity to cause feelings of stress, especially if you feel that you lack the authority within your organization to actually change the course of events or make things more manageable.

Take control

There are numerous acceptable coping strategies to consider and you should always seek help from your employer and tell them how you are feeling and ask what can be done to address a particular situation.

We often experience stress when we believe that a situation is out of our control and the way to counteract this would be to act rather than react.

Stress has the physical effect of reducing your levels of confidence and concentration so you need to be alert and try to take control of a situation before it worsens. You should remember that you are in control of your own actions and responses but can’t always exercise the same level of control over other forces.

Concentrate on what you are able to control and aim to not get so worried about what you can’t influence, as this will help you feel you still have an element of control and reduce the risk of stress taking hold.

Stress in the workplace is a serious issue; so don’t ignore any of the danger signs.

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2 Replies to “Danger in the Workplace – The Damaging Effect of Stress”

  1. Very interesting post. Looking forward for more resources in the direction of stress relief. Would like to use them for personal benefit, but also to help my team live a less stressful time at work. Thanks 🙂

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