Stress in the Workplace

Stress in the Workplace

As a working American, it is hard to imagine a time where you were not stressed out on the job. In the short-term, you may have experienced a pressing deadline or a challenging obligation, but long-term job stress can cause harm to an employee, and ultimately affect your job security. Job stress is associated with the perception of having little control over your work while facing many demands.

Experiencing any kind of stress is not only psychologically detrimental, but physically detrimental for the human body. Stress is associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, anxiety, depression, a weakened immune system, and other disorders.

Numerous studies have shown that your job is one of the major sources of stress for American adults. This isn’t surprising due to the fact that U.S. workers put in more hours on the job than the labor force of any other industrial nation. According to The American Institute of Stress, “A 1999 government report found that the number of hours worked increased 8% in one generation to an average 47 hours/week with 20% working 49 hours/week.” The effect of stress in the workplace has continued to grow.

More recently, there has been added stress due to the coronavirus. 2020-2021 has had large groups of people take on added concerns about maintaining their jobs, getting sick, and feeling isolated by working remotely. New research suggests that people aged 30 to 59 are experiencing the greatest levels of anxiety over fears that they may catch the coronavirus.

For employers, workplace stress can lead to a decrease in employee productivity, increases absenteeism, increases the number of days taken off work for doctors’ visits, and increases healthcare costs incurred by the employer. Workplace stress can also be linked to higher accident and injury rates and higher turnover rates, both of which increase administrative costs. Overall, workplace stress can have a major effect on the bottom line of the company.

It’s important that employers understand that they have the role and responsibility in recognizing and supporting staff who are feeling stressed. Supervisors should be able to address stress in the workplace and within their teams through raising awareness of stress management.

Unfortunately, workplace stress doesn’t always manifest itself within employees in obvious ways. OccuMed can give you the tools in order to recognize the early symptoms of stress in the workplace and how to take remedial and preventative action to assist employees. Our Managing Workplace Stress for Supervisors Course is a great wat to get started in addressing workplace stress. We can help you get set up with a plan on how to help employees handle stress.