Work stress


Work Stress

The workplace can be a competitive, demanding, and stressful environment. Many workplaces are understaffed and under-resourced, and it’s employees who are forced to compensate for this by taking on heavier workloads and working longer hours to meet deadlines.  

What Causes Work Stress?

Other features of the workplace that may make an employee vulnerable to work stress are:

  • Unrealistic performance objectives and tight deadlines
  • Unclear performance objectives
  • Job insecurity
  • Micro-management
  • Too much autonomy (no support)
  • Few opportunities for promotion or positive feedback
  • Interpersonal conflict with colleagues
  • Workplace bullying or harassment

What Are The Early Warning Signs For Work Stress?

Symptoms of workplace stress are likely to vary from person to person, but warning signs that may indicate a need for early intervention are:

  • Not being able to mentally ‘switch off’ from work
  • Anxiety (including physical symptoms)
  • Low mood
  • Poor balance (e.g. long hours, checking emails at home)
  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Taking sick days to manage stress
  • Sleep problems
  • A loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities
  • Feeling tense and on edge
  • Poor concentration
  • Indecisiveness
  • Relying on unhelpful coping strategies (e.g. alcohol use)

Treatment For Work Stress

Changing jobs won’t always be a feasible solution for work stress.  Where this is the case it’s worthwhile consulting with a clinical psychologist.  A clinical psychologist can provide you with strategies for coping with the emotional impact of work stress, and help you to identify and develop skills to build resilience against work stress, including:

  • Assertiveness and conflict resolution skills
  • Time management skills
  • Skills for achieving and maintaining a satisfying work-life balance
  • Strategies for enhancing work productivity and efficiency

Click here for tips on how to manage work stress.