Work stress statistics (according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health):

  • 25% of those surveyed view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.
  • 26% said they were often or very often burned out or stressed at work.
  • 29% feel quite or extremely stressed in their workplace.
  • 80% of workers surveyed reported feeling stress while on the job; nearly half said they need help managing stress and 42% said their coworkers need help.
  • 25% have felt like screaming or shouting due to workplace stress
  • 10% are concerned about an individual becoming violent at work as a result.

Typical sources of workplace stress:

  • Excessive workloads
  • Low salaries
  • Few opportunities for growth
  • Lack of social support
  • Conflicting demands/performance expectations
  • Boredom with work tasks

When it comes to workplace stress, it is not all bad. Stress within itself is not all bad, although the type of stress and how we deal with it are direct influences of its impact. For many, stress can be a strong motivator to help get tasks done. However, if not handled correctly, workplace stress can become an obstacle that overwhelms and distracts.

While stress can be a positive motivator, prolonged job-related stress can begin to affect your physical health, and if not managed quickly, it can lead to extreme health concerns. Outside of the emotional toll stress takes on the body, workplace stress often leads to irregular eating and exercising habits, which can lead to weight issues, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure. A perpetual cycle of stress and poor eating and exercise habits can develop into a loss of mental energy, often called a burnout or a condition marked by emotional exhaustion and negative attitudes toward yourself and others. Employees under a lot of stress or experiencing burnouts can exhibit multiple negative behaviors that can impact their career and the organization:

  • High absenteeism
  • High turnover rate
  • Poor time management
  • Poor performance and productivity
  • Low morale
  • Increased complaints
  • Increased health issues and incident reports

Stress may be somewhat unavoidable. However, there are ways employees can work to manage job-related stress.

1. Make the most of workday breaks. If you are feeling extra stressed or can’t look at a computer screen for another minute, take a walk, chat with coworkers or take some alone time. It is surprising how a little 10-minute break can refresh your mental outlook.

2. If you are frustrated, take a moment. Things happen every day in the workplace that can negatively affect an employees day. Rather than focusing on the frustration, take a little break to regroup mentally. Come back to the frustration and determine what to do with fresh eyes.

3. Be reasonable. Understand the job description. Establish your responsibilities and performance expectations. Do not overextend or sign up for everything. At the end of the day, leave work at work.