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Top workplace stressors

Shuchi Bhatnagar
20th May 2016
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With all the no walls and transparency policies in place, workplace stress continues to prevail. No matter how much companies try, they have not been able to eradicate it completely. According to the "Effort-Reward Imbalance Model" Stress has been one of the major factors which leads to higher attrition rate, thus impacting productivity of any business.

Stress

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Many do not know how to deal with the stress, but the worst part is that some don’t even know that they are stressed. "WHO | Stress at the workplace" states - occupational stress that is workplace related stress is related to unanticipated responsibilities and pressures that do not in line with a person's understanding, skills, or prospects, constraining one's aptitude to manage. There is several kind of stress that an employee is engulfed with, but the good news is that there are ways to combat it.

  • Tough deadlines and turnaround time - In today’s world, time is money and it is rightly said that a stitch in time saves nine. However, you need to be sure that you set up your deadlines sensibly. According to "Report on the American Workforce" it was found that keeping up with tough deadlines was one of the top workplace stressors. The simplest way to get rid of this stress is to ascertain sensibly how much time would be needed to complete a task without compromising on the quality and then set deadlines.
  • Unachievable targets - Targets and deadlines go hand in hand. The very first mission of any business is to set its goal. This goal is a set of many activities which needs to be completed with a timeline and with the set budget. Therefore while dividing duties and man hours, it’s important to set realistic targets. Unachievable targets are one of the biggest stressor for anybody. The simplest way to fight this stress is to accept only that much workload which is achievable or prioritise various tasks according to risk and return.
  • Confusion and indecisiveness - Uncertainty leads to confusion and indecisiveness. This confusion leads to stress. The solution to this problem lies in communication. There is no harm in asking questions, taking notes and understanding everything well. The issue can then be resolved after weighing the pros and cons of situations and processes can be executed thereafter.
  • Lack of expertise and knowledge – Experience, expertise and confidence comes with time. But many seem to think that they are meant to ace everything in the first year of their professional life. The right kind of mentoring and training is going to help with dealing with stress which comes with the lack of knowledge and expertise.
  • Change – Everybody feels a little uncomfortable once they step out of their comfort zone, however one does not realise this feeling of change does not last for ever. As time passes and you get used to the environment, this stress factor eventually diminish. In order to fight this stress factor it is advisable to explore the new environment as much as possible.
  • Instability – People often stress on their appraisal, transfer and change of role in the future. This is a physiological factor and one can deal with it by bringing in more positivity. By communicating with seniors and team members, one can reduce the uncertainty and prepare for the future to an extent.
  • Professional rivalry – No body works in isolation, therefore there is a sense of competition with peer group. According to "The job demands-resources model of burnout" this competition can lead to stress. Now work environments are like a rat race where everybody is trying to be on the top most position. The easiest way to reduce this competition stress is to focus on yourself without seeing what the other person is trying to achieve. Success will eventually pave way for you.

While these are the major causes that need to be dealt with immediately – there are also others. Some of them are – bullying, lack of facilities at the workplace, gender discrimination, lack of flexible working hours, poor appraisal policies, lack of recognition, conflicts at workplace and the sheer long distance to travel to the workplace.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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