A degree of stress at work is normal for most people. There is always some form of pressure at work, whether that be deadlines, budgets, coping with change and so on. In addition, work brings us into contact with all kinds of people, some of whom we may have very little to do with were it not for work. This type of contact can be difficult at times and may impact on a person’s ability to enjoy their work.
Workplaces have systems to help employees manage the various pressures, and mostly they work fairly well. However, some workplaces have poor systems, employ poor managers, or do not implement their own systems. At times the various pressures may also increase and the load placed on employees can become excessive. This can then lead to problems at work and also in employees’ personal lives.
Common signs of workplace stress include:
- Sleep problems
- Irritability or argumentativeness’
- Being in a bad mood or overly negative
- Feeling unmotivated
- Feeling unappreciated or burnt out
- Taking excessive time off work
- Regular sick leave
If workplace stress is not addressed the person may end up leaving their job, submitting a workers compensation claim, or taking prolonged periods off work. Alternatively they may find themselves having their performance managed. Obviously, none of these situation are desirable, and the best way to avoid them is to get help managing the stress.
When workplace stress is severe or prolonged it can lead to the development of mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or alcohol problems. The fact that some people can become psychologically unwell due to workplace stress shows just how important work is to people, and how we still have a long way to go before work is heathy for everyone.
We can help you develop better skills for coping with workplace stress through approaches like CBT (LINK), ACT (LINK) and Mindfulness Based Therapies (LINK). We can also help you work through problems in an open way using evidence based problem solving strategies.