six possible causes of stress at the workplace

Top 10 Causes of Stress at Work, and how to effectively handle them

Got out of bed, feeling anxious and troubled about the fact that you’re going to work again? Could it be that stress at work is eating you up? Could it be one of the 10 top causes of stress at work?

Every morning. Thousands of men and women get dressed in their exquisite corporate attires and head out to their workplaces. Yet, many are at the mercy of work-related stress.

According to Statista, 53 percent of employees in a global survey outlined flexible schedules or remote options as the most essential quality of an ideal job. Also, in that same survey, 50 percent of workers considered good pay and benefits as a core attribute of a workplace.

Take note of those two: ideal job and ideal workplace, as you read on.

Well, in this article, you’ll learn the top 10 causes of stress at work and how you can effectively handle them.


Top 10 Causes of Stress at Work

Work stressors are no doubt many in any business environment. But your experience may vary from that of another person. Depending on the nature of your job and personality in general.

But, for simplicity, this article details the top 10 causes of stress at work into four categories:


Nature (and demands) of the job: Category #1 of the top 10 Causes of Stress at Work


1.  Long hours working

Every worker should work for the wage he receives. But conditioning an employee to work above the ‘reasonable’ stipulated work time may put him under unnecessary pressure. And thus, leading to mental stress and anxiety.

Imagine you work for a company whose work hour is from 9 am-4 pm. But for one reason or the other, you and your colleagues are often held till 6 pm.

You most likely won’t be effective for the extra 2 hours. Because you may have planned to use that time to do other things. The case is even worse when you don’t get compensated for the overtime.


2.  Heavy workload

Heavy workload is a reality many employees tend to contend with every day. Usually when employers try to use a few hands to achieve more. Without putting in place sophisticated technology that can cover up for the shortage of human resources.

Imagine a single worker saddled with the responsibilities and duties that can get fairly appropriate between two or three workers. You already know the outcome.

A gigantic burnout!

Yes, stress leads to burnout and then underperformance.


3.  Unrealistic deadlines

Besides the issue of working for long hours and work overload, unrealistic deadlines are one of the top 10 causes of stress at work that many employees face. Whether in big or small business organizations.

Of course, setting deadlines is an effective strategy to handle lazy workers (and laziness). And thus, making all hands be on deck at peak performance. But when these deadlines become unrealistic, employees become pressured at their workplaces.

And often, that leaves workers with “killing” stress resting on their shoulders while they’re home.


Poor management practices: Category #2 of the Top 10 Causes of Stress at Work

This section has to do with the organizational culture and ethics. Particularly the policies of companies and how top management officers interact with workers.


4.  Poor job security

Some employers take pride in laying off their staff at the slightest opportunity. For reasons best known to them. But aside from the hope of the next salary, an employee should have a reasonable level of job security at his current job.

Take note of the word ‘reasonable’. That’s to say, no job is secure in the real sense. But a situation (a full-time job) whereby you can’t be too sure of whether your employer will need you the following day or week is something to worry about.

Thus, that makes poor or lack of job security one of the top 10 causes of stress at work.


5.  Micromanaging

As lack of support can be a source of stress to any worker, micromanaging employees produces the same effect. No one likes it when they get overly supervised, as though they’re dumbass and void of the initiative. Even clever children detest that, let alone adults working in corporate organizations.

Working with a bossy boss that likes micromanaging people can be stressful. One of the reasons is that they find it difficult to listen to what their subordinates may have to say. And from their personality, they’re hardly empathetic.

So a worker who’s scared of being fired will experience tension as a result of the attitude of the boss, which may lead to stress.


6.  Inadequate opportunities for advancement

Everybody desires to grow, even at work and in their career journey. That’s by learning new things and gaining more practical experiences and skills on the job through training, workshops, or seminars.

But when this desire for growth and promotions gets threatened or constrained, many workers get stressed from the worrying. And that can, in the long run, affect their productivity.


7.  Change in duties is one of top 10 causes of stress at work

Some changes can be instrumental for growth and progress. But when effected without taking things into perspective, changes may create loopholes.

As a worker, management may change your duties or roles. But when your employer fails to prepare (and adequately support) you for the new office, they may lose the best of you for a while.

Because it takes time to adapt, and often it can be stressful if you get overly pressured to meet mighty expectations in the new job role. Almost immediately.


Relationships at work: Category #3 of the top 10 Causes of Stress at Work

Here, there’s much emphasis laid on the interpersonal relationships that exist among you and your colleagues—and manager(s)


8.  Harassment and Discrimination are part of the top 10 causes of stress at work

Maintaining a good work ethic and ethical behaviors at the workplace has remained a big issue for business managers. Thus the rising unethical issues in the workplace can cause stress for many in their workplace. Between an employee and a colleague(s), or between employees and their bosses (management officers).

