Stress in the workplace is ranked the number one stressor for Americans. Workplace stress is determined by the perceived amount of control, versus the demands of the job. Workplace pressure cannot be classified per career, because stress is measured on an individual level. A top-ranked CEO with a great degree of responsibilities may feel completely comfortable, while an entry-level worker could be overwhelmed by his responsibilities.
At any rate, worker stress levels have repercussions for the employees as well as the employers. For employees stress can cause anxiety, irritability or depression as well as cause problems sleeping, trouble concentrating and stomach problems. Employers should take note since this can cause employees to call off more frequently, contribute to employee turnover rate, and boost health insurance claims - all of which take a financial toll on the company.
There is no way around it, the majority of Americans spend the greater part of their day at work. There are steps that both the employee, and employer, can take to help reduce stress factors in the office. Company policy changes, like job description reassignments and better training programs are great options to create a less-stressful environment. The top ten workplace stressors revealed in a study by SkillSoft of over 3,000 participants included: workload, feeling undervalued, deadlines, lack of job satisfaction and lack of control over the work day. Sweeping policy changes can be the best, and most effective, fix to reduce office stress but can also take the longest to implement.
That being said, each individual is responsible for the amount of stress that they feel, and how they react to it. Usually it’s a matter of emotional and physical well-being. Put simply, the healthier you are, the better you cope with things outside of your control.
Activities like walking, running, yoga, even standing up at your desk and stretching, can instantly reduce pressure from stress. Diet is also connected to stress. Low blood pressure can cause anxiety, while eating too much can cause a person to be lethargic. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can help maintain even-blood-sugar levels. This will increase energy and focus, while avoiding mood swings.
Workplace stress seems to be inevitable, but the good news is that it can be easily controlled. When both employees and employers take steps to minimize stress levels, both will reap the rewards.
In the U.S., experts at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are dedicated to studying stress.
This is what they've found...
Stress is linked to physical and mental health, as well as decreased willingness to take on new and creative endeavors.
Job burnout experienced by 25% to 40% of U.S. workers is blamed on stress.
More than ever before, employee stress is being recognized as a major drain on corporate productivity and competitiveness.
Depression, only one type of stress reaction, is predicted to be the leading occupational disease of the 21st century, responsible for more days lost than any other single factor.
$300 billion, or $7,500 per employee, is spent annually in the U.S. on stress-related compensation claims, reduced productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses (nearly 50% higher for workers who report stress), and employee turnover.
Experts say employers should find ways to reduce pressures of the workplace.
Research supports Yoga as a means to reduce stress, improve brain function, and increase productivity.