Some of these issues include malicious gossip at work, segregation, discord, quarrel, and harassment.


9.  Poor communication with colleagues or bosses

No doubt, communication is crucial, both within and outside a company. But when there’s no defined way of communication between staff, stress becomes unavoidable. In particular, in a situation when it’s slow or distorted.


Physical work environment: Category #4 of the top 10 causes of stress at work

This part talks about the entire work environment of an organization, coupled with the resources it has at its disposal for efficient use.


10.  Lack of technology and equipment

In this technological age, carrying out some tasks with manual labor can be frustrating and counter-productive. In other words, as a worker of a business organization, you can only function at your peak when the basic equipment and technology you need are in place.

But when you get pressured to do a task that you’re ill-equipped to perform, you most likely will get stressed. Because you lack the necessary tools, equipment, software, or other essential resources that you need to be efficient.

Now, let’s look at.


How to handle these identified top 10 causes of stress at work [one by one]


1.  Long working hours

As an employee, if this is unique to you, talking things out with your boss is what you should do. But on the part of business managers, they should try setting a time for a break. Or best, reduce the work time of their staff, but seizing their most productive time.


2.   Heavy workload

As said earlier, overworking can get you sick. Thus, speak out rather than die in silence while your productivity level goes down drastically because of stress.

On that ground, you meet with your boss and voice out your pain of workload in the best possible way, and let him see how it’s eating the very best of you on the job.

So, business managers (or employers), should know that their staff are human. And thus, they shouldn’t make them work as if they’re robots or computers.


3.  Unrealistic deadlines

Like the issue of a heavy workload, you can negotiate your way out of unrealistic deadlines. But when all efforts seem futile with your boss or your employer, resigning may be your best bet. Remember, health is wealth.

On this note, business managers should try to set deadlines right, by ensuring they’re not way out of touch or cause their workers heartburn or high blood pressure.


4.  Poor job security

Poor job security is one of the top 10 causes of stress at work that’s somewhat uneasy to handle. It’s even more difficult if your entity doesn’t value its staff and their input. And hence, they’re willing to take advantage of the anomaly in the labor market, where millions are chasing few jobs. Making it easy to replace you with someone else upon your dismissal.

Getting another job or starting a business may be something you should give serious thought to. If that’s what you want.


5.  Micromanaging

You seldom can fight your boss, except in some cases. Especially for trying so hard to micromanage you.

Managers should understand every worker has initiatives, which they can exercise when given the opportunity. For the good of the organization.


6.  Inadequate opportunities for advancement

It should interest every employer to see their staff growth and develop. Because when they do (both personally and professionally), it will have a ripple effect on their performance at work and, of course, the company’s bottom line.

Thus, you can work hand in hand with your supervisor or boss to develop an employee development plan that will foster your acquisition of more practical skills and knowledge that will make you more productive at work. Even as you grow personally as a person.


7.  Change in duties

Seek support if you’re finding it difficult to cope with a change in your job role or description. It’s okay to ask for help. Reach out to your superior, and they’ll be most glad to help you.

Yet, business managers can address this issue as one of the top 10 causes of stress at work if they make a good plan for changes. In every way to ensure staff doesn’t lag, taking their work delivery and performance into perspective.


8.  Harassment and Discrimination

On a personal level, the best you can do to mitigate this cause of stress at the workplace is to put on ethical behaviors. But your employer has got a bunch of work to do. By setting and enforcing sound work standards within the organization.

Thus, when harassers get identified, whether senior or junior staff, they should get disciplined. To deter others from simulating such misconduct in the future.


9.  Poor communication with colleagues or bosses

Indeed, the importance of communication cannot get overemphasized. It’s essential to the process of any business. Thus, say you’re part of the top management team, one of your assignments would be define the channels of communication amongst staff.

Because when done well, that will dissipate a lot of stress, including conflict in the role and ineptness in getting things, amongst other things.


10.  Lack of technology and equipment

Asset acquisition and control is something every business organization shouldn’t joke at. While it’s crucial you bring to the notice (as an employee) of your business manager what they need to get. But they have the final say on what, when, and how they’re going to get it.

But the earlier, the better. For you and the company. Say, for example, you laid a complaint to your team lead about your work computer, which has been giving you serious issues and affecting you the past few days. Yet nothing seems to have been done about that.

The truth is that while that could be a source of mental or emotional stress to you, it will affect the entire team’s performance. It’s just like the “one man down or out” scenario in soccer. Hence the whole team feels the heat.


Summary on the Top 10 Causes of Stress at Work

Work stress is an outcome or byproduct of a situation whereby the expectation on you to achieve a work level of performance exceeds your capacity to cope.

However, getting an ideal job depends on you. But work in an ideal workplace depends largely on your employers and partly on you.

Hope these tips on how to effectively handle the top 10 causes of stress at work were helpful?


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